When you’re in the mood for something cold and sweet but the ordinary choices seem…well, ordinary…you want to visit Gail Silverton.
Silverton? Why does that name ring a bell? Ah yes, Nancy Silverton, of LaBrea Bakery and Mozza fame. That’s Gail’s sister. So you can expect a familial dedication to doing it right.
The Silverton family (all of whom contribute to some element of the operation) offer 24 flavors of geniune Italian style gelato and sorbettos, rotated daily. In addition to more typical fruit flavors, your mint chip, pistachio and a very chunky rocky road, you can find Pannacotta, Zuppa Inglese (vanilla custard, rum-soaked ladyfingers and chocolate), Dolce Amaro (vanilla with cocoa powder and chocolate covered pralined nuts), Veneziana (vanilla, orange peel and chocolate), a blood orange/chocolate stracciatella, and a Tutto Bosco sorbet that seemed like the richest berry-filled treat I’ve ever seen. These are rich, complex flavors—not, as they say “greasy kid stuff.” Silverton also concocted a habanero-infused Spicy Chocolate flavor, English Toffee designed to mimic the famous candy of Littlejohn’s in the Original Farmers Market and a Cinnamon Basil. When I was there, they put out a batch of pink grapefruit that looked like glistening cotton candy, good enough to dive into.
All of the flavors are made by Venetian gelato expert Alessandro Fontana, each containing 60-70% pure product (flavor source) rather than the 30% found in average American ice cream–which by the way, is actually higher in fat. And everything comes in those cute saving-the-world corn plastic cups. They’re biodegradable, and didn’t kill trees to get here.
They also offer imported Italian “sipping chocolate” in flavors including Amaretto, Giandula, Peperoncino, and one called “Lover Ciok” that has me intrigued. Cake Monkey yummies, savory sandwiches, La Brea Bakery treats and serious espresso are here too.
Gelato Bar is located on that chic little stretch of Tujunga Avenue that I like to call “the Larchmont Village of the Valley,” alongside Caoti Pizza café, the always-humming Aroma coffeehouse and of course the venerated Vitello’s Italian, among others. Not sure how this little corner of Studio City got so cool, but glad to know it’s there.
Oh look…they just opened a second branch on Hillhurst Ave. You lucky East Siders!
Gelato Bar is located at 4342 1/2 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City 818.487.1717 and at 1936 Hillhurst Avenue 323.668.0606