When we first moved here, it was HOT. Like, so hot even people who lived here thought it was hot. And at any hour of the day, if we walked just a bit east along Santa Monica Blvd., we’d encounter a massive line at a place called Pinkberry. We quickly discerned that it was some kind of place for frozen treats, but why the line out the door and down the block, especially when a fro-yo place across the street was practically empty?
Answer: a cult-like following for its frozen yogurt. After months of passing by the small storefront, vowing to give it a try soon, I finally popped in on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. First of all, they only have two flavors–plain and green tea–so D, with his chocolate addiction, would be most disappointed. Then you choose from a bunch of different toppings, from crushed-up Cap’n Crunch cereal to chocolate chips to all manner of fresh fruit. The guy behind the counter told me the medium was the most popular size, but it looked like a giant bucket. I ordered a small green tea, without adornment.
And surprise–it was good. Not wait-in-line-for-an-hour good, but definitely nice-treat kind of good. It definitely had the pleasantly sour aftertaste of real yogurt, but its consistency was thicker and able to keep the soft-serve shape. By the time I reached the bottom I was beginning to understand why the medium was their most popular. But I was already feeling a bit gluttonous with what I had eaten, convinced that, like the European yogurt it resembled, Pinkberry was loaded with cream.
It wasn’t till I got home and checked the Pinkberry site that I discovered the real reason behind the cult-like devotion: my indulgent frozen treat was only 125 calories with NO FAT. That’s enough to make me a convert–though still not enough to make me stand in line.
Update: Looks like the yogurt revolution has caught the attention of the NY Times, especially given that Pinkberry will soon be opening locations in Manhattan. Also see this great write-up by LA Weekly‘s Jonathan Gold:
“Although it sells nothing but yogurt and a few toppings … Pinkberry, which come to think of it does sound a little like the title of a specialist porn magazine, puts the neighborhood in the mood for love.”