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Ce Fiore v. Pinkberry

Bon Vivant May 24, 2007 01:56 PM

I've only been to Pinkberry once (only because I thought that their yogurt was good but not something that I would really crave and think about constantly like Bulgarini's Crema di Limone gelato that reminds me of the Limoncello gelato from Renato Bar in Mondello, Sicily) but when I was in J-Town last night I noticed that a Pinkberry was opening up across the street from Ce Fiore.

I had never been to Ce Fiore but since I like to be counter to what's popular, I decided to become Ce Fiore's best customer. Was I pleasantly surprised! I thought that their frozen yogurt was great! It had a nice balance of tart and sweet (the time that I had Pinkberry it was more on the tart side) and the texture was creamier and not watery like Pinkberry (disclaimer: Pinkberry was a bit watery when I got it).

I topped my frozen yogurt with red beans - fabulous!


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  1. Dommy RE: hazelnutty May 24, 2007 02:39 PM

    I like Fiore better too! They have more flavors and they will SWIRL! :)


    4 Replies
    1. re: Dommy
      hazelnutty RE: Dommy May 24, 2007 03:00 PM

      Oh Swirl...I have to check this place out...where is it??

      Bon Vivant post some pictures pleaseeeee....when are you going to review a new place? I'm hungry.

      Pinkberry is watery, good point.

      1. re: hazelnutty
        Dommy RE: hazelnutty May 24, 2007 03:05 PM

        It's in Little Tokyo, in the Japanese Village Plaza there in the middle of 1st and 2nd.



        1. re: hazelnutty
          Veggietales RE: hazelnutty May 25, 2007 12:42 PM

          There is CeFiore on Lankershim and Magnolia, across the street from the Millenium dance studio. North Hollywood.

        2. re: Dommy
          bodie RE: Dommy May 25, 2007 03:19 PM

          The green tea-pomegranate swirl rocks my world.

        3. p
          pocketsked RE: Bon Vivant May 24, 2007 03:05 PM

          I'm like you, I tend to like what's not the most popular. I prefer Fiore to Pinkberry (although I like both). If Fiore was as plentiful as Pinkberry, I'd go to Fiore every time. I like the slightly more variety of flavors at Fiore and the texture/smoothness of the Fiore yogurt is just perfect.

          1. m
            MeowMixx RE: Bon Vivant May 24, 2007 03:17 PM

            I went last week to CeFiore and also thought it was creamier (less "icy") and not as tart as Pinkberry. I also love that they offer other flavors - blackberry and raspberry/pomegranate.

            My sister on the other hand preferred the tarter and icier Pinkberry.

            To each his own :)

            18 Replies
            1. re: MeowMixx
              hazelnutty RE: MeowMixx May 24, 2007 03:21 PM

              do they have chocolate flavor or chocolate toppings

              1. re: hazelnutty
                MeowMixx RE: hazelnutty May 24, 2007 03:45 PM

                They had chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

              2. re: MeowMixx
                silverlakebodhisattva RE: MeowMixx May 24, 2007 03:23 PM

                Pinkberry will mix flavors, but only in their largest size portion; CeFiore will mixflavors in any size, and has more and better flavors. When the Chowspouse inquired, at a Pinkberry location within the last week, as to any possible reason for the "No Swirl" policy, (other than to extract maximum additional dollars from customers) the explanation was basically "That's the policy".

                No avatars, and not refusing to eat at any Pinkberry without an adequate parking lot

                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                  hazelnutty RE: silverlakebodhisattva May 24, 2007 03:27 PM

                  Mix flavors, Pinkberry only has two and frankly I don't consider the green tea a flavor...it does nothing for me.

                  1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                    Dommy RE: silverlakebodhisattva May 24, 2007 03:33 PM

                    Well I dunno if it's just an odd thing with the MDR location, but one possible reason is that they charge more for the Green Tea flavor. Another point for Fiore, all their flavors cost the SAME!


                    1. re: Dommy
                      MeowMixx RE: Dommy May 24, 2007 03:47 PM

                      I believe CeFiore also charges more for their green tea flavor - at least that's what I noticed last week when I went. Then again, I wasn't REALLY paying attention :)

                      I haven't tried it there, but I really didn't like the green tea at Pinkberry.

                      1. re: Dommy
                        bulavinaka RE: Dommy May 24, 2007 04:38 PM

                        I was hoping that to be the case when I went yesterday, but seemed to have developed the same policy as PB. They charge more for flavoreds, but I just ordered the plain. Had it with red beans, mochi, and coconut - the guy behind the counter seemed pleased that I tried that combo - gave me a nod of approval. I can easily say that the yogurt and toppings at CF are to my preference, and the mochi did taste like mochi. I still don't know what PB puts on their mochi but it tastes like a dusting of something bitter with a chemical aftertaste. Thumbs up to CF.

                    2. re: MeowMixx
                      Jwsel RE: MeowMixx May 24, 2007 04:42 PM

                      Limelight in Sherman Oaks has multiple flavors. In addition to plain and green tea, it has chocolate and mango. I'm not a fan of the other flavors because I find that the flavoring does not mesh with the tartness. However, I love their plain yogurt, and they have more toppings than Pinkberry.

                      1. re: Jwsel
                        Tacomato RE: Jwsel May 24, 2007 05:19 PM

                        Cefiore but if i had a chance to choose another Humphrey's ftw! =)

                        1. re: Jwsel
                          pocketsked RE: Jwsel May 24, 2007 05:47 PM

                          Yogurt Zone in Encino is the King of Toppings as far as fro yo places go.

                          1. re: pocketsked
                            ns1 RE: pocketsked May 25, 2007 12:52 PM

                            I like CF way better. Less crowded, a little less pretentious (although that has changed somewhat with their recent remodel)

                            That being said, 6 bucks for yogurt? Christ. I used to work at goldenspoon, buck forty five for a cone with almonds!

                            1. re: ns1
                              Twinkies RE: ns1 May 27, 2007 03:15 PM

                              Stopped by Cefiore/Fiore/If (whatever it's called) in J-town a few week's ago after dinner in the area.

                              I got the regular with blueberries. I took a nice, big bite only to find out the BLUEBERRIES WERE BAD. They were completely bitter and brown on the inside.

                              I was so disgusted I felt like my dinner was going to come back up. I told the manager and he didn't seem to care too much, didn't do anything about it.

                              Can't wait to try Red Mango when it opens...

                              1. re: Twinkies
                                PseudoNerd RE: Twinkies May 28, 2007 01:10 AM

                                I'm not quite sure what you mean, as there are (at least one) locations (minus the s, perhaps) in the city?

                                I doubt the Pinkberry franchises would care either

                                1. re: Twinkies
                                  waterisgood RE: Twinkies Jul 27, 2007 11:34 AM

                                  Personally, I like Red Mango better than Pinkberry. There definitely is a difference. Whereas Pinkberry is more tart and "icey," Red Mango is creamier, thicker, and less tart.

                                2. re: ns1
                                  mlgb RE: ns1 May 28, 2007 08:28 AM

                                  Golden Spoon is now $1.75 for a mini with no toppings. Still not a bad value, but it's a traditional sweet flavored nonfat yogurt, not a tart yogurt like Pinkberry clones.

                                  Of course nothing beats 99 cents for a Thrifty choc malted crunch ice cream on a sugar cone.

                                  Too bad about those bad blueberries. They didn't offer to remake the order for you with something else? The one time I went to Ce Fiore in Little Tokyo the toppings looked really good, although I just went with the greentea/pomegranate swirl neat.

                                  1. re: mlgb
                                    neo949 RE: mlgb Jun 4, 2007 11:22 PM

                                    Pinkberry and Cefiore is about to battle, the cold war has begun. I pick Cefiore pinkberry better run. Cefiore is coming to downtown fullerton.

                                    1. re: neo949
                                      snowy RE: neo949 Jun 15, 2007 11:41 AM

                                      hahha! i believe they are coming to hollywood as well. right across the chinese mann theatre

                                      1. re: neo949
                                        JeetJet RE: neo949 Jul 16, 2007 12:27 AM

                                        The cold war has begun -- LOL. I stopped at pinkberry and brought it out to my wife in the car. She took one spoonful and pushed it away saying, "No, don't eat that. It has gone bad." I told her it is supposed to taste tart. She said, "Tart is tart but that is sour." I finished it but the sour aftertaste stayed with me for several hours -- bad! Once for pinkberry and never again.

                                        I noticed signes all over the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia "Cifiore coming soon." I also noticed a new Dairy Queen in the food court and I had a really smooth frozen treat there. Not FroYo but neither is pinkberry -- right?

                                        This cefiore web page below list Huntington Beach, Rowland Hts., and Westwood as coming soon. If a download appears just click cancel and then skip the intro. This group is going also heading world-wide.

                            2. m
                              Me so hungry RE: Bon Vivant Jun 11, 2007 12:11 AM

                              BF and I tried Ce Fiore in Little Tokyo tonight...
                              Although the selection of flavors, swirls, and creaminess was nice, we both like the tartness of Pinkberry more. To me, the green tea flavor of Ce Fiore tastes just like green tea ice cream.
                              We noticed that a Pinkberry store is about to open right across the street from Ce Fiore...
                              If we had to choose, we would go for Pinkberry, but with the outrageous prices, I'm glad we don't have to. The greek yogurt from Trader Joes or even the Vietnamese yogurt at Banh Mi Che Cali with a variety of fruits and berries from the farmer's market will do just fine for us.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Me so hungry
                                Vikzen RE: Me so hungry Jun 16, 2007 01:35 PM

                                Here's another thread on Pinkberry locations which also discusses Cé Fiore. See my final post with link to recent LA Times article on what's in Pinkberry's product.


                                1. re: Me so hungry
                                  snowy RE: Me so hungry Aug 2, 2007 04:52 PM

                                  i actually think cefiore's yogurt is creamier. pinkberry feels too icy for me.....

                                2. f
                                  fergusmccool RE: Bon Vivant Jun 16, 2007 01:45 PM

                                  Since tartness and acidity are inherent to yogurt per se, may I suggest you stick with ice cream, instead? It tastes better, too.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: fergusmccool
                                    bulavinaka RE: fergusmccool Jul 27, 2007 12:49 PM

                                    The tartness in PB's is not normal... it's ascorbic and citric... my friend who is a nutritional consultant says it's probably citric acid added to the powder...

                                  2. SauceSupreme RE: Bon Vivant Aug 2, 2007 05:30 PM

                                    I didn't have an opinion one way or another for the longest time, but count me in as part of the Ce Fiore camp.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                                      Woolsey RE: SauceSupreme Aug 2, 2007 06:43 PM

                                      Same here. CéFiore is the gold standard. However, I do sneak away to Cantaloop once in awhile for a change. A friend got some of my Cantaloop at work yesterday and enjoyed its unique style: "That's like real yogurt that's been frozen!"

                                    2. gaylenwaydelich RE: Bon Vivant Aug 2, 2007 06:36 PM

                                      CF definitely. I had CF before ever trying Pinkberry. I was expecting a better consistency and flavor than CF because I bought into the Pinkberry machine. Absolutely no comparison. The blackberry was perfect by itself. Went back a week later to try the raspberry/pomegranate and was impressed all over again at the creaminess and fresh clean flavor. Not a sour note between either of the flavors. The counter help at CFare much more on the ball when you order toppings. Everytime I go to the Pinkberry in Rolling Hills the counter folks have to double check after every ingredient. (And it's never the same person either.) How freakin hard is it to remember three toppings? And what is with only five reaspberries when you order the medium? Oh how I wish they would open a CF in the South Bay. A girl can only dream . . .

                                      1. r
                                        rad818 RE: Bon Vivant Aug 3, 2007 07:19 AM

                                        After trying Pinkberry in Studio City and Ce Fiore in NoHo, we prefer Pinkberry. Why? The fruit toppings (pineapple, raspberry,coconut) are much fresher at Pinkberry. At CeFiore, the pineapple was brown and not as sweet, the berries were not as good and the shredded coconut was dry, not moist like Pinkberry. As fas as the yogurt taste, we like Pinkberry original the best. The only downside is the hollow center once you eat through the swirl.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: rad818
                                          SauceSupreme RE: rad818 Aug 3, 2007 10:06 AM

                                          Don't you think that going to a frozen yogurt shop for the fruit is like going to a bar for the coasters? I mean, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but this is the first time I've ever heard this used as the reason.

                                          1. re: SauceSupreme
                                            Woolsey RE: SauceSupreme Aug 3, 2007 10:20 AM

                                            You are the wind beneath my wings.

                                            1. re: SauceSupreme
                                              rad818 RE: SauceSupreme Aug 3, 2007 03:51 PM

                                              I look at the yogurt as a blank canvas and the toppings complete the masterpiece. Doesn't the quality of the toppings on a pizza/hot dog/burger/taco/salad/baked potato make a difference to you?

                                              1. re: rad818
                                                Woolsey RE: rad818 Aug 3, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                That's still like saying you think Cloris Leachman is hotter that Heidi Klum because she's wearing a better jacket.

                                                1. re: Woolsey
                                                  bulavinaka RE: Woolsey Aug 3, 2007 04:39 PM

                                                  ROFL! Great analogy!

                                                2. re: rad818
                                                  SauceSupreme RE: rad818 Aug 3, 2007 09:30 PM

                                                  The quality of the toppings are definitely paramount when talking about the characteristics of an individual food item (a frozen yogurt cup or a pizza or what have you).

                                                  But when comparing two food items, the toppings only come into play when I feel the main product itself is close enough.

                                                  Take Vito's Pizza for instance. Many people like it. I prefer Village Pizzeria in Larchmont. Why? The toppings. I feel the crust and the sauce and the cheese between the two are similar enough that it comes down to the toppings at Village.

                                                  And that's what I'm trying to get at. If you think CeFiore and Pinkberry are similar enough in chilly bliss minus toppings, then I totally respect your opinion, but I just want to make sure that's what you mean.

                                              2. re: rad818
                                                SauceSupreme RE: rad818 Aug 3, 2007 10:44 AM

                                                I'm not trying to be mean or anything; I'm just confused. Normally I'd go to peripheral flavors like toppings only if I've decided that the main flavors are close.

                                                So while you prefer Pinkberry's original flavor the best, do you think that Pinkberry and Ce Fiore's flavors are close enough that the fruit is the differentiator?

                                                1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                  Woolsey RE: SauceSupreme Aug 3, 2007 11:06 AM

                                                  I've had poor-quality fruit at Stinkberry before, too. Just because the shops don't schedule their produce off-days doesn't mean one should be considered uniformly better solely on fruit quality. Moreover, the cheap-o ice milk at Stinkberry has a terrible texture that has only gotten more and more bargain basement as they've expanded their Evil Empire global domination scheme. They've clearly taken to watering down the who-knows-what-it-is even more than they did just eight or nine months ago, to where it's akin to getting a soft-serve sour snow cone. Ick.

                                              3. kelvlam RE: Bon Vivant Aug 3, 2007 09:39 AM

                                                Other than Ce Fiore and Pinkberry, there's also Red Mango and Kiwiberri joining into this frozen yogurt battle...


                                                http://www.redmangousa.com/ - vesus -
                                                http://www.cefiore.com/ - vesus -
                                                http://www.pinkberry.com/ - vesus -
                                                http://www.kiwiberri.com/ - vesus -

                                                Who will win? :-)

                                                1. j
                                                  jocey RE: Bon Vivant Aug 3, 2007 09:57 AM

                                                  I have not had pinkberry so I can't really say anything bad or good, but I have had ce fiore. I love their green tea frozen yogurt. I usually get granola and blueberries. I've had their regular frozen yogurt with the same toppings and was just as satisfied.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jocey
                                                    Wolfgang RE: jocey Aug 3, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                    I need to try Pinkberry's competitors. I haven't had PB in a few months, but I liked it a lot when I had it. The only frozen yogurt I'd had before PB was Penguin's long ago and TCBY more recently. TCBY is sugar paste to me. It's awful. PB was a nice surprise after swearing off TCBY style froyo.
                                                    For a taste reference, my perfect refrigerator yogurt is Straus vanilla whole milk yogurt.

                                                    1. re: jocey
                                                      sherpa50 RE: jocey Aug 3, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                      I was at Big Chill the other day and had their lemon tart yogurt ("chillberry"). It was yummy, & you can have it on a cone (much better when driving).

                                                      I have only had Ce Fiore once & was not persuaded to switch from PB which I love. And yes the quality of the fruit is important to me - that's one of the reasons I like PB so much. I had fabulous blueberries the other day (WH location).

                                                    2. k
                                                      kek is khmer RE: Bon Vivant Aug 13, 2007 04:33 PM

                                                      I'm gonna join the Ce Fiore is better than Pinkberry train. The Fiore original is creamier and better tasting then PB. The fruit toppings at the Hollywood location were also ripe! I hate non-ripe mango!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: kek is khmer
                                                        snowy RE: kek is khmer Aug 15, 2007 01:07 PM

                                                        i would also have to vouch for cefiore. there is just no comparison. cefiore is definitely creamier..can't say much for pb, who's i've always said was icier (though people still like to claim it's creamier ?!?!?!?) and what's up with the hole in the middle? as for toppings...i've always found cefiore's to be pretty ripe. and while we're comparing toppings. pb's mochi's are the worst.

                                                      2. notmartha RE: Bon Vivant Oct 23, 2007 01:23 PM

                                                        CeFiore so far is my favorite after checking out Pinkberry, Kiwiberri and Bliss. Love their mochi topping. I liked the fact that they use stevia instead of sugar.

                                                        On limoncello gelato (original note) - recently had a great one at Gelato Paradiso at Fashion Island. I had the Bulgarini's crema di Limone but I have to say Paradiso's better (more tart-lemony).

                                                        1. s
                                                          SarahM RE: Bon Vivant Oct 23, 2007 03:06 PM

                                                          Both are a horrible waste of calories, IMHO.
                                                          Go to Sno La!!

                                                          Sno La
                                                          244 North Beverly Drive (just North of Wilshire before Dayton Way)

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: SarahM
                                                            drpynchon RE: SarahM Nov 3, 2007 09:52 AM

                                                            I second this strongly. I'm obsessed with their sour cherry syrup stuff. My god. For further proof, do a quick search here on sno la to see that we aren't the only believers.

                                                            1. re: SarahM
                                                              notmartha RE: SarahM Nov 19, 2007 12:50 PM

                                                              Tried Sno:LA. Didn't like it.

                                                              For chocolate flavors and other flavors Bliss is better. For creaminess and different flavors Golden Spoon's better (although some of their flavor tasted a tad 'artificial').

                                                              For original tart w/ fruit and mochi I much prefer Ce Fiore.

                                                              The wood spoon they provided really gave the food an off taste. I applaude their 'greeness' but can't they use some utensil derived from corn instead?

                                                            2. a
                                                              AKlRA RE: Bon Vivant Oct 25, 2007 07:39 PM

                                                              Here's the thing. It seems that people who actually overlook the HYPE of these titles, and actually honestly choose the better place in their opinion, really dig CeFiore. Now, I bet anything that if you took all the insides of CeFiore, and branded it the title, "PINKBERRY" everyone would be madly in love with PINKBERRY. In other words, the title of "Pinkberry" has become such a hype, that people don't even care if CeFiore is so called "better" than pinkberry or whatever... especially young people, they'll go to PB because it's the TITLE and the "THING." I agree though, I think PB is low quality in disguise. When Pinkberry first opened up in Koreatown, i thought it was great. Now that it has expanded, i DO realize the flavor going down a bit. It can't be helped. PB has won the title. In franchises like this, its ALL about winning the name, and they certainly did. CeFiore will probably NEVER be as popular... but those who know it's good, can enjoy it. Besides, why complain that it's not as popular, as long as you KNOW it's better right? ;)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: AKlRA
                                                                notmartha RE: AKlRA Nov 5, 2007 01:45 PM

                                                                The only problem is there's only so many customers and with all the froyo stores popping up like mushrooms after the rain some of them will have to go out of business.

                                                                I just hope Ce Fiore will get enough customers to survive.

                                                                Saw all the hype of Snola and I have to try it, but if you need a fix near your house/business unless you live near BH it's really either Pinkberry, Kiwiberri or Ce Fiore.

                                                              2. PlatypusJ RE: Bon Vivant Nov 5, 2007 04:02 PM

                                                                Although PB is indeed watery, a lot depends on the location. I've found that the West Hollywood PB is consistently better than the Abbot Kinney PB. The Abbot Kinney branch looks sickley and transluscent every time.

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