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Jul 6, 2007 10:00 PM

Pinkberry Opened Today in Westlake Village

3835 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard #G
Westlake Village
(Between the magazine store and Trader Joe's)

This was my third attempt to like it, and I found the matcha completely tasteless -- with a nasty, lingering flavor. As has been well documented on another post on this board, the portions are stingy. I will not return. I would much rather go to Golden Spoon in Agoura on Kanan.

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  1. Hey Liu, I think those who enjoy matcha (the real thing) concur with your assessment. On a more positive note, I had the opportunity to try Red Mango's US version a couple of weeks ago and I must say that it was truly like someone took some matcha powder and blended it in with a good frozen yogurt. I don't know if the sample I tried will be the final version as it was from a friend who is helping formulate their product for US consumption. Evidently, Red Mango's Korean froyo is like PB's - chilly bliss from a powder base; thus, the need to formulate the real thing so they can call it frozen yogurt (I think they would tire of attempting to rename their dessert something new on a weekly basis like...) She says the quality is there - real yogurt with four different types of live cultures. And again, it's real yogurt which will be produced by a local dairy. And believe it or not, the matcha yogurt will have real matcha for flavor. With all the hoo-haa over matcha lately, me thinks investing in matcha futures a year ago would have made this boy rich by now...

    4 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      Hi, bulavinaka!
      Thanks for this good information. I look forward to Red Mango's green. And speaking of green...ah, the hindsight, huh! You can still invest in matcha, because I am not tiring of it too soon!

      BTW -- did you see the Calendar Weekend magazine from Thursday, July 5th? The cover reads: "The Cold War." Below that the caption reads: "Can the mighty Pinkberry survive an attack from Red Mango and others?" It shows some GI Joe army-type guys mounted on the top swirl of some soft serve, ready for action...very clever! Inside, there is a multi-page article about all the frozen yogurt places in the LA greater area, with a description of each.

      So, my goal has changed! Many years ago I wanted to walk Ventura Boulevard from end to end, tasting along the way. Then, along came Valley Boulevard and that became my dream walk. Then, some cobbler and taco and izakaya and tea and dim sum and sushi and Asian market obsessions and resultant chases got in the way. Now, to add to my list is a zig-zag through the city to taste all these frozen delights and find as many green ones as I can!

      Happy day! I do follow you closely, so keep on posting!

      1. re: liu

        Valley Blvd would be one of my "axis of chow". Brookhurst, 3rd St, and Beverly also rank up there (and right now, I'm spending a lot of time on Sunset and Hollywood). Of course, Jonathan Gold got his start doing Pico.

        I think Pinkberry's outpost there in Westlake Village is an important one, actually, because it dives into suburbia where residents aren't quite aware of the onslaught and not much of a college population (though plenty of high-schoolers). It'll be interesting to see if Pinkberry can take off there in Westlake.

        1. re: liu

          Hi Liu,
          Sorry for the late response... I've been away for a couple, and just now getting caught up on life... I follow your posts as well - you've been on a food tear lately! I have yet to make it Red Mango's place in Westwood, but will probably get to Mitsuwa first to try their matcha soft serve...

          I forgot to mention a product that I picked up in Narita - matcha-flavored kit-kats! Haven't tried them yet - I'm a little afraid - what if I don't like them after carefully bringing them home? Worse, what if I do like them and can only source them in Japan, like alot of Japan's other delectables?

          You're a Chowgem!

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Hi, bulavinaka!
            "Matcha-flavored Kit-Kats" . . . how very interesting! This sounds like something that Famima might carry (already or in the near). Oh, I can just imagine how gently you transported them! Please do report back on them. And then, what's next? How about matcha double-stuffed Oreos? Or maybe ... the list is endless! I really do wonder if Famima is open to suggestions, if in fact, your Kit-Kats are good.

            Thanks for the "cheer," bulavinaka, and it's always my pleasure to follow you.

      2. I stopped by there today on a long bike ride and it wasn't very busy at noon time. I'm sure most people still don't realize it's there and open. It's also very small... Only five little tables and no outside seating apart from a couple of benches that are part of the shopping center.

        I also had their product for the first time and really enjoyed it. I had original flavor with strawberries, kiwi and mango and it was delicious. I got the medium size with the three toppings and I'm sure I would have found it more plain had I ordered the small size with only one fruit on top.

        1. There is an amazing place called "Shave It" on Moorpark in the same mall area as Office Depot and Hamburger Habit. In addition to lots of flavors they have sugar free syrup made with Splenda for those who are not into the sugar syrup. My favorite is the sugar free Root Beer over real shave ice (it's like snow) and on top of vanilla bean ice cream. They also have great creative combinations. WAY better than Stinkberry!

          10 Replies
          1. re: surley

            Thanks for the heads-up! I'll definitely give it a try.

            They have a great website:


            1. re: surley

              Oh, That's what "Shave It" is! I saw the sign and I thought it was a place people went for bikini wax's.
              I'll guess I'll have to stop in and give this place a try.

              1. re: Pamplemoose

                I am hooked on this place! Sometimes I go twice a day!

                1. re: surley

                  "...twice a day!"
                  I passed by today about 4:00ish on my way to Trader Joe's, and there were only a couple people inside. Is it ever crowded when you are there?

                  1. re: liu

                    I was there about that time (4PM on Tuesday) and it was pretty busy -- every table was full.

                    It's an interesting concept and word certainly seems to be getting out. I had the root beer float, which has a bit of ice cream on the bottom -- delicious! I need to go back and try some of their fruit flavors.

                    Interestingly, they had the exact same funky light fixtures you see in Pinkberry.

                    1. re: okie

                      Shave Ice has been around a while in that neighborhood, and they need to max out before the Pinkberry cloud takes hold. Again, I think Westlake/TO is a great litmus test for Pinkberry as it is fairly isolated from the rest of Los Angeles and does not have a large enough college population (Cal Lu notwithstanding) that seems to be Pinkberry's primary demo.

                      1. re: okie

                        "Every table was full." Hmmm??
                        Yes, it was about 4:00ish and when I looked in, there was only quiet activity...maybe a couple of guests. I saw a few people outside, but no one with PB dishes. Perhaps it was the difference of only ten or fifteen minutes between our visits, as the crowd gathers and wanes.

                        1. re: liu

                          liu, I think you are talking about Pinkberry and I was referring to Shave It. :)

                          1. re: okie

                            Yes, yes, okie! That explains it...I am watching Pinkberry with interest to see if it can make it out this way. I just don't see the traffic (or the attraction). On the other hand, Golden Spoon on Kanan has lines out the door most of the time!

                            I tried Shave It once and liked it. As you, okie, I want to return to explore the menu a bit more. I am always looking for low calorie refreshments in the summertime, and I think it is possible to find a lot of tasty options at Shave It.

                            Since it sounds like you and others are out in this area, there is also the boba place on T.O. in the shopping center with Alessio's. I have had them whiz some fresh fruit items (watermelon or pineapple) with no added sugar for a delicious summer slush; they are a bit slow, but very obliging.

                      2. re: liu

                        Hee hee! I love it! They know me well there....I've filled up their customer appreciation cards 3 times already! I don't think they give out anything free at Pinkberry! "Shave It" has major rushes in business and sometimes there is a big line with lots of cute happy kids dancing around with delight and other times I'm able to walk right up to the counter. The staff is friendly and fast so I've never become impatient. I wish they'd bring it to West Hollywood so all my friends could try it.

                2. BTW, a new Thai place opened up in T.O. a few weeks ago called White Elephant Thai Cuisine. It's in the Whole Food shopping center on Moorpark in the old Flying Tamales space (I knew that place was doomed).

                  It's a nice little place with an outdoor patio. They have quite an extensive menu for a small restaurant, with all the usual salads, noodle and curry dishes.

                  Last night I tried their spicy basil chicken and I'm sad to report it was pretty bland. Not at all spicy, a little watery and just not much flavor.

                  I'll definitely try it again though, as we desperately need a decent Thai place in T.O. (and yes, I know about Pookies in WLV). On my next trip, I'll ask them to up the spiciness a bit and see if that helps.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: okie

                    Thanks, okie. I was by there yesterday when I parked for Whole Foods. I looked, wondered, but was not drawn in to check their menu. Agreed, there have been a few "duds" in that space.

                    Please do post again about your next visit. I think I will need a few nods of approval before I visit.

                    1. re: okie

                      IIRC this also used to be a BBQ place and it's next door to Stan's Donuts, right?

                      1. re: LesThePress


                        Although I think the BBQ place (Red Sky) was where Chuy's Mequite Broiler is now... White Elephant is on the other side of the donut shop, further back from Moorpark.

                    2. liu and okie. I wouldn't be surprised if we have all seen each other at one of the places around here and not it. We all seem to frequent the same paths. I tried Pinkberry for the first time last Friday night and was truly unimpressed as was my neighbor. I don't think it will do well. Frankly, I think Costco froyo is better! I will try Shave It. Thanks for the tips.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nancyc4fun

                        I am a recent Pinkberry convert. I'm embarrassed to say I actually stood on a long line last night to have that sweet tangy taste and the clean finish, once again. But I'm sure it's not for everyone. My best friend can't stand the stuff.