You know how in L.A., fights about the best ramen and the best fried chicken can practically turn into bloodsport? That's how gelato is in Rome — how you rank your favorite shops will determine how others view you as a person.
Fatamorgana, which currently has three locations in the Eternal City, is a consistently highly ranked gelato shop. The flavors run the gamut from traditional to wildly inventive to the highly specific: multiple pistachio and chocolate options, for example, in case you want to compare the products of different countries scoop by scoop. It also is gluten-free, including the cones. We're talking truly, honestly, there is no gluten in the building. (The founder/owner has celiac disease, and found out the hard way that most commercial gelatos and ice creams have weird fillers, or at least get cross-contaminated.)
Fatamorgana has opened its first U.S. location here in L.A. County — specifically Studio City, a couple blocks away from both a Salt & Straw and a McConnell's. Might as well dive right in, it seems.
But how does it taste? This is really good gelato. There are about 66 flavors to choose from every day, which can get a little overwhelming, but the scoopers are generous with the samples. Try a hazelnut/chocolate or a stracciatella (chocolate shavings in plain gelato) for a fully Italian taste sensation, or go for something experimental, like black rice/rose. Which is an excellent choice, provided you really enjoy that thick floral flavor. When Fatamorgana says a gelato tastes like something, it really tastes like that thing.
A to-go box will be packed for you if you can't narrow it down to less than six or 12 options. Which is totally understandable.
12021 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 606-0273, gelateriafatamorgana.com.