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Red Mango vs. Pinkberry

Pei Nov 17, 2006 11:45 PM

I finally got a chance to stop in at California Roll & Sushi on Westwood (at Santa Monica, in the plaza with Peet's next to the car wash).

They have a frozen yogurt machine there filled with Red Mango, the Korean tangy frozen yogurt on which Pinkberry is reputed to have been based.

Short version: I won't be so sad about not being able to go to Pinkberry (can't stand the drive, the parking, the wait at any of the locations, and the cost)--Red Mango is a much better value.

Long version:
My friend liked Red Mango better overall--for both value AND flavor. It's much creamier, slightly more tangy, and much MUCH cheaper. $2 for a small cup and one kind of fruit. It was a perfect afternoon snack, and reasonably priced. I love that you can pick one fruit. At at least some Pinkberry locations you're forced to have either no fruit or three (at a high markup).

If you eat at California Roll & Sushi, you get a small cup of yogurt free with your meal. How's the food here, anyone? It looks decent enough for fast food sushi.

I frankly like the flavor of Pinkberry's yogurt better, but not enough to go a lot. I like that it's less creamy and more "crunchy." That weird quality doesn't make Pinkberry better frozen yogurt--in fact, probably the opposite. But for whatever reason, I like it. But I don't like it enough to go through the extra hassle and cost of getting it.

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  1. c
    cupcake Nov 18, 2006 03:06 AM

    Hi Pei!!! Good news..a Pinkberry is opening next week on Sawtelle! Also, the Big Chill is doing a Pinkberry knockoff. It is more custardy, but is still quite good in a pinch. I am addicted to Pinkberry, but will give Red Mango a try. Thanks!

    1 Reply
    1. re: cupcake
      Pei Nov 18, 2006 04:12 AM

      Yes, I've been watching the Pinkberry Sawtelle thread. Yay! Still, the expense will keep me away.

      I really dislike Bigg Chill's version for some reason. I literally took three bites, threw it in the freezer, and then threw the whole thing out later. It's too custardy, leaves a film on my mouth, and tastes foamy and chemically to me.

    2. l
      love2chow Nov 18, 2006 04:20 AM

      Went to the Red Mango in the California Roll earlier tonight, I thought it was a MUCH better deal than pinkberry at 2.00 for a pretty BIG "small" size cup, a lot more yogurt in there than the pinkberry small and i felt like it was very good overall, but i will say that the pinkberry one is more icy, there is something about the texture that makes pinkberry like a 'crack habbit/addiction' that doesn't translate to its competitors - red mango, bear naked and yogurt queen on melrose - they all have the taste down, its tart, its cold, its creamy, but i think that they are all CREAMIER than pinkberry which makes for the difference in taste...so far i think the best is YOGURT QUEEN on melrose after fairfax in the area with all the small stores, i LOVE the store's design and I think the yogurt and portions are wonderful...theres just something about the texture of pinkberrys that is less creamy that makes it more good, as you said pei, its weird that less creamy makes it more good, but thats how it goes!

      1. g
        greengelato Nov 18, 2006 10:58 PM

        i just checked out red mango and i echo what the earlier posters have said. i can see how people could prefer red mango, but i think my addiction to pinkberry has gotten me hooked on the "crunch" aspect of it. i recently took some korean visitors to pinkberry and they said red mango's was much better. one major downside to red mango, however, is their lack of rice cake (dduk).

        however, the extra crunch element probably isn't enough for me to choose pinkberry given red mango's awesome value and non-existent lines. there's also ample parking and comfortable indoor seating unlike pinkberry. the rolls there were pretty good, california roll factory quality and price, and we each got a free yogurt and topping. i even ordered an extra to-go one for my husband and they let me have it for free. :)

        California Roll & Sushi
        (310) 446-8070
        1834 Westwood Blvd
        Los Angeles, CA 90025
        in peet's coffee strip mall

        by the way, my husband and i tried the big chill's "chillberry" knock-off and we REALLY diskliked it. it just as a weird artificial taste and texture.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greengelato
          westsidegal Mar 31, 2007 11:01 AM

          i completely agree with everything you say about how amazingly awful the big chill version of tart frozen yogurt is.
          at this point, my family has come to prefer red mango over pinkberry. it didn't take long--two visits.

        2. h
          HBL Dec 7, 2006 06:04 AM

          I definitely love Red Mango :) The California Roll and Sushi in Atwater has Red Mango that is NON-FAT and delicious! Creamy but not too sweet with a tang taste - They sometimes also have sugar-free and once I saw a blueberry flavor

          For toppings they range from fresh cut fruit to almonds, granola, coconut flakes and more - Try the yogurt with almonds and strawberries

          As for pricing, the Atwater location goes by weight so everything (yogurt and toppings) is included. It does feel like you'll getting a great deal and guiltless pleasure.

          California Roll & Sushi
          2919 Los Feliz Blvd
          Los Angeles, 90027
          323-666-1266

          1. s
            sweetlove Dec 13, 2006 04:51 PM

            I had Red Mango in Korea four years ago and I've been missing it ever since. Yummmmmmmmmm~ Can't wait to try it again at California Roll & Sushi. Thanks for the info.

            1. wilafur Dec 13, 2006 05:04 PM

              i was there a few weeks back for their HH special and had the chirashi. not too shabby i might add.

              i tried the yogurt but did not like it. i guess i won't like pinkberry either. i dunno, just not a fan of the faux milk taste blended with tart and to me, a funkiness of sorts. i'll pass.

              1. x
                xsirdanx Feb 7, 2007 10:01 AM

                hey guys, I was just informed that califorina roll and sushi is not the correct red mango. its still good~ ha ha ha. but the REAL red mango is much much better. Cant wait till i go back to korea. yay!

                1. rrrob Mar 15, 2007 02:26 PM

                  don't know if cal.roll.sushi.fish has real "red mango f.y." or not, but as for their food, it's a great value. of course for these prices, the fish isn't top quality, but usually fresh and everything is well above average, and considering the price, it's great. i always get the oysters on the half shell...get 'em now, summer's coming!

                  1. Swoshmn Mar 16, 2007 01:30 AM

                    Red Mango seems to be opening up 3 stores in the nearish future.

                    And the Red Mango at California Roll and Sushi is NOTTTT the real stuff.

                    It really doesn't match the taste at all. Still very overly citrusy like Pink Berry.

                    See you guys at the Red Mango opening. :)

                    1. y
                      ysb Mar 16, 2007 08:58 AM

                      From eater LA:
                      http://la.eater.com/archives/2007/03/...

                      According to Dan Kim, president of Red Mango,
                      "...Red Mango's major imposter right now is California Roll & Sushi (in Westwood) which claims to be serving authentic Red Mango yogurt. He says the company is "taking legal action" against the shop."

                      1. ali76girl Aug 17, 2007 04:27 PM

                        I just tried the Red Mango on Weyburn in Westwood Village, and indeed, I think their yogurt is a bit tastier than Pinkberry's. It's just as refeshing, and seems denser and a bit more flavorful. We ordered the original with blackberries, and really enjoyed it, but it did seem like there may have been some kind of syrup in the berries. They seemed a tad wet and gooey. Anybody know if Red Mango adds syrup to their fruit? In terms of the "cute factor," though, Pinkberry definitely has Red Mango beat.

                        1. Vexorg Nov 2, 2007 12:07 AM

                          I just saw today that what appears to be the first Red Mango in Washington has opened at Bellevue Square (with others headed for Alderwood and Southcenter Malls as well.) I'm not entirely familiar with this type of yogurt, and I'd be interested in hearing what would be good to try first.

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