With lines out the wazoo at many a Bay Area ice cream or gelato shop, it's easy to be cynical when yet another store opens claiming to make its frozen confections in small batches with local ingredients. But as far as artisan gelato is concerned, relative newcomer Lush Gelato is one shop that actually delivers the goods, producing gelato that is unrivaled in terms of both the luxurious creaminess of its mouthfeel as well as the purity and intensity of its flavor. Frederico Murtagh, the owner and resident gelato master, is a veritable genius when it comes to distilling the essence of, say, a grapefruit or basil or a spoonful of crème fraîche into a batch of gelato or sorbetto. For many of the gelateria's best flavors, Murtagh draws inspiration from his native Argentina — the dulce de leche gelato, in particular, is to die for. Both of Lush's East Bay locations boast friendly employees who are generous with samples, and the shop's policy of allowing customers to split a scoop between two different flavors is great for both the budget-conscious and the indecisive.
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