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Restaurants & Bars 9

Al Gelato...a disappointment (warning: longish)

michael | Jul 18, 2004 05:23 AM

Not to get into the whole LA bashing thing again, but as has been discussed many times here before, LA seems to have a preponderance of establishments that just aren't that good, but for some reason maintain good reputations (and positive reviews on this board)....

Al gelato fits this bill exactly: I have tried it three times (6 different flavors), only to be underwhelmed each time. Their Ice Cream (Gelato?) is not dense at all, and it is too sweet. A firm, dense texture is what I look for in ice cream, Al Gelato's is more akin to an over-sweetened fluffy concoction that melts far too quickly and does not hold its "freeze" at all. In fact I weighed their pints, and they weighed about 12 oz. on average, this compares to approx. 16 oz. for a premium dense ice cream like Haagen Dazs. Of course, taste in ice cream is subjective, but I can see nothing special about this place; in fact, I would much rather have many mass marketed store bought brands than their Ice Cream.

Additionally, on all three visits, I found their staff unpleasant. In particular, when you get a pint, they insist on going in the back and getting a pre-packaged pint, instead of scooping it from the counter; this is a pet peeve of mine. It just doesn't seem as fresh, even if they assure me that it is "from the same batch". Maybe true, but why should I be put on the defensive about it; maybe the pints have been sitting there for a long time? It has been my experience that pre-packaged pints are sometimes not up to the quality of the counter-scooped stuff; maybe this is psychological, maybe not.

If you want some truly fantastic ice cream, among the best I have ever tasted, go to JOAN"S ON THIRD, their chocolate caramel and dark chocolate are fantastic!

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