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Back to Pinkberry: A Post-Snowberry-Cantaloop-CéFiore Review

Woolsey Jul 1, 2007 05:58 PM

It was a warm day today, and I admit it: I'm hooked on frozen yogurt. I don't want to be. I'm kind of embarrassed to be. But I am. If I had good gelaterias or ice cream parlors near my apartment and/or office, I'm sure I could satisfy my cold dessert cravings with fattier, sugarier offerings. But then, it's probably for the best I'm enjoying froyo. Living closest to the Koreatown Pinkberry, my experience with the city's current food phenomenon started in earnest there. But lately, I've been scratching my itch at Pinkberry spin-offs Snowberry, Cantaloop, and CéFiore.

But it was too hot to ride the Red Line or Purple Line to get my fix today. I needed gratification I can get on foot, and the nearest froyo place I can walk to is Stinkberry, er, Pinkberry. As loath as I am to feed the beast the sweet, sweet money it craves, I really wanted some yogurt. Yes, even Pinkberry's "chilly bliss" - which, for all we know, could very well be made from gypsum dust and termite honey - would suffice. And I really should be familiar with the enemy, I mean, standard in the froyo competition. So off to Pinkberry I went.

THE GRIPES:

The fact that the interior of a store in a newly-erected building selling frozen desserts is even hotter than the outdoors when it's in the upper-80s doesn't perplex me as much, at least in one sense. This store never has its air conditioning on. Never. The last time I visited, it was just as hot inside. Of course, I came at night, and it was below 70° outside then, yet still in the upper-80s inside then. And still - no AC, packed to the rafters. The Koreatown Pinkberry is the see-and-be-seen place, after all, so one endures the Louisiana-level mugginess inside. I wasn't at all surprised that Pinkberry was the first place I saw an iPhone, laid out in all its glory on the table for everyone passing by to see. (Why would its owner stash it in his pocket? He didn't pay all that money for it to be there!)

The fact that the store refuses to turn on its air conditioning is just another symptom of what seems to be the company's rampant penny-pinching. I'm definitely spoiled on the generous portions given by the three competitors I've been patronizing recently. Both Snowberry's and CéFiore's larges strike me to provide at least 25% more of both yogurt and toppings. (And today at Pinkberry, my large actually tipped the scale. I suppose the only reason I still received it was because actually making me another, less generous one would cost the company too much money.) The large at Pinkberry was actually less than the MEDIUM at Cantaloop. Yes, yes, American portions are too big, supersizing, etc., etc. But Pinkberry remains the most expensive frozen yogurt while consistently providing the smallest portions. I have yet to find another store that insists on weighing every portion dispensed, too.

THE KUDOS:

The last time I went to Pinkberry, I was pretty sure it would be my last visit. The counterperson was fairly rude - in addition to the store's being sweltering, the high price, the long wait, and so on - and the sour taste in my mouth was from more than the yogurt. This time, the attitudes were much nicer. This isn't to say anyone wrote me a love sonnet or asked how my grandmother was; the store was, as it almost usually is, very busy. But both the cashiers and the staff preparing the food were courteous, had a welcoming (if harried) tone, used their pleasantries. They were also offering samples of the green tea flavor if asked. (I wonder if the company is trying to push it for the extra mark-up it brings.) I don't need the staff the be my buddies; I just don't want them to be hostile. Today showed a good turnaround.

The flavor of Pinkberry's plain really is excellent. When I started going there, I would always get the green tea, but I've realized now there's just no flavor to it, certainly not beyond two bites. The plain, though, has a light flavor that reminds me somewhat of a good buttermilk ice cream I had at a Sunday Supper at Lucques once. (The flavor of it - certainly not the texture.) The tartness is what all the Pinkberry partisans I know really appreciate, and it's the best thing about it. Who knows what it's made from - turnip greens, shark blood, recycled car batteries? But it does have a nice approximation of dairy flavor, at least.

THE PERPLEXITIES:

The texture of the plain, on the other hand, is something I can't say I'm really excited about. In previous posts, I've described it as "sorbet-like." Today, eating the stuff after a long Pinkberry hiatus, I realize that's probably an overly kind turn of phrase. "Ice milk-like" is more accurate. Some folks love this texture, do they? It's so watery. It just seems like a cheap, low-grade version of a frozen yogurt to me. It's like ice milk. The green tea has less of the ice milk texture, I believe. The grains of matcha seem to give it more texture; that is the one superior quality it has. It's not worth the extra dollar (two dollars for a large), but it gives it something approaching creaminess. The creaminess is not something everyone wants, it seems. That puzzles me. If one said, "You can have a dessert with the texture of ice milk or one with the texture of ice cream," I doubt anyone would choose the former. But somehow, the ice milky texture at Pinkberry has fans.

I also have to wonder: Does anyone actually buy those Alessi doodads? Are they for sale? Otherwise, what's the point of them? Okay, Alessi has unique design, but the cases dedicated solely to another company's wacky kitchen implements - it strikes me as odd. I've never found a sign about how one can buy an item. None of them have ever disappeared from being bought or even moved, as if a customer has looked it over. There don't appear to be price tags. One doesn't find a decorative rack of Sony televisions at a Chevy dealership or cases of Hermès scarves at a law firm just because they look cool. The Alessi product placement cases at Pinkberry perplex me.

--------------

Well, I'm still not a Pinkberry fan. For one thing, there are still no walnuts. Everyone else has walnuts. Why doesn't Pinkberry? They used to have walnuts. I could deal with the hot store and the smaller portions and the higher prices if I thought their yogurt was the best. Of the four places I've frequented, Pinkberry's product is easily my least favorite. (And this week, I'm going to Yogotango, and I will be trying the tomato yogurt.) I don't think I feel quite so negative about Pinkberry, but their business model - blatantly cutting costs to make maximum profit, opening stores left and right to stand out in a neighborhood rather than fit in, creating a sudden forced ubiquity rather than a gradual earned success - still disturbs me, and it's hard to separate it from the food.

I wonder what the future holds for these companies, too. Just Friday, I was talking with a coworker about all these yogurt companies' opening up, and we began musing on boba. Boba was huge just a few years ago, and now it's all but forgotten. Will Korean-Italian frozen yogurt be the new boba? Is Pinkberry just the new Lollicup? And since when has a fast food product ever been about so much more than just the food?

Okay, I've thought about Pinkberry far too much now.

  1. p
    peterx Jul 1, 2007 06:13 PM

    I agree with much you say about Pinkberry. I enjoy it, but the stingy portions and bad attitude make me boycott them. There have been too many situations where I felt my portions were smaller than they advertise.

    In fact, it was tax time and I brought back an eight ounce Medium (w/o toppings) to the office. Since I had to weigh my tax return anyway, I decided to weigh the froyo and it registered 7.3 ounces, including the container. Therefore, it was likely I received less than seven ounces (due to the weight of the container). Would it destroy profit margins if they offered a little more than a little less? Also, why do they provide such large containers when they always swirl the froyo with a giant hole in the middle?

    1 Reply
    1. re: peterx
      Woolsey Jul 1, 2007 06:40 PM

      My swirl was solid this time, which is why mine tipped the scale today. I also notice some other things about the presentation: The peak of the swirl is made very high, to give the dessert the illusion of great height. It also gives them a steep slope to pile on the toppings. However, the line where the yogurt actually hits the cup is much lower in Pinkberry compared to others.

      I think that yes, it would do damage to the profit margins, actually. Consider how rapidly the company is rolling out stores, and in areas with some of the priciest real estate in the country. After all, that generosity you propose could add up and jeopardize the Pinkberry locations in Chinatown, Compton, Sault Ste. Marie, and the Vatican City...

    2. r
      running pig Jul 1, 2007 06:45 PM

      Thanks, Woolsey, that was a great summary! A few thoughts:

      1. Believe it or not, I actually own Alessi salt and pepper shakers. I bought them more than a year ago on ebay for about $5, long before they were introducted to Pinkberry and starting selling for about 6 times that amount.

      2. I KNOW that PInkberry has become focused on customer service because they have actively jumped into contracting with "mystery shopping" programs. Don't tell anyone, but I have "shopped" a few locations...this shows that the corporation wants feedback on customer service.

      3. At least at the NoHo location, topping amounts at Ce Fiore are NOT more generous than at Pinkberry. They both seem skimpy.

      4 Replies
      1. re: running pig
        Woolsey Jul 1, 2007 06:56 PM

        Nothing wrong with owning Alessi. I've been to the Alessi store at Robertson and Beverly myself. It's nice stuff if massively overpriced. But it just seems... I don't know. It's like if Starbucks was decorated with cases of Waterford crystal. Just because. It's not for sale. It has no bearing on the product. It's just there because. So, do people actually BUY the Alessi gadgets at Pinkberry?

        The Little Tokyo CéFiore is more generous with toppings - though not quite Snowberry or Cantaloop generous. (And their raspberries were visibly past their prime.)

        Good for Pinkberry for taking the grumblings about poor customer service seriously. It's showing in the stores, and it makes me more predisposed to visit them in the future.

        1. re: Woolsey
          Skorgirl Jul 1, 2007 07:20 PM

          Hi Woolsey, Though my memory may be wrong, I think the Sawtelle Pinkberry has signs with prices next to each Alessi product. I assume they are also for sale at the Koreatown location, but why that isn't more obvious, who knows. Even if prices were more obvious, I doubt that it's the lack of price display keeping customers from buying these products. I agree with you on the strangeness factor on the display of these items. Also, since you are in Koreatown and open to trying other yogurt places, see what you think of Starberry. They are on Wilshire at Ardmore, tucked in a corner next to the atrocious Noodletime. They've been around for a little while, but I stopped there last week during a lunch break, and the owners have changed. The new owner wants to incorporate smoothies into his menu, so when I went into the store, he was interested in my opinion on different flavors and even nicely offered up some smoothie samples. He also was quite generous with his serving of yogurt. I usually get a small at Pinkberry but this one was almost double the size. It was actually too much, but anyway, the point is, the guy is quite nice and looking for yogurt ideas, so the customer service aspect is pleasant. They also have a mangosteen flavor. The quality varies; with the old owner, he seemed to change up the yogurt so it was slightly different everytime -- sometimes creamier, sometimes icier .... so it can be hit or miss, depending on your preference, but it's a good alternative to Pinkberry. Downside is they don't have as many toppings, and you can't see them. I like to see the quality of the fruit before I order a topping so I see this as a limitation. Check it out if you have a chance!

          1. re: Skorgirl
            Woolsey Jul 1, 2007 08:07 PM

            That's the place! I remembered there was a place with a mangosteen flavor I'd read about on here, but I couldn't remember what it was or the cross streets as I was heading out toward Koreatown, so it was just back to Pinkberry I went. I plan to try to get to Starberry perhaps on Wednesday.

            When the yogurt's flavored, toppings aren't so imporant. And I almost always order blueberries anyway - except on Cantaloop's blueberry yogurt, when I get lychee on top.

            1. re: Skorgirl
              Woolsey Jul 7, 2007 03:15 PM

              STARBERRY UPDATE:

              Okay, after I tried to go to Starberry on July 4 only to find them closed, I got there today. When I first arrived, the yogurt wasn't ready. So I came back at the allotted time, and guess what: No mangosteen. Dude's out. I told him I had come to try the mangosteen and excused myself. I felt slightly bad as he was all ready for me as I was walking up, but there's too much plain yogurt in this town for me to be sampling every Tom, Dick, and Harry's version of it. Maybe I'll get back there one day, but, as I was walking away, I was feeling a strong sense of froyo fatigue, thinking to myself, Why am I going to all this trouble to try all these different places?

              Could this already be the end of the love affair for me?

        2. liu Jul 1, 2007 07:10 PM

          Great write-up, Woolsey -- very entertaining, and I learned a lot! I have never focused on frozen yogurt -- or anything -- this much...even measuring the peak of the Pinkberry swirl! I also enjoyed all of the responses!!!

          We are pretty bored already looking at the turquoise dots on the paper covering the windows of the yet unopened Pinkberry in Westlake Village. This store was supposed to open some six weeks ago, I am told by a neighboring store owner, and nothing yet. Also, there is a huge, adjacent parking lot...how will they ticket when all of us are parked legally?

          Actually, I would much rather this space be a boba place!

          1 Reply
          1. re: liu
            katkoupai Jul 1, 2007 07:13 PM

            I still like boba too, but I don't get it very often these days.

            Reading this thread is making me really crave frozen yogurt. I still choose 21 Choices or Penguin's. I have not tried any of the Pinkberry-type places, yet.

            Come to think of it, Chinese style shaved ice sounds really good right now, too.

          2. n
            nimo Jul 2, 2007 12:00 AM

            Couldn't agree more. This place is the Starbucks of frozen yogurt.

            1. d
              duke_of_mildew Jul 6, 2007 12:48 PM

              I tried Pinkberry (in Silver Lake) a couple of days ago, and I must say, I'm not sure what all the hype is about. I mean, it's good. But hardly worth driving across town for. Especially for those prices. I'll just stick to Rosegreen in Glendale... more convenient for me, cheaper, and basically the same product.

              And am I the only person that's noticed that a small with 3 toppings is more expensive than a medium with 3 toppings?

              1. Normal Garciaparra Jul 6, 2007 12:59 PM

                The Alessi products are there to make the establishment look more "Euro" than "Korean" to the mainstream.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Normal Garciaparra
                  Maxmillion Jul 6, 2007 02:14 PM

                  ^ right!

                  1. re: Maxmillion
                    Woolsey Jul 6, 2007 02:42 PM

                    Judging by this photo survey, it seems the Alessi products at Pinkberry are to make the establishment look more like Red Mango:

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

                    1. re: Woolsey
                      b
                      bulavinaka Jul 6, 2007 03:12 PM

                      No kidding... and other accuse upstart froyo shops being a ripoff of Pinkberry... go figure - who's ripping off who?

                2. bodie Jul 6, 2007 01:06 PM

                  My name is bodie and I am addicted to frozen yogurt.

                  (Whew, the first step is admitting you have a probelm) - seriously though, I do love the stuff, the prices, portions and pretentions aside - it is damn delicious and refreshing, not to mention the reasonable calories per ounce.

                  After growing tired of the Pinkberry juggernaut, I happily settled for ce Fiore, which is closer to my house and less prone to a line out the door. I was always impressed by their friendly service and generous portion but both of those have begun to wane, much to my chagrin.

                  Last time I was at ce Fiore, I looked askance at the portion I was alotted and asked the two slack-asses manning the counter why the were serving so much less than before. The response: "it's by weight". Of course, there was no weighing involved in the service, and looking back, I should have asked them to pull out the scale. (Sadly, I can recall drug deals of my misspent youth that were less acrimonious than a freaking-frozen-yogurt transaction! Perhaps not coincidentally, they both have to do with weight and trust - or lack thereof.)

                  Hopefully, this was not indicative of a new company strategy to skimp on portions but I fear it is. In which case, I will be driven back to Pinkberry, where they actually weigh every portion they serve.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bodie
                    b
                    bulavinaka Jul 6, 2007 02:06 PM

                    LOL!...LOL! You should know from your youth what a gram weighes and extrapolate... Red Mango is on the way to add more confusion to the whole froyo craze...

                    1. re: bodie
                      Woolsey Jul 6, 2007 02:11 PM

                      I noticed that Snowberry appeared to be skimping on my last visit, too. I fear Stinkberry's stinginess is contagious, like some sort of yogurt bird flu or mad cow disease...

                      1. re: bodie
                        m
                        Me so hungry Jul 6, 2007 03:15 PM

                        Which location are you referring to where they actually weigh the yogurt? I normally go to the Rolling Hills location and the portions always vary depending on who is "pulling" the yogurt.
                        It sucks!!!

                        My previous post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/411799

                      2. h
                        Hapafish Jul 6, 2007 02:05 PM

                        Very interesting musings!! Funny you bring up Lollicup...just the other evening, the 4th to be exact, we were celebrating my sister's b-day on the west side (well west side to me since I reside in NoHo) We had dinner at Hide on Sawtelle and strolled over to Lollicup, a few doors down to get something sweet. Enticed by the posters advertising they had frozen yogurt, we decided to give it a try. I hadn't been inside a Lollicup in years, and I too was wondering "How does this place stay open? Does anyone buy boba drinks anymore?" By the way, the boba place in my neighborhood in Studio City was replaced by a Pinkberry! But I digress.
                        So we tried their frozen yogurt. They have two sizes regular and large. We all got regular. The regular is 8oz. From what I can remember of Pinkberry'ssizes ,it looked l a lot larger than their regular (middle size). Then they charge 1$ extra for THREE toppings. Granted their topping array is not as large or diverse as Pinkberry's but they do have fresh strawberries, blueberries,mangos, lychee (that's different), snicker chunks, sprinkles, did not see walnuts but I think I saw almond slivers (?), oreo crumbles, choco chips, some sort of sugary colorful cereal--there may be a couple I'm forgetting. They were very generous with the toppings and there was no snootiness.
                        Alright so the most important thing--the taste. We were all really surprised and impressed!! The taste was very similar to Pinkberry's! It was light tasting (maybe the ice milkiness OP referred to which I know is not always a good thing) and also had the tartness.
                        Not being the biggest connoisseur of froyo, I'd be interested in knowing other CHer's thoughts!

                        1. Maxmillion Jul 6, 2007 02:17 PM

                          I really enjoyed reading your witty write-up.
                          Especially bits like "could very well be made from gypsum dust and termite honey" and
                          "one endures the Louisiana-level mugginess inside"
                          Love it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rasaka
                            perk Jul 6, 2007 03:40 PM

                            Finally tried Pinkberry in Silver Lake yesterday. They were weighing the portions on a small scale.
                            There was a line with nice friendly people offering advice for us "rookies." I found it odd that the toppings aren't at the front--so you can view them while choosing.
                            The taste was fine....nothing too special.

                          2. westsidegal Jul 6, 2007 04:36 PM

                            i would sell my soul (what there is of it) to be able to write as well as you.

                            1. liu Jul 6, 2007 05:30 PM

                              I love all your posts!
                              I am not addicted to Pinkberry. I much prefer Golden Spoon...not too caloric, real ingredients, lots of rotating non-fat flavors, and great taste! Has anyone else been to one of their many locations?

                              http://www.goldenspoon.com/default.asp

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: liu
                                m
                                mlgb Jul 6, 2007 05:59 PM

                                I am addicted to the Golden Spoon. Love the peanut butter cup best, cappucino a close second.

                                1. re: mlgb
                                  liu Jul 6, 2007 08:28 PM

                                  Hi, mlgb! It's nice to find a fellow Golden Spoon addict! I just love the rotation of flavors!
                                  Which shop do you go to for your fix? How often?

                                2. re: liu
                                  m
                                  Me so hungry Jul 6, 2007 09:15 PM

                                  Do they offer sugarfree yogurt?

                                  1. re: Me so hungry
                                    goodhealthgourmet Jul 6, 2007 09:23 PM

                                    they don't have sugar-free yogurt...but don't worry, you're not exactly missing out if you never get to eat at 'golden spoon.'

                                    i just don't understand why people like their yogurt. i've been to all the san diego locations [i used to live there], and tried nearly every flavor they offer. they ALL taste like chemicals.

                                3. f
                                  fdb Jul 6, 2007 08:37 PM

                                  For you Pinkberry junkies...this could be you (or me) ! ^_^

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9k8_x...

                                  1. k
                                    karynx78 Jul 6, 2007 09:25 PM

                                    I'm also have been caught in this yogurt craze. I feel like I need it everyday... the tartness .. mmm.. I've tried Pinkberry, Kiwiberry, Ce Fiore, and Yogurtland. I would have totally agree that most of these places are sooo stingy with their portions..When I went to the Kiwiberry in Rowland Hts I felt soooo ripped off! The swirl didn't even touch the perimeter of the cup! I think that is bad when the customer leaves feeling unsatisfied. I will say though you get a lot more for you money at Yogurtland. At yogurtland you can get a comparable large at Pinkberry for about 4-5 bucks. They have over 10 flavors and its self serve. I think that's like a small at pinkberry right. But unfortunately, I like the taste and texture of Pinkberry or Kiwiberry better. Yogurtland tends to be much more icy. I really hope they will have a Pinkberry or copy in the irvine area soon..

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: karynx78
                                      liu Jul 6, 2007 09:52 PM

                                      karynx78 -- I am laughing at "...the swirl didn't even touch the perimeter of the cup!"
                                      I just didn't enjoy a matcha Pinkberry from the store that opened a few hours ago in Westlake Village near Trader Joe's. And you are exactly correct: the tiny bowl was way too large in diameter for what they put in. Also, the matcha was tasteless...but did have a lingering nasty aftertaste.
                                      I think Pinkberry is a good base for the toppings, perhaps???, but alone it just leaves my tongue cold.

                                      1. re: karynx78
                                        Woolsey Jul 6, 2007 10:29 PM

                                        For some people, it's the yogurt. I'm one of those. It's sunny and warm. It's summer, and I want something cold and sweet. Frozen yogurt scratches the itch nicely. It's easier to eat in quantity than ice cream or gelato both because it's not as fattening and because it's not as sugary. (Sometimes too much sugary ice cream can just fatigue the ol' taste buds, you know?) But when the cold weather rolls back around, I don't imagine I'll be going to Pinkberry, Snowberry, Halleberry, Berrywhite, or any other froyo shops until next summer rolls back around. (I myself had a nearly six-month yogurt hiatus from last year's warm weather until this year.)

                                        But for some others, frozen yogurt places are the new Starbucks - the neighborhood places to socialize and be seen. In fact, they're better than Starbucks as there is no one in the corner quietly reading or writing a screenplay who might get offended by boisterous chatting and socializing. Visit the Koreatown Pinkberry and look at the swarms of people. Often the size small yogurts sit barely touched, melting away unattended on the table as digital cameras or cell phones are passed over them. The customers don't care that the room has the heat and humidity of a Turkish bath; people squeeze down the shotgun room, constantly pouring in and out, hanging out along the railing in front. There is never an empty seat. At this point, I believe they could switch to selling grits or rumaki or Brussels sprouts, and few would care. Pinkberry is the hottest new club in Koreatown. It may close a little earlier than most, and it doesn't have Crown Royal, but the lines to get in are longer than just about anywhere else in the neighborhood.

                                        This is the inverse rule for the whole coffeehouse craze, where every coffeehouse was a hangout joint, but few had good product. The ones that survived had good product. Most of these yogurt places have a decent product; the ones that will survive will also invest into placemaking to become somewhere people will want to hangout.

                                        1. re: Woolsey
                                          westsidegal Jul 6, 2007 11:15 PM

                                          people hanging out in your restaurant doesn't pay the bills.
                                          people buying your stuff and going somewhere else to eat it so that you don't even need to provide table space-- that pays the bills.
                                          i look at the folks on line in the pinkberry in the marina and see the perfect restaurant owner's situation: people waiting in line to buy an overpriced product, then taking the product away to eat in their cars.

                                          1. re: westsidegal
                                            Woolsey Jul 6, 2007 11:27 PM

                                            I guess we know why the Koreatown Pinkberry is always so dang hot inside: If everyone insists on hanging out inside, they're going to melt their yogurt as quickly as possible so they have to buy more.

                                            Of course, Starbucks learned that when people hang around, they tend to go back and make a second purchase. And if it's really muggy in the store, and the store sells cold frozen kinda-sorta-like-yogurt...

                                          2. re: Woolsey
                                            liu Jul 7, 2007 09:33 AM

                                            Your post -- very, very funny!!! "...Halleberry, Berrywhite...!!" I will giggle all day just thinking about this -- and said with attitude!

                                            I agree completely with your 6-month yogurt cravings; when the chill settles in, I am searching my cupboards and the surrounding shops for really good teas and soups!

                                            I also love your observation about the Turkish bath feel to the air in the Koreatown Pinkberry. We were there one coolish evening and it was still steam-y inside. And you really captured the melting yogurt scene while the cell phones and games and cameras pass from hand to hand.

                                            Great post, Woolsey, and great observations!

                                        2. h
                                          Hapafish Jul 7, 2007 09:43 AM

                                          Has anyone tried the new froyo place on Laurel Canyon (can't remember name) in Valley Village/NoHo/Studio City area?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Hapafish
                                            bodie Jul 7, 2007 10:30 AM

                                            It is called Menchies and I did not like it at all.
                                            Totally different in concept, execution and product than the Korean-style yogurt shops. This place has lots of flavors, none of which is plain or green tea. The flavors do change daily/weekly so that conceivable could change. The yogurt at Menchies is very sweet and seems geared to families, especially families with kids. And IIRC, the yogurt is kosher, which is sure to appeal to the neighborhood demographic.

                                            1. re: Hapafish
                                              r
                                              rebecca527 Jul 9, 2007 12:43 AM

                                              i totally disagree with bodie. it is a completely different concept but i fell in love the first time i went there and now i'm hooked. they had 10 flavors to choose from so i could get exactly what i wanted, and they even had a plain tart which was pretty damn good! i could combine whatever flavors - my latest mix, i got tart with very berry, and as many toppings (i got to do it myself), my combo was strawberries, raspberries, cap'n crunch, chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles - i'm a bit of a kid at heart. i paid only $3 because it's pay by weight. i just can't get enough!

                                              1. re: rebecca527
                                                h
                                                Hapafish Jul 9, 2007 02:35 AM

                                                Do the toppings yourself!?? I'm interested...Lost me at "sweet flavors" but had me back at the toppings business! Guess I will just have to try it for myself.

                                            2. a
                                              abysmal Jul 10, 2007 12:25 PM

                                              I couldn't agree more with your review of Pinkberry. I have noticed that the texture/taste of their product have gone down the drain since their massive expansion. Maybe it's a quality control issue - now that they have so many stores, it's probably hard to uphold standards (except for being stingy). I used to love Pinkberry when they first opened in West Hollywood and then a few months ago, I tried their Koreatown outpost and the yogurt was so watered down that I took one bite and threw the rest away... I've never been back since. I also don't understand their decor... yes, it looks cute and modern but none of it seems to really fit together or seems functional to me. Even though all the 'berry this or berry that' stores drive me crazy, I recently went back Kiwiberri and have to say that their yogurt had the best texture. I remember going there when they first opened and thought their yogurt was just sub-par but they must've been upping their quality control while Pinkberry was just letting it fall to the waysides. Plus, you don't get as much traffic there so even better! I will def. be frequenting Kiwiberri for more yogurt and has anyone been to Cantaloop? Been wondering where they are and how they are.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: abysmal
                                                Woolsey Jul 14, 2007 05:11 PM

                                                There's a Cantaloop thread:

                                                http://www.chow.com/topics/400658

                                                Cantaloop is on the northeast corner of La Brea and Hollywood.

                                                They have three or four flavors - in addition to plain, they offer mango and blueberry, with pomegranate moving off and on the menu - depending on when one visitis, and perhaps the largest topping bar I've yet seen. The texture is more sorbet-like than the creamier Snowberry and CéFiore, but it doesn't come off as cheaply ice milk-like as Pinkberry.

                                              2. l
                                                legger Jan 14, 2008 07:14 PM

                                                I can't understand why people line up for Pinkberry. They are so stingy they count the toppings. For my money, I choose Cefiore every time. I've tried the new one on Sunset and it was delicious. I also saw another Cefiore open up on Santa Monica on Colorado near Ocean Blvd. Since I live in Santa Monica and run on the Pier, its now my favorite place to go on a saturday afternoon. The raspberry-pomegranite with pineapple, mango and coconut. hmmm. heaven. Add a latte and I'm in total bliss. Paris Hilton can have Pinkberry, I'm hanging out at Cefiore....

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