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Ice Cream Summer: Gelato Paradiso

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Since summer is winding down, we figured now would be a good time to wind down our Ice Cream Summer endeavor. We took the well-intentioned suggestion to try Venice's Robin Rose, but soon realized they'd been out of business for two years. Then the mention elsewhere in internet-land of Gelato Paradiso's new 3 month-old location in Hollywood sent us scurrying over the hill and in their front door. Among all the other ice cream options near that infamous intersection of Hollywood and Highland, we found paradise!

Gelato Paradiso makes their own product in small daily batches right there on the premises; if you peek over your server's shoulder you can see behind a glass wall "Il Laboratorio" where the magic happens. Our server was the incredibly welcoming and helpful Lea, who gave us some backstory on their gelato, and on gelato itself. And what's the difference? Well, their gelato has 2/3 less fat, 1/3 fewer calories, and 3/4 less cholesterol than most ice creams. And because gelato is made with less air, it is far more dense, though marvelously more light, than anything we've ever tasted--their mix is comprised of 90% milk and only 10% heavy cream, and many of their ingredients are imported from italy, such as the pistachios that are a specialty in Sicily. Visually, the results are stunning--the gelato sits in rippled waves and is garnished with extras like fanned cantaloupe slices on the Melon flavor. We tasted spoonfuls of several flavors, like the Melon, Dulce de Leche, and Panna Cotta (Italian Cream). We decided to make the most of the experience, and we ordered three flavors in a waffle cone. The waffle cone was made right before our eyes, from the batter hitting the griddle to our flavors getting scooped into the still warm cone. Our flavors--Lemon Sorbetto, Tiramisu, Panna Cotta--held their own and didn't melt into a messy mixed up puddle. It was delicious. We knew we'd found the ultimate way to end Ice Cream summer and a new top pick when we couldn't stop mentioning the gelato for the rest of the afternoon. It is just that good. So here's how LAist finally ranks all our tastes during this hot, but deliciously cool, Ice Cream Summer...