Wonderful Italian Gelato & Pastas - Bulgarini Gelato [Thoughts + Pics]



Awesome report. As always.

Can’t wait until they start doing movie nights again.

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Those are fightin words!

Great report again @Chowseeker1999


I think vanilla in general is a totally underrated flavor, and especially as it comes to gelato.

It takes quite the technical artisan to craft a vanilla gelato that tastes of actual (real life!) vanilla, and not just like sweet cream (or milk). And, yes, there is a difference between sweet dairy products and real vanilla.


Try the pasta next time, too. It’s pretty good sh*t.

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+2. absurd. By far my favorite flavor of Ice creams and milk shakes

Thanks @ipsedixit. Wow, I didn’t know they had movie nights. Do they show… classic Italian cinema on a projection screen or something? Any special desserts / offerings on those nights?


Hi @A5KOBE @ipsedixit @Nemroz,

Oh for sure I love Vanilla as well. :slight_smile: I was just trying to convey what many might overlook and think when thinking of “Vanilla”.

Bulgarini’s Vanilla Gelato is SO good! It’s like what @ipsedixit describes. Definitely a big difference from generic sweet dairy products called “Vanilla” and Bulgarini’s version. I’m craving it again…

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Movie night details.

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note to self, go get some pistachio gelato ASAP

Oh nice! Jazz Music. How are the musicians they’ve gotten there? Any good acts?

Well, the gelato is fabulous!

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Update 2:

While Bulgarini makes outstanding Italian Gelato, thanks to @J_L @ipsedixit @Porthos @kevin @paranoidgarliclover, I found out they make fresh Pasta as well! We couldn’t wait to try it.

It seems Leo Bulgarini usually makes two types of sauces from scratch (in small batches), and once it sells out it’s gone until he can make a new batch.

Pappardelle al Pesto:

I wasn’t sure if this excellent Gelato maker could also make great Pastas.

Yup. He definitely can! :slight_smile:

The Handmade Pappardelle was perfectly cooked, al dente, having a just the right chew, and still soft and delicate. The Handmade Pesto Sauce exuded this awesome nutty, earthy and herbally quality from the Pine Nuts and Basil. The touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese was perfect.

In terms of all the Pestos we tried on this journey, this was the most rustic and earthy. Bulgarini’s Pappardelle is $20, but it’s also about 300% of the portion of Knead and Co.! It was very generous and delicious!

Spaghettini al Ripasata:

Leo mentions that for today’s red sauce, he decided to make a sauce he enjoyed in Rome, taking 6 hours to make(!), which is an intensely concentrated sauce of Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs.

It sounds simple, but like the best of his Gelato, it is an awesome distillation of pure Tomato essence and fragrant Garlic. It is probably one of the best Tomato Sauces (non-meat) I’ve had in a long time. The Spaghettini pasta is very thin and delicate, so it’s soft (in a good way).

Excellent! :slight_smile:

We finished with: Pera Sorbetto (Pear Sorbet):

Leo seemed particularly happy that we were able to try his Pear Sorbet. It takes him 2 WEEKS to make a batch, so I’m glad we made it out there to try it.

And seriously, I’ve never had Pear Sorbet like this before! :astonished: It has a gorgeous, deep, pure Pear essence, and an almost fermented quality (in a great way). It’s ridiculous how good this is! :heart:

Creme Di Caffe (Coffee Cream):

And like before, some amazing Coffee Cream Gelato! So fragrant of the fresh pulled coffee from the espresso machine behind the counter.

I said it once, but I have to say it again: Thanks so much to @J_L @ipsedixit @Porthos @kevin @paranoidgarliclover @Novelli and everyone else who recommended Bulgarini on our old board and here. Great Pasta and fantastic Gelato! (And plenty of free parking.)

Bulgarini Gelato
749 E. Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001
Tel: (626) 791-6174



I didn’t get to try the pesto! Agree that the tomato sauce is something very special.

Update 3:

With the nice warm weather, it was time to make the trek again. Time for some awesome Bulgarini Gelato! :slight_smile:

Fettucine Bolognese:

We were in luck: Leo Bulgarini had made a fresh batch of his Bolognese Sauce. It takes over 4 hours for him to make his Bolognese from scratch and I was pretty excited to try it.

He doesn’t normally make Tagliatelle Pasta, so it was recommended to pair it with his Homemade Fettucine Pasta. It was perfectly al dente, wonderful mouthfeel, and his Bolognese Sauce was delicious! :slight_smile: There’s a real cooked-down, slow-cooked taste of savoriness from the Pork, Tomatoes, with backnotes of slow-cooked Carrots and Onions. Just a beautiful sauce and delicious pasta! :slight_smile: @Novelli can see how this compares with other versions around the city. :slight_smile:

Fragola Sorbetto (Strawberry Sorbet):

For those that don’t know, Leo Bulgarini obsesses over making fine Italian Gelato and Sorbet. Hearing @J_L @ipsedixit and many others talk about their experiences with Mr. Bulgarini and it’s apparent he is a devoted specialist to his craft.

He hand picks and is very particular about his ingredients. When we arrived he had a BUNCH of fresh Apricots and Peaches laid out, hand picked and ready to be made into a fresh batch of Gelato / Sorbet.

For the Strawberry Sorbet, WOW! It literally tastes like fresh, sweet, bright Strawberries (in season) distilled down into a cool, chilled cup of Awesome! It’s sweet, fragrant the way that only Fresh Farmers Market Strawberries are fragrant, and PERFECT for this hot weather! :blush:

Nocciola (Hazelnut) Gelato:

I love Bulgarini’s rare, fresh Italian Pistachio Gelato, but I’d argue his Hazelnut Gelato is just as good! Seriously, it’s like PURE HAZELNUTS ground into a fine, gorgeous nutty Gelato. Perfect! :heart:

Cioccolato Di Firenze al Sale (Florentine Chocolate with Salt):

In a study of Chocolate, Leo Bulgarini decides to make another awesome Chocolate Gelato, this time, Florentine Chocolate with Salt, and it tastes totally different from the amazing Cioccolato All’ Arancia (Chocolate Orange) Gelato which focuses on the Valrhona Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa profile.

This is wonderful, bitter, chocolatey and a perfect pairing with the nutty Hazelnut! :slight_smile:

One other thing I really appreciate about Bulgarini is that unlike Ice Cream, his Gelato is less fat, tastes lighter, is more delicate and is a pure distillation of awesome natural flavors! I can’t wait to see what he does with fresh local farm Peaches.

Bulgarini Gelato
749 E. Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001
Tel: (626) 791-6174



He seems incredibly passionate about his gelato & sorbet, and must love your appreciation for how it’s made. Your description of that 6 hour red sauce is awesome.

Hi @TheCookie,

Yah Leo Bulgarini is definitely passionate about his Gelato and Sorbet. :slight_smile: Have you tried it yet? Definitely give it a try if you haven’t.

Not yet. But, I owe my sister in Altadena a visit. She says she’s been going for years. That will be our definite go to!


If you go see if you can make movie night.

That sounds lovely. I sent info to my sis’. For once we can do something fun in her 'hood. I’ll keep you guys posted.