which are the best fakberries in town? other than the big chain pinkberry, there are soo many new yogurt shops popping up. which ones have the best toppings, price, best parking, etc.? i'm looking for one so i can indulge without thinking its overrated. thanks!
Red Mango is tops in my book. Way better than Pinkberry or Yogurberry (the two actual berries I've had). There's currently just the Westwood location (near Stan's Donuts and across from the two Mann theaters) but others are opening up soon, including a mid-city one.
Please don't put Red Mango in the "fakeberry" category! Red Mango is the original, Pinkberry is an "fakeberry" rip-off of it. I had Red Mango in South Korea long before Pinkberry came here, was astounded that it hadn't yet become famous in the US, and the one in Westwood is indeed true to form. The yogurt is creamier, fruit fresher, and there is no hole in the center of the swirl!!!! Pinkberry is too crunchy/icy for my taste.
I agree that Red Mango in Westwood is actually better than Pinkberry. This is my first choice. plus they use real yogurt and not the powder.
There are a few around town that are good and good value:
Mondo Gelato has a good Italian yogurt that is cheaper, across the street from Westside Pavilion/Landmark Theatres.
Also Veneto, a new place in Manhattan Village Mall.
Yogo Tango on N Highland has the best value for toppings. You can put any toppings you want; you pay by the ounce.
Kiwiberry (near the Beverly Center)
pros: creamier than pinkberry, has a frequent buyer card
cons: horrible parking
Dolci Mango: (Redondo Beach/ Garden Grove)
pros: nice view to enjoy your fro yo (Redondo Beach)
cons: horrible parking, taste fluctuates
Frozen Monkey (Torrance):
Pros: good parking, same price as Pinkberry, offers other flavors such as green apple and strawberry, offers buy one get one free coupons
Cons: tastes wierd!
Jades Bakery:(Artesia and Normandie)
Pros: great bargain with their $1 cone or $3.50 for a 12oz, and good parking
Cons: its a bakery that has a fro yo machine, so no toppings (which I don't mind at all because I get great chinese pastries instead), taste fluctuates but overall pretty good
Ce Fiore: (Little Toyko)
Pros: creamier, offers other flavors, lots of toppings
Cons: horrible parking, and BF hates how it tastes
Boba Time (Western and Redondo Blvd)
Pros: best flavor in our opinion, also offers other treats like boba, mochas, shaved ice
Cons: no mochi topping for those who like it, super expensive at $5.50 for a large (Pinkberry's medium)
Diet Berry (on melrose):
Pros: offers a sugar free version which is not bad in flavor
Cons: horrible parking
I've yet to try Red Mango and Yogurberry.
Must go soon!
I'd rank the ones I've tried thusly:
Creamy texture, very much like real soft-serve ice cream, yet a nice tart yogurt taste. Not too sweet. Good dairy taste, realy dairy goodness. Good side flavors - Blackberry and Raspberry-Pomegranate - in addition to the standard Plain and Green Tea, though little differentiation between the two. This is the gold standard.
A one-off in the yogurt world, taste and sherbet-like texture as if one took actual yogurt from the store and put it into a yogurt machine. Their fruit flavors - Blueberry, Mango, Pomegranate - are the best, and the biggest, most exotic (cashews, pecans, lychee, goji berries) topping bar I've encountered.
3. KIWIBERRI and SNOWBERRY (tie)
While not as quite creamy as CéFiore, both are still far better than industry leader Pinkberry, with a more milky texture. Kiwiberri has Blueberry and a very subtle Mango flavor, while Snowberry has an excellent Peach variety, all of which are very good. The two companies are nearly identical in texture in taste with their plain product, which is why they are tied for third.
Yogotango is a throwback, being low-fat as opposed to non-fat (and I suspect using sugar, too). They even have chocolate and vanilla and waffle cones, but their tomato flavor, made with real tomato pulp, is the star of the show. Compared to the others, Yogotango is on the cusp of sour ice cream, and fatigue can set in easily with the large size.
Watery and thin, Pinkberry's popularity is astounding seeing as its quality really is the lowest amongst its competitors. It has a good flavor profile, but the texture is that of a solidified slushie, not that of frozen yogurt, and the ever-increasing water content means that good flavor profile has grown fainter and fainter over time.
I'm looking forward to trying Red Mango, and I may try Yogurberry when I'm near the Wiltern. I went to Starberry several times to try the mangosteen yogurt I'd had recommended to me here on the board, but on all those visits, they were only open once, and that time, they were out of the mangosteen flavor, and I gave up.
I think of the handful of froyos that I've tried - PB, CF, Yoku Yoku, Mondo Gelato, and Red Mango - I would give Red Mango the Blue ribbon. For me, it hit high marks in the categories of texture and taste.
I only had the green tea from Red Mango, but if you're prone to this flavor, it's the real deal as far as froyo goes. Unlike PB's version where the flavor markedly dicipates after a couple of bites, Red Mango's tastes like it has real maccha in it because it does - the taste and aroma stays.
The yogurt is real as well - not reconstituted powder and again the flavor reflects this - kind of like comparing milk made from the powdered form to regular fresh milk. Some like this slightly altered taste of powdered milk - I don't. The taste and texture of Red Mango is more rich, creamy, and tangy in a yogurt sense. Froyos like PB have an unyogurty sourishness like ascorbic or citric acid. In fact, I think the sourishness of PB is intentional and necessary to balance out the powdered mix taste that would otherwise dominate the flavor. The by-product of its sourishness has had the benefit of being one of the appealing factors to PB's loyal following.
To each his or her own. This froyo war is only heating up even more at this point. It will be interesting to see how Red Mango is received once they get more stores opened up in So Cal.
Honestly, I just tried CeFiore for the first time last night in NoHo (we sampled the original, blackberry, and raspberry/pomegranate, and I had a small rasp/pom), and found that to be really thin and watery. Maybe it was the location? We did like the more "yogurt" taste of CeFiore compared to the tartness of Pinkberry, but I have to say I'd still rather have Pinkberry, or even Peach House in San Gabriel any day.
Peach House is a dead ringer for Pinkberry in terms of flavor and it's a lot closer to me, too, though parking can be a pain due to it sharing the same parking lot as MPV Seafood.
531 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA
Red Mango apparently was the original natural flavored frozen yogurt and inspiration for the Pinkberry chain. It's creamier in texture and IMO tastes better than Pinkberry and less expensive if you want a small with more than one topping. The fruit toppings selection is great but no mochi available. The decor is a little more comfy with couches & banquettes although seating is limited. Parking available just around the corner.
Mondo Gelato across from Westide Pavilion has what they call Italian style frozen yogurt in two flavors, natural and tart. The tart being more lemony flavored. Both flavors creamier than PInkberry. The fruit toppings not as appealing. Parking available a half a block away in the Starbucks parking lot. Actually Red Mango will be opening next to Starbucks shortly and that may be the death of the Italian style yogurt at Mondo.
Yoku Yoku, located in a strip mall at Sepulveda & Palms, has a creamier frozen natural yogurt, with an excellent selection of fresh fruit toppings including cherries plus mochi. Unfortunately, the medium with 3 toppings comes to $6 versus $5 at Pinkberry's.
We had Ce Fiore just a few days ago for the first time and it was really very good. (They too have a frequent buyer stamp card)
My wife & I went traveling in Asia for 7 months last year... we left in Feb 2006 before the pinkberry explosion. During our 3 weeks in Korea, we "discovered" Red Mango's tart yogurt (just stumbled into one). We were shocked by how expensive it was (about $4.00 for a cup, which in most of the other Asian countries we visited would feed a party of 4), but we kept going back.
You can imagine our huge surprise when we came back September 2006 and saw the huge lines out the door of Pinkberry on Melrose... my IMMEDIATE reaction was "they ripped off Red Mango"... I mean everything, right down to the decor, was extremely similar (Red Mango generally provides more seating however).
I am happy with Rose Green in Glendale on Brand. They are very generous with portions (Is it me, or has Pinkberry gotten stingy?) and it's not too tart and not too sweet.
They have plain, green tea, plus raspberry, which is also good and on the tart side.
The fruit is fresh as well (except for one mango incident.) No mochi, though...
The WORST by far is at a yogurt place in the Eagle Rock mall. SO NASTY I thought I'd get sick eating it so I threw it out. Artificial, overly sweet, and tasted rancid. Yes, rancid. Stay far far away!!!
We just tried Rose Green in Glendale today for the first time. Even their samples were very generous; I tried both the green tea and the raspberry. The raspberry is delicious, and exactly as you describe: "...not too tart and not too sweet," and with no funky aftertaste. I will definitely return for the raspberry!
Sno:la just opened in BH and i think it is the best by far-all sweetened with organic fruit juices and they have flavors like pomegranate and mango-extremely tart and creamy. They also have over 40 toppings and the building is totally green. It was delicious. Too bad parking sucks there.
I also like yogurberry wayy better than pinkberry-much creamier (low fat, not nonfat).
some links until the fad fades
134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012
709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
244 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
10911 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024
11301 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
10942 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
312 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
3250 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
215 Ave I, Redondo Beach, CA
Cantaloop Frozen Yogurt
7095 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
1388 Fullerton Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748
10887 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
I just tried a new place called yogilicious on Honolulu in Montrose tonight - I liked it more than Ce Fiore or Pinkberry - much creamier, and isn't made with refined sugar, the sweetness is extracted from the fruit (the girls working there couldn't tell me much more than that) -- and they had mango flavored yogurt, which was really good