If you like your salted caramel with a side of salted ocean breeze, do we have the new sinfully delicious spot for you! Manhattan (LA, not NY) is both a chronically hip place to beach and the new home to Gelato Lounge Bonaventura. It’s where the Lavazza percolates, the gelato scintillates, and Club Gelatini demonstrates that if you want to rock the dessert scene, you’ve got to be all that and a caterpillar sundae.
Sorbetti By The Sea
A little seaside breeze mingles with the lavender honey and that intoxicating scent leads you to the right spot. The expansive gelato (Dulce de Leche, Coconut & Basil, Kit Kat) and sorbetti (dark chocolate, acai blueberry – both are amazing) options, made fresh on-site daily, with the finest Italian fixings and local organic fruits, explain the line out the door. The ocean view while you wait on a boutique lined beauty of a beach bound boulevard? Even the littlest squirmers won’t mind waiting in this line.
Come On Over, Kids
Some places claim to be kid friendly. Others seem to have been built just for them. One gander at the owner’s six-year-old son Mateo, and it’s clear why this place is so comfy for the kids. It’s clear why there’s a corner dedicated to their lounging. And it’s clear why the sundaes, while visually eye-popping, are still appropriately sized to scale. That caterpillar may have four scoops, but each scoop is roughly that of a golf ball. The owner, Stephanie, is a mom. And we thank her for knowing all that goes along with that.
Toddler Size, Mommy Wise
It’s a treat that doesn’t derail dinner. Extra small portions are available for extra small guests. And the fun shapes don’t stop at a furry legged creature. Is that spaghetti you see here? Nope, it’s gelato. Vanilla gelato in spaghetti shaped squiggles, doused with homemade strawberry sauce, and white chocolate sprinkles. Seeing is not believing, you’ve got to grab a spoon and dig in. If your carb cravings run more to pizza, they have that too – also made of gelato. Choose any four flavors; they’ll top them with strawberry sauce, the season’s best produce, white chocolate sprinkles and a whipped crust of cream.
Put On Your Sundae Best
She’ll have the Pinocchio Sundae, scoop of Bubble Gum, scoop of Smurf, please. There’s a whale, a caterpillar (our taste-testers personal award winner), a hot rod, and a pirate ship: the tot options will put the ‘It’ factor in Italy for the too-young-for-espresso crowd. Let them go to town in the kids’ corner, Club Gelatini, replete with chairs, a chalkboard, and coloring books. Clearly the owners are Italian, where eating is always a multi-sensory experience.
Allergies welcome! Flavors to the tune of dairy free, peanut free, other nut free, even egg free. Ask. They’ve been waiting for you.
Come For the Gelato; Leave Dreaming in ‘Geladough’
Take a seat Cronut, the ice cream sandwich has just undergone an Italian makeover. Choose your donut, chose your gelato. Choose your filling, topping, or sauce, and your custom designed ‘geladough’ is done. Warm on the outside. Cold on the inside. Sweet dreams are made of these.
But Do They Do Birthday Parties?
Sure do. Petite ones, roughly 10 kids or less, with cardboard sundaes they’ll be talking about till their next birthday.
Manhattan Makes it Easy
Bonaventura is steps away from Metlox, Manhattan Beach’s outdoor shopping and dining destination. We find their underground parking lot to be the easiest parking in the area. So, while digesting, lounge beneath an alfresco umbrella at Metlox while musicians croon covers. With a cup in your hands and the sun on your shoulders, Gelato Lounge Bonaventura puts the cherry on top, the gelato in the donut, and the sundae in the caterpillar. Daycation in a cup? It’s made in Manhattan.
Gelato Lounge Bonaventura
308 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, Ca
Phone: (310) 372-4050
-written and photographed by Jolie Loeb