Sweet Italian Mirage
Standout gelato in Studio City
CategoryEat & Drink
Written byJoshua Lurie
Studio City has become loaded with popular ice cream options like McConnell’s, Salt & Straw and Local Ice. Now native Italian Maria Agnese Spagnuolo is counter-programming with Fatamorgana Gelato, a 14-year-old brand she named for a mirage that appears above the horizon.
Fatamorgana’s first L.A. outpost is in a prime location next to Artisan Cheese Gallery and near Laurel Canyon. A simple set-up features a bright red facade, sidewalk tables and counter seating.
Maria pasteurizes milk in a glass-fronted clean room and simply adds water, cream, fruits, nuts, spices and herbs to achieve her desired effects. A large, L-shaped display case touts more than 60 flavors per day—pulling from a roster more than 300 flavors deep.
Most flavors are interesting—no small feat—including salted peanut, almond cardamom and two different pistachios (California and Italy-born Bronte). Ten chocolate bins are inspired by origins like Venezuela and Madagascar and flavors like Lapsang Souchoung, rosemary and tobacco-infused “Kentucky.” Maria devotes 22 bins to sorbetto in fruit flavors like grape walnut, black sapote and cantaloupe.
Considering the wide and unusual variety, people take plenty of time to sample different possible picks. By all means, ponder aplenty. Then take the plunge.
12021 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-606-0273