It's both cruel and practical that Gelato Bar limits customers to three samples. Otherwise, we'd probably be lolling at the counter and annoying the clerks as we taste our way through the shop's repertoire of dense, Italian-themed gelato flavors. Owned by Gail Silverton (sister of Mozza's pizza queen Nancy), Gelato Bar has two locations, Los Feliz and Studio City. The Los Feliz shop is bright and cozy, designed to look like a typical neighborhood gelateria in any mid-size Italian city — one that happens to serve top notch gelato.
Here, the flavors are less intense and the gelato more dense than at Grom, but the flavor combinations are varied and intriguing, like the Veneziana vanilla gelato ribboned with chocolate and sprinkled with candied orange peel, or the milky Lattemou. The Los Feliz shop has about two dozen flavors at any given time, but their full repertoire stretches to nearly 90 flavors.
We're a big fan of the chocolate, which is dark, lovely and satisfying, and the Yogurt Greco, with the tartness of yogurt and the sweetness of honey in irresistible harmony. But the knockout punch is the exceptional pear sorbet. It's light and flowery yet manages to exploit every last drop of pear essence, and it's a flavor we've seen almost nowhere else.
Bonus: Gelato Bar makes very good coffee. It doesn't hurt that Gail Silverton's son, Nik Krankl, is an award-winning barista who sometimes steps behind the counter of the Studio City shop to pull a few shots.