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Pinkberry-what's the deal? [moved from L.A. board]

SIMIHOUND Mar 7, 2007 01:24 PM

I see the posts about this place and also looked at the website to but I don't get it. My family and I are going to Fogo D' Chao on Saturday night and if my fellow CH's say so we will go to Pinkberry afterwards and see what he hype is.

  1. a
    ajbinla Mar 10, 2007 05:18 PM

    A new Pinkberry is opening in Little Tokyo, across the street from Fiore, which has wonderful tart yogurt. Fiore is very expensive too; I think $3.50 for small without toppings. It will be interesting to see who will be able to woo the customers. Nothing like free enterprise!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ajbinla
      slacker Mar 12, 2007 04:07 PM

      Love it! A duel to the death.
      I walked into Fiore once and was going to order, but then noticed all the fruitflies buzzing around the fruit.

    2. a
      applepie Mar 10, 2007 05:11 PM

      Forget PB and go to Big Chill at Olympic and Westwood! Ghirardelli chocolate yogurt. Say no more!!!

      1. t
        tonester Mar 10, 2007 04:51 PM

        not a waste of time for me at all. I was coming back from pasadena today anyway.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tonester
          katkoupai Mar 10, 2007 05:02 PM

          Great. :)

        2. t
          tonester Mar 10, 2007 03:14 PM

          I found the Peach yogurt place today. It's called Peach House and it's located in the mini strip mall on the corner of Valley and New Ave. It's next to that popular place for chinese breakfast called Yung Ho. Unfortunately, Peach House is not yet opened.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tonester
            katkoupai Mar 10, 2007 04:22 PM

            Great! I'm glad you found it. The sign I saw from Valley made me think it was either about the open or had opened. Well, once it does open, I will check it out too. Sorry, tonester, if it was a waste of your drive time. At least we know where it is now. :)

          2. t
            tonester Mar 10, 2007 08:29 AM

            katkoupai : thanks for the info., i'll drive through valley blvd this weekend to check it out. I'm craving for some non-fat yogurt and i don't know of any in the san gabriel area yet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tonester
              Pei Mar 10, 2007 08:59 AM

              The Lollicup in the Nogales Ranch 99 had their own version one time when I was there. Maybe a month or two ago.

              1. re: tonester
                katkoupai Mar 10, 2007 09:01 AM

                Tonester, I hope you find it. Coming from Rosemead towards Alhambra on Valley Blvd., the place was on my right hand side, in a big mini-mall. It has a big sign, "Peach..." Hope you find it, and hope it's open. Let us know what happens. :)

              2. f
                Fat Billie Mar 10, 2007 01:49 AM

                Pinkberry is not good at all.

                1. t
                  tonester Mar 9, 2007 09:35 PM

                  anyone know the approximate cross-street of the pinkberry (Peach---???) knock-off in alhambra? I, too, saw another knock-off about to be open in alhambra the other night. It's called Pingo Yogurt, across the street from Noodle World on Valley Blvd. in Alhambra.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tonester
                    katkoupai Mar 9, 2007 10:06 PM

                    I drove by it, but I can't remember where it was on Valley Blvd. It could be further up on Valley in San Gabriel. I wish I noted the cross-streets. I wonder if it was anywhere near Claro's (the Italian deli). That's all I can recall at the moment.

                  2. d
                    DMojoD Mar 8, 2007 08:24 PM

                    Pinkberry is fine, but, honestly, I don't get all the hype. The plain yogurt is good, but not obsessively so. I think 21 Choices in Claremont and Pasadena is much better. I used to live in Claremont and 21 Choices is the only thing I miss. They have excellent, fresh flavors that actually taste like they should.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: DMojoD
                      bulavinaka Mar 8, 2007 08:48 PM

                      Good Food on KCRW did an article last weekend on PB, where an LA correspondent for the NY Times put it perfectly: "As Yogi Berra once said, 'no one goes there - it's too crowded...'" A crowd draws more crowds. I have to admit though, PB has a relatively simple concept that works for alot of people. I like their product but am not addicted to it by any means. I still prefer the richer froyos, and still find gelato to be king. The quality of PB's fresh fruits is very good though, and I can easily see myself having this in the summertime, when the fresh sourish taste really hits to spot on a warm night.

                      1. re: DMojoD
                        katkoupai Mar 8, 2007 08:49 PM

                        I love 21 Choices (both locations). Love it, love it! Have not had Pinkberry yet, but I appreciate this comment. I bet I'll agree with you that 21 Choices is better, if and when I ever do try Pinkberry. I actually check the 21 Choices website, almost daily, to see what flavors they have each day. :)


                        (Click on the location links for the daily choices) :)

                        1. re: katkoupai
                          bulavinaka Mar 8, 2007 09:05 PM

                          With twenty-one choices at two locations, how could you go wrong?!?! I just wish they'd open one up closer to the Westside...

                      2. Swoshmn Mar 8, 2007 02:38 PM

                        Just wait for Red Mango.

                        They actually started the whole concept in Korea in 03, and Pink Berry is a cheap imitation.

                        They will be popping up real soon, hold your spoons.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Swoshmn
                          esculent Mar 8, 2007 02:57 PM

                          hopefully pinkberry is the expensive imitation. i'd love to buy more yogurt if it didn't cost more than a latte!

                          1. re: esculent
                            katkoupai Mar 8, 2007 05:06 PM

                            This is a good point, esculent. Sometimes, I really crave frozen yogurt, then I think: 1) I have to drive to get it and 2) I will have to drop about $5 for a portion of it plus a topping or two.

                            I would really like to be able to buy a quality frozen yogurt (a tart, delcious one, with good texture), from a local supermarket. Something that I could put a pint or two of in the freezer, and then mix myself with Trader Joe's frozen berry medley (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries). Haven't seen it yet, though.

                            1. re: katkoupai
                              esculent Mar 9, 2007 09:59 AM

                              i have to admit that i've often gazed at my Fage Greek strained yogurt and contemplated popping it in the freezer.

                              1. re: esculent
                                katkoupai Mar 9, 2007 04:09 PM

                                I know. I usually just mix plain refrigerated yogurt with fruits of my choice at home. I think I've thought of freezing a container of it too. This could be an interesting experiment. I don't know if the taste or texture will be good though. :-)

                                1. re: katkoupai
                                  mlgb Mar 10, 2007 05:19 PM

                                  In summer I blend plain yogurt and frozen fruit, (blueberries or raspberries usually), the texture is pretty much like soft frozen yogurt and with no sugar. If you could be patient, you can freeze it but who can wait.

                                  1. re: mlgb
                                    katkoupai Mar 10, 2007 05:36 PM

                                    Right, I do that too with a mix of frozen berries. :)

                                2. re: esculent
                                  JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Mar 12, 2007 11:37 PM

                                  If you just throw it in the freezer it won't have the right consistency... all you need is an ice cream maker and you're set to go.

                          2. n
                            newbatgirl Mar 8, 2007 02:18 PM

                            I'm going to preface this with the disclosure that I live in PA and have not tried Pinkberry. I heard a podcast about it on NPR and came here to see what chowhounds thought about it. I also opened up their web site in another tab to check them out.

                            Anyway, here's my opinion on the marketing: regardless of what the stuff taste like they have GOT to know that if they refer to the product as having a "pouty peak" they're going to get mocked, seriously. :) At least by people who think like me!

                            And, regarding the price thing, it seems like you're not paying for the Cap'n Crunch, you're actually paying for the stylish lighting fixutres and the "shadow" seating and all the other stuff they talk about on the web site. Much as in any other concept eatery.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: newbatgirl
                              slacker Mar 8, 2007 02:31 PM

                              I don't know that we care how they write about their froyo. We are really just interested in going to a Pinkberry and eating the stuff because it's so delicious. The product markets itself, the best kind of marketing. I think we go to the site just to see where the new locations are.

                            2. yellowfoodie Mar 8, 2007 02:15 PM

                              I LOVE Pinkberry! It is so yummy! And I even like the story behind the little lady who started it here in the States. (It supposedly started in Korea)
                              Go check it out... and it's total guilt free snacking!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: yellowfoodie
                                Pei Mar 8, 2007 02:34 PM

                                5g of sugar per ounce. How many ounces are in a small cup, do you think?

                                It's fat free, and way healthier than processed junk food, but I don't know about toally guilt free--is anything totally guilt free that tastes delicious?

                                1. re: Pei
                                  ITurnedOutTV Mar 8, 2007 02:38 PM

                                  There are five ounces in a small.

                                  1. re: Pei
                                    yellowfoodie Mar 8, 2007 02:45 PM

                                    thanks pei! hahaha i guess i was speaking for myself because i rarely feel guilty when i eat great food. :o) or when i eat foods that are worth the calories. :o)

                                    1. re: Pei
                                      katkoupai Mar 8, 2007 05:26 PM

                                      If it's guilt free, I don't think I want it. :)

                                  2. w
                                    writergirl Mar 7, 2007 06:52 PM

                                    Back in the 80s when I was a kid, yogurt shops all served "natural" flavor in addition to the other flavors. I guess I hadn't noticed they stopped, until the Pinkberry craze started. If you remember the "natural" flavor yogurt, that's what PB tastes like. I've only been once, but I didn't think it was especially expensive, no more so than most ice cream places. But I got a small, and one topping. The thing I did like about PB was the fruit was incredibly fresh. Real blueberries that looked and tasted great. But with that in mind, it's basically fro-yo. Good fro-yo, but don't be disappointed by expecting too much. Oh, and I agree with a previous poster, I can't imagine you'll be able to even THINK about dessert after Fogo!! Have fun!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: writergirl
                                      justagthing Mar 7, 2007 08:52 PM

                                      you just reminded me of the yogurt place called Penguins from the 80's...I loved their peanut butter yogurt

                                      1. re: justagthing
                                        katkoupai Mar 7, 2007 10:03 PM

                                        I think there's a Penguins in La Canada still, just west of Pasadena, off the 210 freeway. Could be the last one left....

                                        I'm not sure though, because the company still has a website, and there are locations listed online throughout LA and beyond. I used to love that place...then they started to disappear.

                                        1. re: katkoupai
                                          Spiff Mar 8, 2007 08:18 PM

                                          The Penguins in La Canada is still there...my mom and sister go there all the time.

                                          And yes...they did have great peanut butter yogurt!

                                        2. re: justagthing
                                          hrhboo Mar 8, 2007 07:55 AM

                                          Yoku Yoku in Palms had peanut butter yogurt the last time I was there.

                                          1. re: hrhboo
                                            writergirl Mar 8, 2007 02:07 PM

                                            ...And Yoku Yoku used to be a Penguins! Ahh, the circle of life!

                                            1. re: writergirl
                                              katkoupai Mar 8, 2007 05:25 PM

                                              That's so cool. :) Maybe it's the same yogurt too. :) I wonder...

                                            2. re: hrhboo
                                              bulavinaka Mar 8, 2007 07:43 PM

                                              Dropped by the PB in MDR and am glad to report that the service was gracious and helpful, the froyo was very good as usual (although initially a bit sour for my kid's tastes), the fresh toppings looked great, and the line tonight was only two-deep when I got there. Ordered two original and two green tea mediums with three toppings each, and with the exception of the chocolate chips (waxy funky taste) they did me right in quenching my froyo jones. I just can't get that waxy taste from those chocolate chips to away - I think I need to nibble on my raspberry sandwich from 3 Sqaure to cleanse my palate... Hey - that goes great with PK original!

                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                westsidegal Mar 10, 2007 09:01 AM

                                                every time i've gone to the marina del rey pinkberry, the line has been at least 10 deep.

                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                  bulavinaka Mar 10, 2007 09:30 AM

                                                  I guess it's all a matter of luck... other posters have mentioned lines from none to out the door. I was there at 6:45PM on Thursday... It was quiet - probably because most were eating dinner...

                                        3. m
                                          mommycat Mar 7, 2007 05:47 PM

                                          i love pinkberry but haven't had it in months because of the rather expensive price. i'd rather get a nonfat yogurt at costco for $1.55.

                                          1. y
                                            yummi Mar 7, 2007 05:09 PM

                                            I'm not even remotely interested in paying the exhorbitant prices this company is charging. I find it an assault on consumers when a company imposes this attitude that they can charge so much money for a cup of yogurt. O.K.-----I know I'm going to get a lot slack from many saying it's only $3 or $4 for it. But please, it's freaking yogurt!!! It sets a precedent when a company busts out like this and rips people off. Then you have all these followers saying oooooohhhh this thing is the best and everybody has to try it. I'm happy to note that I have never seen a line nor a crowd(like what I read was happening in Santa Monica) outside of the Studio City pb.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: yummi
                                              Pei Mar 7, 2007 05:28 PM

                                              I'm not saying I don't find it exhorbitant, but there are a lot of things that people get outraged about: $3 for a small cup of coffee, $3 for a single peach, $3 for a Filet O' Fish. It's "just" yogurt, but the other things are "just" whatever too. If it's worth it to people, who cares? There aren't that many places you can get a scoop of ice cream for under $3 these days. But yes, the toppings at Pinkberry add up real quick, and I'd rather spend my $3 on a wedge of cheese, but that's just me.

                                              Luckily, Pinkberry knock offs are cropping up all over the place, and their prices are lower. I just had myself a big cup of the stuff for $3 (plain) at Baristar next to Kobawoo in Koreatown. I've found enough alternative places that I never have to go to Pinkberry unless someone else insists.

                                              1. re: Pei
                                                katkoupai Mar 7, 2007 05:36 PM

                                                I think I drove by a Pinkberry knock-off on Valley Blvd. in Alhambra today. It's called Peach something???
                                                Might be cheaper.

                                                1. re: katkoupai
                                                  Quik Mar 7, 2007 08:49 PM

                                                  What streets?

                                                  1. re: Quik
                                                    katkoupai Mar 7, 2007 10:02 PM

                                                    I didn't note the streets, but I will look for it again, and report back if I find it. Valley Blvd. and something. It's possible that it was in San Gabriel, because I was on Valley Blvd. for quite a while. It may not be open yet.

                                              2. re: yummi
                                                bodie Mar 10, 2007 05:10 PM

                                                With all due respect, Yummi, your stance is a reductio ad absurdum.
                                                Take the phrasing, insert any chain name (I am thinking Starbucks largely due to price point and ubiquity), and there you have it. By this logic, why ever dine out - as the prices are much higher than purchasing raw materials at a grocery and cooking at home. How about applying it to soda prices at any retail establishment? The retail market is a cost vs. convenience trade-off. If I am thirsty at the movies, then I either accept the gouging at the concession stand or hold-off until I can slake my thirst at a more reasonable rate. I am by no means defending Pinkberry's particular price point, merely their right to set it where they like and let the market decide to bear it, or not.

                                                The only thing I find truly offensive about Pinkberry is the teen-bots serving the stuff. There are tons of 'em lurking behind the counter and yet, it takes an eternity to get the damn cup of yogurt. It is as if the staff is in a trance.

                                                1. re: yummi
                                                  niftee01 Apr 25, 2007 01:20 AM

                                                  Actually, I go to the Studio City location after yoga at around 10 p.m. every Tuesday or Wednesday and the line is usually out the door. And It's not even summer yet! I must say, I'm annoyed by the chocolate chip, Cap'n Crunch, mochi crowd -- you're definitely not getting your money's worth. Pinkberry uses the most amazing, fresh fruit, and it's foolish not to take advantage of that! Order the $4.95 medium with three fruit toppings (i.e. raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which are all really expensive at the market) and you'll quickly discover that yes, this is worth it.

                                                2. s
                                                  slacker Mar 7, 2007 02:39 PM

                                                  It only gets expensive if you add a lot of toppings. It's so good by itself I prefer to not have any or only one topping.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: slacker
                                                    emilymm Mar 7, 2007 05:51 PM

                                                    If you live close enough, just add your own when you get home. Definitely saves money if you go a lot! And it tastes good plain too.

                                                    1. re: slacker
                                                      Normal Garciaparra Mar 7, 2007 11:54 PM

                                                      Just walk into a Pinkberry with an open box of Fruity Pebbles and go, "Hey! Who wants some?"

                                                    2. c
                                                      coco puff Mar 7, 2007 02:32 PM

                                                      go to Mondo Gelato in WLA instead of PB...on Pico Blvd, just west of Westwood blvd.
                                                      better than PB imo and CHEAPER too.

                                                      1. PaulF Mar 7, 2007 01:43 PM

                                                        I eat no dairy, but last night I took a spoonful of my son's Pinkberry. It was the first time I tried it.

                                                        I have to admit, it tasted really good -- clean and fresh and tart.

                                                        If I ate yogurt, I'd eat this yogurt a lot.

                                                        Sort of expensive, though.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: PaulF
                                                          David Kahn Mar 7, 2007 03:42 PM

                                                          Yeah. I'm not particularly price sensitive, but I have to say it pisses me off to be charged a $1 (or whatever it is) for a table spoon of Captain Krunch sprinkled over my yogurt.

                                                          1. re: David Kahn
                                                            Normal Garciaparra Mar 7, 2007 11:52 PM

                                                            Next time, order a Pinkberry without cereal toppings and B.Y.O. cereal in a ziploc bag :)

                                                        2. Pei Mar 7, 2007 01:34 PM

                                                          Yeah, it's definitely something you can "get" by looking at it on line. It just tastes totally different from traditional soft serve. It's tangy like real yogurt, a little crispy because it has lower fat content than ice cream, and is kind of refreshing in a not too sweet way.

                                                          I agree that if you have room after Fogo that something is wrong, but Pinkberry also seems like the perfect dessert after a big meal because it'll refresh your palate rather than laden you down further.

                                                          1. s
                                                            Snoopy Mar 7, 2007 01:30 PM

                                                            Just went for first time on Saturday and went back on Sunday. I really liked it. Had the plain with almonds. DH said it was good, but to him so sour that he needed a sweet mix in to counter balance it.

                                                            1. m
                                                              Marvin Mar 7, 2007 01:28 PM

                                                              I've never been to Pinkberry either. However, IMHO, if you leave Fogo with room for Pinkberry, you did not get your money's worth at Fogo :)

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