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Yogurt World Convoy St SD

  • MVNYC Feb 22, 2007 12:59 PM
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I have always hated frozen yogurt. To me it always seemed like a pale low fat version of ice cream. Whole milk, heavy cream and butter have always been my standards. Also grwoing up i always had really sour Albanian yogurt, so frozen yogurt really did nothing for me

So anyways on my trip to O Briens last week i noticed a new frozen yogurt shop opening in the same shopping center. Needless to say, i was not too excited. I did take note of the fact that it was operated by asians in SD's Asian area. This to me semed odd as i didnt know this was a product tied into the community. What further piqued my interest was the article in the dining section of the NY Times about Korean frozen yogurt places in LA. This article noted how these places were taking frozen yogurt back to its origins as literally frozen yogurt, not a sweetened less fatty ice cream.

So after meeting a former colleague today at Obriens for lunch(the Port Weizen Bock is fantastic by the way), I stopped by this place for a sample. when i walked in the guy behind the counter explained to me the set up. You take a cup and fill it with whatever flavour you like, you can mix if you wish then fill it with toppings and pay by weight. There were a number of flavours, including four sour asian ones. Taking my cue from the article i filled my cup up with half plain and half asian pear. Of the available toppings i put on blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and sweetened cocunut shavings. Alli have to say is wow. The yogurt tasted exaclty like that, like yogurt. Not sweetened soft serve ice cream but yogurt. That wonderful sourness of the yogurt worked really well with the whole berries(not in syrup) and the coconut. You got the rich sourness from the yogurt plus the sweetn berries. This is good for the same reason that cheesecake is good, or blueberries and buttermilk is. The pear was good too, tart and sour at the same time. I will be back

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  1. Awesome report. Thanks for the tip.

    Funny, I remember being a kid in LA when frozen yogurt first hit the market and the reason people didn't like it was the sourness. Then, sometime later frozen yogurt turned into a super-sweet, boring, ice cream substitute. Yawn.

    I will go check this out for sure.

    1. Thanks for posting this. I just read that NY Times article the other day, too, and I was wondering when SD would get such a place and now I know. Thanks!

      1. Just got back from a brief excursion over there. Great find.

        The deal is they have 4 sour flavors, 4 flavors with no sugar added (fruit sweetened), and then either 6 or 8 that are sweet.

        I sampled three of the sour flavors, and wound up getting mango. Topped it with fresh diced strawberries, blueberries, and coconut. All yogurt places should be like this. Definitely second MVNYCs recommendation on this one.

        1. They had plenty of sweetened varities and four sour ones, pear, plain, mango and green tea. I will definitely head back to try the mago and green tea. What i really liked about the toppings was that they were real fruit, whole blue and black berries, chopped up strawberries, pineapple, watermelon instead of sweetened syrups. There were also chocolate toppings like butterfinger pieces. The lack of cloyingly sweet bases and toppings makes this place a sort of ice cream for grownups.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MVNYC

            Yeah I sampled the green tea. It was nice. Real fresh fruit was a definite plus, too. I hope that they continue to offer that as they stay in business.

            If you like that, you might also enjoy Persian ice cream. Parsian International Market on Convoy, and Balboa International Market both sell it. They have pistachio and orange blossom flavors. The pistachio is flavored with saffron and rosewater. I found it to be less sweet than standard American ice cream, and the saffron adds a really interesting flavor.

          2. thanks for the report! I saw it this weekend on a trip for boba tea at Tapioca Express. Would have gone there instead but I was craving matcha green tea snow bubble...

            1. Nice discovery! And thanks for the report! Last time I was up in LA, I tried a couple of those places... PinkBerry and this other place in the new food court at the Century City Mall. Interesting stuff!

              What's the price like at Yogurt World?

              1 Reply
              1. re: midribble

                It was $.38/oz.

                The cups they have out are gigantic. I probably filled it less than 1/4 full (which was more than enough), and it cost around $2.50 including the fresh fruit and coconut.

              2. Yeah you can get in trouble quickly price wise. I thought i only had a small ammount and it came to $4

                1. We went to Yogurt World today after reading about it on this board. It was crowded and parking was a mess but ultimately, worth it in the end. I got the Plain (tart) and Vanilla Custard with blueberries, strawberries, pineapples and captain crunch. My husband got a chocolate and cookies&creme with reeses and chocolate. We both thought it was really yummy. I prefered the Plain and will get it again next time. It tastes like plain yogurt but in a frozen creamy consistency. We also tried the Green Tea (tart) and Georgia Peach and both were yummy too. I plan to visit again to try all the flavors. I was wondering when Pinkberry would finally hit SD and I'm glad we got Yogurt World in the meantime. This place is great for anyone who LOVES toppings since you can mix and match to your own liking.

                  1. PRICE!!! It is good but not worth 38 cents plus tax!! Crazy! If you like good yogurt go to clairemont mesa east. There is a little place called Yogurt and Cafe House in a little center next door to a greek restaurant

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jossy

                      ? Not sure what you mean. I think it's a great deal, actually. For $2 and change you get an ample portion of good quality yogurt AND fresh fruit. Seems like a bargain to me.

                    2. It seems like a good deal to me too. I tried the green tea today and it was really strong. I think i prefer the comobo of plain and pear.

                      The fresh berries and coconut are really the way to go. So sweet tart and sour

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MVNYC

                        The green tea is strong on its own. I used the middle one and had the blend of that with plain. I haven't seen pear there yet, but look forward to trying it.

                      2. I haven't been there yet - but compared to Coldstone (where they try to sell you a bucket of waay too sweet ice cream for about $6.00) it sounds like a good deal to me - I plan to try it as soon as possible!.

                        1. I had the Asian peach/plain combo over the weekend, really tasty. I am addicted to this stuff.

                          1. Curiousity got the better of me, and I decided to check this place out. I had the Asian peach with a sprinkling of coconut, toasted almonds, and a few blackberries. Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! Thank you, MVNYC!

                            1. Great report and find, MVNYC! After being handed a sample cup by the owner I rapidly narrowed down my choice amongst the tart flavors and then to the plain tart, which, by the way, is not "plain" at all! Yes, it tastes just like a plain yogurt, but a very well made plain yogurt, with all of the creamy richness found in the full fat yogurts.

                              This clear and confident a taste needs no toppings, though the quality of the fruit looked excellent and tempting. Off topic, but I do the same at Cold Stone - just a sweet cream for me, no toppings! To me it seems so rare to come across good milk products these days that everytime I do, I want as pure an experience as possible!

                              When I returned the next day for another round the owner recognized me and struck up a conversation. It looks like they are an independent operation, but may be looking to franchise other locations. He certainly hit the market right in the bullseye, as the crowds seem to indicate. According to the owner he opened it up without putting up any advertising, which I find incredible given the initial customer response.

                              1. We've managed to get down here four times in 8 days and always enjoyed our large cup of yogurt. So far, Asian peach and mango tart are our favorites--a refreshing blend of sweet and slightly acidic coolness. Green tea was pretty good and Heath Bar was surprisingly very good. I was expecting Heath Bar to be too cloyingly sweet like the candy bar, but it wasn't. It was a good blend of toffee and chocolate. The berry flavors (strawberry, wild berry, raspberry) have all been true to taste--none of that manufactured fruit flavor that sometimes pervades berry yogurt/ice creams.

                                We've enjoyed the yogurt best without the toppings, although the mochi, deep fried battered peanuts and jelllies (a la boba tea jellies) have been good on the side.

                                I wonder if they're a similar counterpart to Pinkberry frozen yogurt. They have several outposts in LA, Corona and Temecula.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: daantaat

                                  Where is there a Yogurt World in Corona ?? -Thanks

                                  1. re: soulimar

                                    Pinkberry is in Corona, not Yogurt World. Go to www.pinkberry.com for locations.

                                    1. re: daantaat

                                      Thanks for the response but, there is not one listed on their website for Corona, CA. I called their corporate office and they confirmed there is not one. Have you actually been then or seen it? lol. If so, where exactly please? There's one listed in Temecula.. that's 45 minutes south of Corona. Did you mean Corona Del Mar? (which is not listed either). This is a mystery lol

                                      1. re: soulimar

                                        I do not think there is one in Corona, Riverside.

                                        1. re: soulimar

                                          maybe I was looking too fast on their website and/or got it mixed up with something else. it's been a while since my original reply. I have only been to the Temecula one (Pinkberry), which I realize is not anywhere near Corona.

                                          1. re: daantaat

                                            I don't know about Corona, but I can tell you for sure there is one in the new Victoria Gardens shopping center in Rancho Cucamonga, about thirty minutes North. I actually tried it the other day - it was ok. Compared to Yogurt World I think it's a little creamier and softer - and it has a slight lemony flavor. The store's decor certainly is fancy. Kartell ghost chairs, lacquered pebble floor, fancy gadgets for sale - kind of wacky for a frozen yogurt shop!

                                  2. It is addictive isnt it? So far its the plain with fresh berries and coconut which is my go to. I do like the asian peach and pear thoughh i havent tried any of the sweet ones. I think they are akin to Pinkberry by the way from what ihave heard.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                      Yes, sorely addictive--I consider it the lower calorie alternative to boba tea! :-) I've been looking for the Asian pear but it hasn't cropped up yet. Their sweet yogurts are not grossly sweet. They have great, full flavors without being overly sugary. I was pleasantly and happily surprised.

                                      The mochi is an interesting combo w/ the yogurt b/c there's a touch of salt in the mochi which contrasts with the sweeter yogurts. Kind of a spin off from the chocolate with sea salt combo.

                                    2. Wow, puhleeez come to Santa Barbara - this sounds wonderful!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: glbtrtr

                                        maybe you've got one as I have been to one up in SLO

                                      2. I went to World Yogurt on Saturday. I was told no photography was allowed but I managed to sneak in 2.

                                        They didn't have pear available. :(

                                        I really enjoyed the tart Peach and Mango. The Vanilla Bean (sweet) was pretty nice as well. I did not care for the Green Tea at all.

                                        Pics:
                                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/7708062@...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: pinkamoeba

                                          Pinkberry's green tea is better than Yogurt World, but that's about the only real advantage they have over them. Pinkberry's green tea is less grassy and has a "cleaner" taste. However, after your tongue has been frozen cold, you can't taste it anymore. When I have time, I plan to write a post comparing the two places.

                                        2. I've tried Yogurt World, and I must agree that it's pretty good (definitely better than those other, too sweet frozen yogurt places). I must say, and maybe I'm the only one who has noticed (it can't be!), but you've got to check out the signs that are in Yogurt World. Very amusing.

                                          1. I hit this place up a few times in the past couple of weeks, since I discovered it on the way to Tapioca Express.

                                            I love the price to quality ratio, because for 8 ounces or less, the price is about the same as Paradise Yogurt, Funnies, California Yogurt Co., etc, but the quality is much, much better. It is the best frozen yogurt in San Diego, no question. If you go over 8 ounces, towards their gigantic 16 oz cups (the smallest size), then it's a lot pricier than other yogurt places. It's also very easy to buy way too much yogurt when you're not paying careful attention.

                                            However, I cannot stand the "standard" customers, or cleanliness. The place is so busy and so small, that they need to mop the place 10 times a day. People just track yogurt all over the floor. They can't really help how messy it is, but it sucks to get sticky shoes.

                                            Also, the last 3 times I went there, the small seating area was filled with a group of the loudest, most annoying, not even eating any yogurt, asian teenagers and college students. It might've been the same people each time. Just one incredibly large group of 8-15 people, so no one else could sit. They were so loud that I had to leave so I wouldn't be deafened. The workers didn't like it either, but they never did anything about it. As a non-asian, I felt very unwelcome at first in this loud, crowded place full of people. I thought maybe I didn't "belong" because I was bothered by the boisterousness. But after a few more visits, I noticed that everyone who came in felt uncomfortable walking into this place when these large groups of screaming children were there. They really need to get a handle on that. This same problem occurred both during a weekend night, a weekday night, and a weekday in the middle of the afternoon. I guess you can't avoid it.

                                            Even if you go to Tapioca Express, and it's packed, it's never as loud or ridiculous as Yogurt World. Probably because the owners/workers never say anything about it at Yogurt World.

                                            I'd recommend going there during off-peak hours, if you can, or failing that, get your yogurt to go or bring earplugs. I'd stop going there if the yogurt wasn't so damned good. They really have me hooked.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: ekomega

                                              Interesting post. I got hooked on YW when they very first opened, and I've been kind of disappointed to see what's happened to it since then. The yogurt is still great, but the addition of that extra dry topping station is obviously causing a major cleanliness problem. Every time I go in, the counter is littered with remnants. Sometimes there's so much debris there I wonder if people are even getting any toppings on the yogurt.

                                              Another aspect of the place that drives me up the wall is the terrible music played at deafening volume. Like Tapioca Express, it just makes me want to get out of there in a hurry.

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                I get a lid so I can take the yogurt "to go" and freeze whatever I can't finish in one sitting. They'll also give you separate cups for the toppings if you don't want it sitting in your yogurt for a long time before you eat it. The yogurt does harden after it's been in the freezer but softens if you leave it out or zap it for a few seconds in the microwave.

                                                1. re: daantaat

                                                  I've noticed the same thing the past few times I've been there. Lots of high school and college students loitering and hanging out there. The owners probably don't want to say anything since those are the people that likely bring in 90% of their business. They must be doing pretty well considering that the place is always packed even in the middle of the week.

                                                  I would be surprised if some competition didn't spring up fairly quickly. I wonder if Pinkberry is working on an SD branch. If not maybe I should see if I they will franchise a location to me :).

                                                  1. re: mliew

                                                    I had a chance to try Pinkberry in Temecula. All in all, I think Yogurt World has an edge over Pinkberry in that it's cheaper, I like the self-serve aspect of it (I can customize as much as I want, although the mess that other people leave can be a pain) and they have more flavors. I'd say the only advantages Pinkberry has is that their green tea is more subtly flavored (Yogurt World is a tad on the grassier side), they are all decked out with a very cool 1960's retro vibe and they have smoothies and their version of 5 treasures on ice. Maybe a Pinkberry in the UTC area, given it's swankier decor??

                                                    1. re: daantaat

                                                      I tried pinkberry too and agree with you. i prefer the self serve aspect and ow you can mix and match toppings.

                                              2. re: ekomega

                                                I had a funny experience here tonight. A friend of mine and I went and got our yogurt, and as usual the place was crammed with shouting teenagers. We took our yogurt and sat in the car to eat it. Across from us there were two other older people doing the same thing, and then another couple got into the car next to us to enjoy THEIR yogurt. Struck me as funny.

                                              3. I went there again last night, and it was a lot different. We went at 9 PM. The place was overflowing with people (mostly teenagers), with the place completely full, and then as many people standing outside as inside. Also, the parking lot was full of wandering yogurt-eaters.

                                                When we came in, the floor looked like it had just been mopped. Also, the entire time we were there, someone was cleaning and tending to the place the whole time. And the noise level was significantly lower. It was still loud, but not super unpleasant. I'll have to see if they have changed their policies when I go back again. It was a lot nicer.

                                                I talked with a young man behind the counter, and he asked what we thought good areas to expand were. I said Regents/UTC would be a definite winner, but I'd like to see something in a few other places. So maybe they are planning to expand and open a new store. If they can get as many customers to a new location, they'll be sitting twice as pretty.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: ekomega

                                                  I do not know if anyone saw the KTLA news this morning. PInkberry is getting sued because some guy wants to know what is in the yogurt AND if it can be indeed called yogurt..questioning the manufacturing and if it actually has live cultures. I still would love to try it though.

                                                  1. re: Ela0427

                                                    There's an article in the LA Times on it. Regardless of what you call it, it's pretty tasty. (although I think Yogurt World has an edge over them for variety of flavors and price)

                                                    1. re: daantaat

                                                      yeap all about semantics...as long as it tastes good! i curious but i live too far, well 30 min.

                                                  2. re: ekomega

                                                    I was just there today, and it was really clean and neat - it was mid-day on a Saturday. I got a cup with some plain, sour peach and passionfruit (no toppings.) The fruit flavors were too sweet for me, like sorbet - but I loooved the sour plain. I went back after running errands and got two more to take home for my husband and a friend. There's just something about it.

                                                    I don't think it's low in sugar though, in case anyone was laboring under that impression. It's sour in the way that lemonade is sour - tangy but still quite sweet.

                                                    I think you could probably make something very similar at home using Trader Joe's lowfat plain organic yogurt in a regular ice cream maker. It's got a similar level of tanginess, but the texture of what they sell at Yogurt World is part of what makes it so good. Not sure you could duplicate that so easily!

                                                  3. mmm, i'm hooked =) it's best to go during the day though... the mass influx of high school kids after 3pm can be overwhelming

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: lilinjun

                                                      You can get twice as much for your money at Yogurt Mill or Rockies. I've heard Pinkberry is opening up a bunch of stores in San Diego and so is a chain that's very similar to Yogurt World and has like 16 flavors or something. It's some company out of Chicago or something, Asian style.. Looks like we'll have a lot of options

                                                      1. re: bob chessman

                                                        Pinkberry doesn't have 16 flavors like Yogurt World. They only have 2--plain and green tea. The plain is good but isn't as pleasantly tart as Yogurt World's. The green tea is cleaner and less grassy tasting than Yogurt World. They have a variety of toppings but Yogurt World has about 3-4 times the variety. Yogurt World is also cheaper per ounce. For those who like a clean store, Pinkberry is NOT self-serve, eliminating the mess that self-serve customers can leave.

                                                    2. Now that I find myself at Yogurt World about twice a week, I think I can give them my full recommendation. Almost all of the problems have been solved, or reduced. Some people still hang around all day and fill up the seats, but they're a lot quieter (still noisy, though). The floors are clean. Everything is clean.

                                                      Also, if you come around a lot, and they recognize your face, they may give you a discount on your yogurt.

                                                      I only realized after the 7th visit that the toppings are also priced based on weight. I think that even though the yogurt is more expensive (if you go over 8 ounces), toppings by weight is a huge discount over every other yogurt place, especially for light toppings. And they have so many toppings, with lots of fresh fruit, etc., that they can't be beat.

                                                      I've also noticed a lot of non-asians there, which means the word is spreading (since they don't advertise).

                                                      The only thing I dislike is the parking situation and the construction. There is never anywhere to park, and the lot is too small with O'Brien's, Tapioca Express, Tofu House, Yogurt World, and every other business there. There usually isn't ANY parking, or you have to fight for a spot (sometimes literally).

                                                      If you haven't been yet, you owe it to yourself to try it.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: ekomega

                                                        I just went tonight. As usual, it was awesome. The little mochi cubes are fast becoming one of my favorite toppings.

                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                          I like those little cookie dough balls, but they didn't have any tonight.

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            the mochi rules! I like getting a cup of it on the side and eating it by itself!

                                                          2. re: ekomega

                                                            I agree, the topping can be a great deal. If you simply filled up a tub with blackberries you might save a couple dollars off the grocery store price. The mochi cubes are unique too.

                                                            1. re: Joseph

                                                              Do they let you do that? I would load up on the mochi balls and tiny cookie doughs.

                                                              1. re: ekomega

                                                                I haven't tried; it doesn't seem like a nice thing to do.

                                                          3. I just went last night after reading all the posts here. It was very crowded with young people. I tried the green tea and tart mango. Both were good, but I found them to be more icy than creamy. Very refreshing though. The toppings area was an absolute mess and actually grossed me out. They keep the fruit area a bit cleaner as it is right at the counter where they can tend to it, but it was even in a bit of disarray, so I opted for no toppings. I did have to park on the street as the lot was packed. I agree that it is a bit expensive. I maybe had half of the smaller cup and it was $4. I may go back, not sure.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: marymbs

                                                              You have to remember that half of the smaller cup is 8 ounces of yogurt and toppings, as their cups are absolutely gigantic (16 or 32 oz.). But I'll admit, it isn't exactly "cheap".

                                                              I've seen people fill up and eat the big cup, and it's ridiculous. That's a lot of yogurt.

                                                              1. re: ekomega

                                                                You can get a lid and take home what you don't finish and stick it in the freezer. It hardens in the freezer but softens if you leave it out or zap it in the microwave.

                                                                They added syrups to their topping station. Squeeze bottles are along the right side of the fruit station.

                                                              2. re: marymbs

                                                                I really did only pull up on the handle and let it go and got one swirl in of peach and one of wild cherry and it was $1.64. No toppings. Eating just that much was just right for me. I am not a 'sweets' person and don't crave dessert.

                                                              3. As much as one can talk about a a routine with a place so new, earlier today I made my most recent visit to YW and had my usual cup of plain tart yogurt topped with a scattering of the mini-mochi balls. I enjoy the very straightforward taste of this combination, as well as the contrasting textures of the yogurt and the mochi. I now habitually follow-up any lunch in the Kearny Mesa area with a visit to YW to get my fix.

                                                                But today something seemed to have changed, the familiar strangely less familiar; it seemed, as it were, that someone had moved my pencil!

                                                                Instead of the uniform look of powdery mochi balls in the self-help container, it had scattered little bits of "things" in pastel shades of pink and green. I tried to avoid them but some invariably got into my cup. They felt like they had some kind of coating which made them a bit hard, and when I bit into one it was almost as if they were sugar coated. They tasted pretty disgusting. After ridding my cup of these colorful mochi wannabe's, I figured I had made it out of the rabbit hole and was back onto more familiar territory.

                                                                Imagine how disappointed I was when the mochi also seemed to have changed. It didn't taste at all like mochi to me, but some awful substitute. If this is the "mochi" they are going to be using now, I'd rather do without it and just go with a "plain" plain tart.

                                                                Anyone else notice the same?

                                                                14 Replies
                                                                1. re: cgfan

                                                                  we'll have to look when we go there again, possibly this weekend. I know they've run out of mochi in the past and told me it was "seasonal," although I think they just ran out and needed to order more. do you know if you can get the mochi balls at Nijiya or Zion Market?

                                                                  1. re: daantaat

                                                                    Any mochi that I've ever seen at Japanese confectionary stores and markets starts off at least twice as big (4 times the volume), but in general are much, much bigger. I suspect these are made specifically for use in food service as a topping, and therefore perhaps available through industry sources. For instance Cafe Moto in their showroom/salesroom offers boba and various syrups, but for mochi in this small format I would assume will only be available at some Asian specialty distributor.

                                                                    Clearly the mochi is of a "suama/suhama" variety, that is a mochi made solely out of mochiko vs. out of pounding steamed sweet rice; the texture is the giveaway here. So for instance you can pick up some suama almost always at Nijiya, and sometimes at Mitsuwa, though it'll be much bigger than what you see at YW.

                                                                    1. re: cgfan

                                                                      cgfan, thanks for expanding my knowledge about Japanese food (again). Is the suama at Nijiya and Mitsuwa in the section where they sell the filled and flavored mochi balls and squares? And does it come plain? I've had mochi from Nijiya and sometimes I end up getting one that's too sweet for my taste.

                                                                      1. re: daantaat

                                                                        Yes, they are, though I usually only see them at Nijiya.

                                                                        Almost always suama (or suhama) is spelled out on the packaging itself, though usually it's written in Japanese (hiragana). You can probably pick it out by its looks, though. The basic presentation of suama is as a "Japanese garden-style bridge" shaped mochi, with sides that are flat. They will be all white except for their top surface (the footpath on the bridge, and the side that you will see through the packaging), which will be colored with pastel colors alternating with each other and with the white mochi, all of which runs across the width of the bridge. They are typically the size (and pretty close in shape) to an obese nigiri sushi, though I've seen them in small marble-sized balls too with similar coloration.

                                                                        The best of them are mildly sweet and have a pleasantly soft texture, but unfortunately the ones that I've had in San Diego tends to be on the oversweet and/or gummy/rubbery side. At their worst they break in pieces with a somewhat chalky consistency, whereas if they are good they would stretch a bit, but yet not quite in the same way as a pounded (non mochi-ko) mochi.

                                                                        This is perhaps because I grew up on them, but my standard for any domestic Wagashi (Japanese confections) has always been Fugetsu-do in L.A.'s Little Tokyo... There's has just the right amount of sweetness and consistency for me...

                                                                        1. re: cgfan

                                                                          thank you! Are there any certain brands that are better than others?

                                                                          1. re: daantaat

                                                                            Unfortunately I have not had any that has come close to what I grew-up with out of Fugetsu-do's store in L.A. The best thing you can do is to identify which ones are the suama and sample them. I'm sure you will easily notice differences from maker to maker.

                                                                            (BTW, and perhaps this is not too ironic when you think of it, the confections commonly available from Japan in the domestic Japanese food markets are almost never any good. Japanese nama-Wagashi are highly perishable items and the only ones that make it here seem to be factory made lifeless substitutes of the real McCoy. I think you will generally find that locally produced Wagashi is the only way to go over anything imported, but for me it's hard to compare the best of L.A. to the best that can be had locally in S.D.)

                                                                            1. re: daantaat

                                                                              The best ones at Nijiya are from Hogetsu in Chula Vista. You can distinguish them b/c the labels are hand-stamped, and some ingredients may be written in by hand. They're much better, of course, if you make the trip to get them fresh.

                                                                              1210 3rd Ave
                                                                              Chula Vista, CA 91911
                                                                              (619) 422-6677

                                                                            2. re: cgfan

                                                                              I had a chofu manju from Fugetsu-do in Little Tokyo last week, and found its quality lacking. The pancake was stale and the mochi too firm for my taste. I've had them bought directly from Hogetsu and they are almost marshmallowy soft mochi, not too sweet, with a fresh, moist pancake wrapper.

                                                                              Granted, this is only one particular sweet, but there was no comparison. Maybe Fugetsu-do was selling a chofu manju that'd sat around and they're great fresh, but I was disappointed. I will likely try them again, though, and get more variety to sample.

                                                                              cgfan, I suggest you make a trip down to Hogetsu on a Saturday morning when they're all stocked up for the weekend, ask what's freshly made, ask what's less sweet, and give them another try. It's worth a short trip, IMO, even if they are mochiko sweets.

                                                                        2. re: daantaat

                                                                          They always have mochi at Trader Joe's. Green tea, chocolate and mango flavors. Looked at it today.

                                                                          1. re: Cathy

                                                                            are you referring to the ice cream balls covered in mochi? If so, that is not the same as the mochi I or cgfan are talking about. Strictly speaking, I don't think mochi includes ice cream, although I do like the ice cream balls covered in mochi.

                                                                            1. re: daantaat

                                                                              Oh, nevermind. It says mochi on the label at TJs and I thought they were all like that. When I went to Yogurt World, I got ...yogurt. I try everything the first time plain, to see what a basic whatever is supposed to be like. Didn't even consider toppings.

                                                                        3. re: cgfan

                                                                          cfgan, I am happy to report that the "normal" mochi was back this weekend. No little pastel "things," although I was curious to see what they looked and tasted like.

                                                                          1. re: daantaat

                                                                            Thanks daantaat, that's great to hear... I wonder if they switched back due to customer feedback.

                                                                            The last time I was there they were completely out of the mochi, so I wasn't sure what they were using these days.

                                                                            BTW this is off topic, but does anyone know what the red "bowtie" shaped levers are for above each spigot? I wondered if they were some kind of "cutoff" device, since a minor pet peeve of mine, very minor as you will see, is the length of time you have to wait for the last of the frozen yogurt to fall into the cup. I tried it, but it didn't seem to do anything. Anyone have any ideas?

                                                                            1. re: cgfan

                                                                              I know what you're talking about and I have no idea what they're for.

                                                                        4. Given the thesis of information above, I'll just add my experience - sorry if I'm duplicating other posts.

                                                                          I just stopped by YW for the first time yesterday and really liked it. Some of the flavors are definitely on the sweet side - more of a custard ice cream and probably not the healthiest. I liked the tart flavors (did anyone mention that you can basically sample as much as you like?), especially the mango and asian peach (what's an asian peach?), but the green tea was a bit off. The plain yogurt flavor was really good, tasting like...uh...real yogurt and not too sweet. The toppings were ok, it was nice to see fresh strawberries and mangos. It was also relatively clean.

                                                                          There is also that Crab Hut next door.... I wonder how it is...

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: afinkle

                                                                            i also noticed the difference in the mochi balls at yogurt world. they used to be softer, now their firmer, chalkier and sweeter. i hope they're able to get the old ones back.

                                                                            also, does anyone know about the topping there that they call 'coconut jelly'? they're square, fairly firm and not very sweet, but i just absolutely love the texture and was wondering if they're available at some of the markets in town. maybe 99 ranch or zion?

                                                                            1. re: mermaidsd

                                                                              Yeah, I've seen coconut jelly at both 99 Ranch and Zion. I don't remember seeing it at Yogurt World (but I wasn't looking for it either) so I'm not sure it's exactly the same. It's usually coconut flavored agar, rather than thin pieces of fresh coconut, which are gelatinous but less firm than the jelly. Is that the product you're looing for, the agar, I mean? I wish I could get agar made with coconut water from young coconuts, as I'm betting that would be yummy. I bet I'd have to make it myself...

                                                                          2. Isn't O'Brien's great? And now that they have expanded their outside patio area, it should be even better. Love those $8 pitchers on Monday nights!

                                                                            Back to Yogurt World, it is on our list to check especially before Pinkberry opens in Hillcrest (4th & University). We are seeing an increase in the number of these frozen yogurt or dessert confection places. Besides Pinkberry, Hillcrest is due to get 2 more including Dolce Freddo (Sixth & Robinson) and Yogart (University and Richmond). I have heard many great comments about Yogurt World and also know to watch the weight, so to speak. We also plan to check out the new crawdaddy place that newly opened in that same Yogurt World complex. www.sandiegotraveltips.com

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: sdtips

                                                                              Tried Dolce Freddo and didn't love their plain flavor in comparison with Yogurt World's.
                                                                              It was much sweeter and flat-tasting. While we were there, a few people came in to taste and left without buying anything. They have an Asian shaved ice with red bean that's better.

                                                                            2. Well, FINALLY after reading months of posts, I made it to Yogurt World last night. Thank you all for being so honest in your ravings. It was absolutely as good as reported. I really wanted to go before Pinkberry opens. I tried the majority of flavors and finally settled on the tart Asian Peach (my fave by far), a little of the choclate custard, a little of the coconut and a tiny splash of the cookie cream on top of the chocolate. My friend was laughing at me since I was being so careful to try and keep the flavors somewhat separate in my cup. For toppings, I stuck with the mochi balls -- they were moist and delicious. They only had large and larger cups available, but again heeding your advice, I was careful not to go overboard. My cup was about $2.75. My friend? She really, really was blown away and her cup was about $4.30.

                                                                              Thanks again everyone!

                                                                              1. Not sure if anyone has picked up any "intel" on them, but an outfit named Red Berry is opening up tomorrow (7/31/07) in the space right next to Nijiya Market. With a name like Red Berry it's pretty clear who they were emulating. (Might this portend a wave of similar names much like our current collection of *-berto's shops?) When asked they said that they are planning on opening up Wednesday. It appears that self-service will not be part of their model, as the machines were installed behind their counter. Would be fun to compare them against YW.

                                                                                Looks like the Asian yogurt shop is the biggest dessert wave to reach our shores since Boba...

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: cgfan

                                                                                  it would be fun to compare them against Yogurt World, Pinkberry and Fruitti Yogurt....:-) Perhaps a progressive frozen yogurt tasting caravan is in the works??

                                                                                  1. re: cgfan

                                                                                    I visited Red Berry about a month or two ago and thought it was pretty good. I can't compare it to Yogurt World yet because sadly, I haven't been there yet.

                                                                                    Anyways, the store is pretty clean, there wasn't anyone there when I went there but who knows?

                                                                                    The yogurt was pretty good. I think they had about 4-5 different ones. And the self-serve topping station was very clean. They had about 16-20 toppings and I later found out that they actually had some fruits that I didn't notice. The topping station would be pretty crammed if there were alot of people in the place, since it's practicaly shoved into a corner.The music wasn't ear shattering at all.

                                                                                    All in all, Red Berry was pretty good, not perfect, but still good. I will have the comparison when I go to Yogurt World and visit Red Berry again.

                                                                                    1. re: mongchonge

                                                                                      Actually to tell you the yogurt place in convoy street isnt bad at all it's just a bit small and crowded.. and the music is fine also they tasted pretty good to me it isnt even that expensive..

                                                                                      1. re: michinnom

                                                                                        Well I still haven't been to Yogurt World yet. But i plan to go anytime soon

                                                                                        1. re: mongchonge

                                                                                          michinnom may have meant Red Berry. Yogurt World charges by the ounce, as opposed to Red Berry's size charge. I have seen many people walk out having paid $8-12 for a large cup filled with toppings, which are also charged as part of the weight.

                                                                                          1. re: Cathy

                                                                                            I noticed there's also a new yogurt place that opened right next to Tea Station. Seems like these places are popping up like weeds these days. By the time Pinkberry actually opens down here that market will already be saturated.

                                                                                            1. re: Cathy

                                                                                              I like the per ounce charge, myself. I only need a little bit of that stuff to be happy. Normally I pay around $2.50 or so for my Yogurt World visits.

                                                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                                                I like the per ounce charge more, because I know exactly how much I'm getting. My problem with yogurt places in town is that the sizes are so varied. A 'mini' at Paradise Yogurt is over 8 ounces, while a small at RedBerry is more like 6 ounces. I like consistent portion control.

                                                                                                Also, I thought RedBerry was a little sterile. It was empty when I went (Thursday night in Sept.), and the coloring and future chairs didn't seem inviting. The worst part was the employee was reading a book and didn't seem like she wanted to be 'bothered' with customers. On the plus side, it is a lot bigger than Yogurt World. And you get $1 off if you eat at Tofu House before going. Still, I don't recommend RedBerry over Yogurt World.

                                                                                    2. Can anyone point me to where Yogurt World is located? I driven in the area with the mindset "If I see it I'll go, if not, maybe next time". It's always really busy in that area and I'd tried to look while driving and didn't spot anything--and it didn't help that it just looks busy with the number of signs and ads in the area.

                                                                                      From what I gather it's in the same center as O'Brien's. Anyway, I tried Google and that wasn't very helpful--it just marks the middle of the road. I attached a Google map image for reference. I drew a yellow question mark to mark where I think it's located. Is that right? Thanks!

                                                                                       
                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Aengus

                                                                                        Yes. That parking lot is always crowded- everything in there is a restaurant except for one (a flower shop ?). I sometimes park across the street at the bank (when it is closed, of course) and walk across...else the side street-north- It is easier to get out, although can only turn South on Convoy.

                                                                                        1. re: Aengus

                                                                                          Easiest parking is on the street, either on Opportunity or Convoy.

                                                                                        2. Well I finally went and enjoyed it. Thanks!

                                                                                          Also, to add to the yogurt wars, there's a Red Mango at the Mission Valley mall (I didn't try it, I just walked by and peeked). And according to their website they're also opening another location in Little Italy (1827 India St.).