As fans of Bulgarini Gelato know all too well, to get your fix of Leo Bulgarini's remarkable gelato, you have to pilgrimage north to Altadena, up the gradually inclining Lake Avenue all the way to the San Gabriel foothills and the vast concrete universe of a Rite Aid parking lot. Your trek is hardly in vain, particularly if, after you eat as many scoops of gelati as you reasonably can, you invest in a pint or two of goat milk gelato with cocoa nibs or pear sorbetto, which Bulgarini will pack for you such that it will not melt on the way home.
But the man is not unaware of the hazards of pilgrimage, and so Bulgarini is now planning an outpost (for him) on the Westside. Leo says that he's currently scouting locations for a second Bulgarini Gelato in Venice, perhaps on Abbot Kinney, which he imagines will be operational by the time the temperatures start climbing next summer.
In the meantime, between drives to Altadena you can get your Bulgarini gelato at Laemmle theatres. In three weeks, Bulgarini will begin stocking the Laemmle in Pasadena with containers of his gelati — not the cart, which he parked in that theatre's lobby before he opened his Altadena store, but a rotating selection of 3 or 4 flavors in a freezer next to all that popcorn. After Pasadena, Bulgarini will be expanding to the other Laemmles across town. Who knows, if you have enough Florentine chocolate gelato, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo might actually be watchable. A good Italian film? Paradiso.
Bulgarini Gelato: 749 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena; (626) 791-6174. Follow Bulgarini Gelato on Twitter.