Small batch gelato and sorbetto, made in-house everyday in #DTLA

 

Gelateria Uli was founded by Uli Nasibova in Downtown Los Angeles. Our gelato and sorbet is made fresh daily in our kitchen in the Spring Arcade building in the heart of Downtown's historic core neighborhood. We serve fine drip coffee and espresso drinks, along with an array of fresh pastries. Every day our case is stocked with popular flavors like Pistachio, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Stracciatella, European Yogurt and Chocolate sorbet, along with rotating favorites including Poblano, Maple Pecan, Coconut Lemongrass, Saffron and summer stone fruit sorbets. Don't see a flavor you're craving, or just have a good idea for something new? Suggest a flavor, and we might give you a free pint.

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    CBS - Best gelato in Los Angeles

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    The décor of Gelateria Uli may seem a bit minimalist for a café, but the gelato is full of rich flavor. This spot only offers 16 flavors at a time with the staples always included in the rotation. Gelateria Uli boasts of unique flavors like bee pollen, coconut lemongrass, basil and olive oil and other adventurous flavors in the works. It is constantly looking to expand the flavor boundaries and is requesting suggestions from customers. If your suggestion actually tastes good and Gelateria Uli uses it, you’ll get a free pint of it.

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    New Flavor: Watermelon Sorbet

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    Is there any fruit more synonymous with hot summer days than watermelon? We've been getting some plump watermelons from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market recently, and the results have been pretty darned good. We add a health splash of extra citrus to the watermelon to bring out the watermelon flavor (citrus is sort of like salt in the way that it can bring out the unique flavor of other fruits). Several people lately have been pairing the watermelon with basil gelato. Tastes like summer.

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    CNN Eatocracy - The Country's Coolest New Ice Cream Shops

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    Food & Wine Restaurant Editor Kate Krader compiled a list of the best new ice cream joints in the US. We're honored to have been included, and to rep L.A. Here's what she wrote:

    "In the gorgeous 1920s Spring Arcade Building in downtown L.A., this new gelateria serves 16 rotating flavors daily with options that tend toward the inspired like the shortbread cookie–flavored Speculoos and Coconut Lemongrass. You can check out a more complete list on their website, which is also the place to request a flavor you’d love to see them make."

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    New Flavor: Tarragon

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    Like many herbs used in cooking, tarragon usually functions as an accent. Its sharp, licorice-y flavor tends to be more of a grace note in buttery cream sauces, or fresh vegetable salads. Even in my gelato kitchen, tarragon has so far been used only as an accent to beets. In my family, we started many meals with plates of tomatoes, other fresh vegetables and a few handfuls of fresh herbs. Tarragon was my favorite. I love it on its own. 

    So, we decided to feature tarragon in a new gelato flavor. We think it's really nice - licorice fans will especially appreciate the singular tarragon flavor. That said, it of course pairs very well. Try it with raspberry sorbet or stracciatella. If you are adventurous, try it in an affogato (espresso poured over gelato) - you'll be pleasantly surprised.

     

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    New Flavor: Bee Pollen

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    We've seen, and made, gelato flavors that incorporate honey. But never have we seen a frozen dessert that features another ingredient made by honey bees: pollen. Bee pollen is considered by many to be a health food. It's rich in anti-oxidants. It's also very flavorful.

    If you haven't had bee pollen, you should try it. It goes well in smoothies, or in cereal. It also happens to make a really nice gelato flavor. The taste is actually nothing like honey. In its raw unadorned state, it's not sweet at all. To me, it tastes nutty and a little floral, which makes sense since pollen is a collection of flower particles, collected on the legs of honey bees as they bounce from plant to plant.

    It's pretty neat how bee-keepers harvest the little golden granules of pollen. The technique is shown in this video:

    We get our pollen from Aunt Willie's Apiary in Bellflower, via the City Hall Farmer's Market in Downtown LA. Try the bee pollen gelato with one of our fruit sorbettos, like strawberry or lemon. 

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    New Flavor: Sesame Halva

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    Our new friend Rachel recently suggested tahini as a flavor and we instantly got excited. Tahini is essentially what you get when you take sesame seeds and grind them into a paste. It’s nutty, subtle and delicious.

    Tahini is usually used as a dip, or dressing, in various savory cuisines. But it reminded us of a flavor we developed a while back, but hadn’t yet debuted in the case: halva.

    Halva is a Middle Eastern confection made from sweetened sesame paste – it’s tahini’s sweet cousin. Halva is a soft, dry, but dense treat that is usually served with tea. It’s sometimes made with flour, but we prefer the sesame-based varieties.

     

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    KCRW Fault Lines - Madeleine Brand

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    Downtown Los Angeles is on the way up. GQ magazine recently called it the coolest downtown in America, and the New York Times announced that it was one of the 52 places to visit in 2014. To which we here in Los Angeles reply: duh. Cool restaurants, hip bars, fresh art galleries… What’s not to love?

    Not so long ago, downtown looked a whole lot different. And even still, downtown’s got one of the lowest median incomes in the city. But with new, more affluent residents moving in, the neighborhood’s on the upswing.

    Look no further than the Spring Arcade Building for evidence. The gorgeous, Beaux-Arts shopping arcade was built in 1924 as an answer to the Parisian commerce cathedrals of the day. It’s got a sparkling glass atrium and ornate storefronts that bustled with shoulder-to-shoulder patrons back in the 20s. But times got tough downtown – businesses in the arcade catering to middle-class and high-end customers were replaced with swap-meet-style stalls with people hocking discount clothing, knock-off purses and cheap toys.

    But just as the Spring Arcade Building tracked the down times, signs of downtown’s resurgence are popping up in the arcade. Click below to hear from a young couple opening a gelato shop and from one of the last swap meet holdouts in the building.

     

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    Build a shop, unearth L.A. history

    When we started building our shop in the Spring Arcade building, there were decades-worth of materials and paint covering up the space's original details.

    There was a clumsy dry-wall partition separating the space and a square plywood casing covered up an original octagonal column. We knocked down the partition and ripped away the plywood to expose that grand column. But the floor was a different story.

    It was comprised of layers upon layers of old tile, cement and what may have been tile glue. The floor was so thick and at-first impenetrable that a subcontractor could only suggest that we cover it with a new coat of concrete and paint it a soft gray tone. I reluctantly agreed. Of course, I hated the result, and decided to grind down deeper through the decades of new floors in search of the original. I rented a more powerful machine and hired a more determined helper. As he broke through the surface, the distinct pattern of terrazzo flooring emerged.

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    David Bowie <3's Gelato

    We're not the only ones who think of gelato in the winter time. Happy new year all!

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    Picking our pints

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    Samples for our to-go pints arrived today. We think they’re really cool.

    They feature our logo on the front and a spot to hand-write the flavor and the production date on the back. We went with transparent plastic, so you can see the color of the gelato or sorbet.

    Our designer Clarke Harris created the unique fonts of the logo after touring the Historic Core. He was inspired by the hand-painted signs that exist on many of the buildings on Spring and Main streets and Broadway. Some of those old signs have been maintained over the years. Most have been reduced to near ghosts. Either way, we love them, and so did Clarke.

    Downtown Los Angeles is our community. Its architecture, history and people are a daily inspiration. It feels good that every time we look in our freezer, whether we’re at home or in the shop, we’ll see a little piece of the neighborhood that surrounds us.

    Check out more of Clarke’s work here.

     

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