Tucked in the back room of Baciami Cafe in the heart of Larchmont, there’s some sweet gooey magic being made: gelato. Cafe owner Simon Malak stands before the Italian workhorse that is his pasteurizing gelato machine, and mixes up another batch of fresh, creamy, cold gelato.
The most popular flavors? “Pistacio, Oreo, Mint, and of course Twix made with the kid cereal,” Malak told the Larchmont Buzz after whipping up a new batch of a mocha gelato that used four cups of freshly brewed espresso in the making. “Our seasonal egg nog flavor is also popular right now for the holidays.”
The gelato recipe depends on the flavor, but tends to be made from 45% whole milk, 45% reduced fat milk, and 10% cream, with sugar, flavorings (like fresh fruit) and dextrose (for stabilization) being the only other ingredients. Even though it sounds decadently caloric, an average scoop of Malak’s gelato is only about 200 calories. “The same calories as your average cupcake,” Malak likes to point out. “And a lot less than ice cream which has a higher butter fat content.” He also makes a wide variety of dairy-free fruit sorbets, sweet and savory crepes, paninis, and omelets at the take-out cafe.
Malak’s mother is French-Italian and his father Greek-Egyptian. Malak himself spent four years of his youth in France where his grandfather made him crepes regularly. He spent most of his childhood growing up in the Hancock Park area however, and so decided to return to Larchmont Village to open Baciami Cafe. The space at 139 1/2 N Larchmont was an ice cream parlor in the 1950’s so the gelateria mimics the building’s earlier origins. “I opened this place because I wanted to give something back to this community,” Malak told the Buzz about his two-year old business. “I enjoy hiring young adults and students from the area and being in the heart of Larchmont’s walking traffic.”
We may all be grateful for the little cafe’s presence too – particularly when one walks by and gets a free taste of a warm crepe from one of the salespeople. It’s a nice taste of Italy and France, right here on Larchmont.Baciami Cafe 139 1/2 N Larchmont Blvd Sun-Thurs 9am – 9pm Fri-Sat: 9am – 10pm