Thursday, July 26, 2007

Piccomolo - Irvine

O gelato. Why has the public forsaken you?

While your American cousin, the ice cream, enjoys the adulation of countless Food Network specials and a monopolizing presence in supermarket freezers, you eek out an anonymous existence. I have to drive to a mall, either mini or mega, to find you. Only the Loch Ness Monster is more elusive.

You deserve better. But the very nature of your composition makes mass production impossible. You are made of milk, not cream. And because of its lower fat content, you are a fickle creature. If not served fresh, you'll freeze as hard as a rock in the carton.

Though exactly because of your makeup, you melt more cleanly than ice cream in my mouth and with a more refreshing, not-too-sweet finish.

I'm glad that Piccomolo, a franchise devoted to churning you out daily, has moved into my neighborhood. Just in time to fend off the oppressive heat of August.

Piccomolo's got you presented in rippled heaps inside metal bins and in more flavors than the rainbow has colors. And although they call her "fruit gelato", your sister, the sorbetto, holds her own in another set of bins.

Every time I visit, I take freebie samples from both sides. I taste one tiny spoonful here and a tiny spoonful there. It's hard to choose, because you're all so tempting.

One night, I finally decide that I must have two flavors slathered by spade into my small cup ($3.50). Donatella (chocolate hazelnut) and Cookies and Cream proved an ideal match-up; A Yin-Yang handshake of vanilla, Nutella and Oreo.

Then, on another night, another flavor. This time, a Watermelon sorbetto so ripe and so juicy, it was better than eating the real fruit. Amazing how you've distilled the spirit of summertime into a few ounces. And not a single seed to spit out.

Bravo gelato, and your fruity sister too.

(949) 733-3373
6412 Irvine Blvd
Irvine, CA 92620


At 12:37 AM, Blogger Christine D. said...

Mm mm mmm! I may be frugal at times, but I don't mind shelling out $3.50 for a small cup of gelato. I'm hardly around that part of Irvine, but I saw my favorite flavor (Amaretto) on their website, so I might have to pay them a visit!

Oh yeah, don't EVER go to the gelato place at The Block. That place is nasty! I've been there twice and the texture of my gelatos have ranged from icy/hard to soupy.

At 2:41 AM, Blogger digkv said...

Gelato is delicious and always hard to find. That gelato looks surprisingly airy to me: which is suspicious. I've always thought gelato should be denser and not as airy as ice cream.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hey Elmo - Looks so refreshing, especially with the hot weather we've had lately.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Wandering Chopsticks said...

haha! Very cute. :)

BTW, my verification word is koldh. How apropos.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Krizia said...

Hah! I really enjoyed the love letter style in which you wrote this post :) You've got me craving gelato now. Fortunately for me, there are SO MANY in Berkeley. There are 5 places within a mere 1-2 miles of one another.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Kathy YL Chan said...

oooh deaaar, that looks reeeaaally good...gelato is one thing we do not do well in hawaii!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


$3.50 is a lot of money isn't it! But this week's Clipper Magazine has a "Buy One Get One Free" offer for Piccomolo on the back cover! Check it out.


The consistency was somewhere between soft serve and slightly melted Haagen Dazs. But you're right, denser gelato is definitely better gelato.


Totally refreshing! I have a frequent buyer card and I've got only three more stamps before I get a free cup of gelatao.


HAHA! Sounds like the Blogger Bot wants in on the gelato too.


Lucky! My gelato shops are flung few and far between! But the trend seems to be building. I'm looking forward to a day when I can just walk to a gelato shop.


But still. You're in Hawaii! That more than makes up for it in my book.

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find Gelato...very colorful...hehehe

At 6:46 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I find gelato...and then I eat it!

At 10:09 AM, Blogger harugirlie said...

yum! I tried this place a couple of weeks ago. soooo freaking good! I'm now on the hunt for the clipper magazine so I can get that coupon! I love the strawberry flavor1

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, gelato doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves! Probably because it's much harder to find GOOD gelato in the States than to find good ice cream. But that's the brilliant part of your post: you gave us a location too!! Whee!

Ari (Baking and Books)

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've had better. Gelato should have a nice creaminess without the plain sugary taste. A good example is Gelato Paradiso in Newport Beach. I guess I'll have to try some other flavors at Piccomolo. (I had the Peaches and Cream with Pistachio.)

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked it, but then again, I like all frozen desserts. My buddy, Andrew, his tongue is more accute then mine. Wish they would add sesame flavor on the menu. It's nice to have a gelato place in Irvine. Bringing my kids later today...yum :D

At 5:53 PM, Blogger enb said...

Nice blog.
Thanks for eating all that food.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


That Clipper Coupon is worth $3.50 if you find it. I've got mine ready to go for the next trip.


This one is close to me! But is it close to you?


I've got to drive to Gelato Paradiso again one of these days and do a taste comparison. So far, I've been lucky in the choices I've eaten at Piccomolo.


I think there's also a gelato place across from UCI also if you're close to that area. Haven't been though...


You're welcome! And thank you for visiting.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Jasmine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the gelato looks delish! must try it some time. but the store's decor looks very similar to that new mochi dessert place out by heritage plaza mall. i think i've seen gelato there, as well. hmmm... coincidence, perhaps? or just my brain melting from the summer heat maybe.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Mochi dessert place?! Do tell!

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mochi dessert place next to LL Hawaiian BBQ on walnut and culver. i believe its called mochilato, 1.50 for any mochi with a number of different flavors and fillings.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

SWEET!!! (Literally) Thanks for the tip!

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

after reading your comments, i just had to try piccomolo and they are delish!! i had watermelon and lemon. very refreshing and not too sweet - loved it! oh, speaking of mochi, they have a mochi topping for their non-fat frozen yogurt. i gotta try that next time!

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love this place!
christine, a small is $3.25, not $3.50. not too much of a big difference, but .25 can add up quickly! ;-) i don't know if you guys are aware, but they also sell a pinkberry "knock off". YUM! much better than pinkberry - no super long lines and they also have the mochi topping. i go here at least 3x's a week... that place to me just screams out "SUMMER!!!" to me and i feel like i'm on a mini vacation when i go there and enjoy my gelato or fro yo by the fountain. i'm practically a permanent fixture there. ;-P

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that there is a yogurt craze going on but nothing is sweeter and dreamier than gelato. I say if you are going to spend your hard-earned money, go for the gelato at Piccomolo. Great service, great gelato and a great outdoor sitting. Great place to chat or catch up on some reading.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I saw the mochi! Need to try that next. I've been there enough times to fill up my stamp card. I'm on my second now.


You're right. It's $3.25. I'll make the correction.


I haven't been to Yogurtland since I've discovered Piccomolo is in my neighborhood. Not to take anything away from Yogurtland, but gelato dominates my cravings presently.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Just the Sous Chef said...

I agree that gelato is superior to ice cream. I also hate that it is so hard to find gelato that is why I was also happy when they opened here in Irvine, however, once I tried it I was disappointed. It was not the quality I expected from a gelato shop. I will make my drive to Gelato Paradisio in Laguna Beach still. They by far have the best. :)

At 8:50 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Just the Sous Chef,

I really have to get back to Gelato Paradiso!

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Elmo,
I've been reading your post for a while now and have been an addict since. You are a master at your craft my friend. Since it is September and your last post was in July(hint-hint) here are a few places that I'd love you to blog on:

Smokin' Moes in HB; very good pulled pork sandwiches and bbq everything

Maybe Fleming's(Newport Beach) Vs. Morton's (Had Fleming's, my favorite for steak, but never had Morton's, read your post and made me curious)

Roy's also in NB, asian/hawaiian fusion, I believe

Dee-Dee's in Anaheim, a thai/cambodian noodle place known for their "boat noodle" and "Yen-ta-fo," but they also make the more traditional thai dishes such as "pad see ew" and fish cakes(tod mon) pretty decent.

Looking forward to reading more of your blogs!

At 2:59 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Hi Anon,

Great suggestions! I'll have to put those on my list, especially Dee-Dee. But I have been posting!

Bookmark the root directory for my blog, which is:

I've got at least six new posts where this one left off.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bad! **Sigh** of relief. Already bookmarked and reading! =)
Btw...Dee-dee is Thai/Laos.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Omg, Piccomolo is heavenly. I shared two medium cups with a couple of friends, each crammed with three flavors: in the first cup - roasted walnut, cookies 'n cappucino, mint chip; in the second - kiwi, banana, and hazelnut. They were absolutely delicious - the perfect median between froyo and ice cream


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