Monday, December 18, 2006

The Pinkberry Revolution Hits Silver Lake

It took us a long time to finally check out frozen yogurt phenomenon Pinkberry, partly because the first few locations were too far west of us. But that's changing: We just passed by a "Pinkberry coming soon" sign in the strip mall at the corner of Hyperion and Rowena in Silver Lake (in what used to be a fast-food Chinese spot, down the street from Trader Joe's).

For now, we had to make a special run a few weeks ago to Koreatown to finally see what the hype was all about. As most of you know, Pinkberry has developed a cult following because of its hip, cartoony stores and its all-natural frozen yogurt. Pinkberry comes in just two flavors, regular and green tea, and isn't as sweet as your customary frozen treat. It's an acquired taste -- and for a large chunk of Pinkberry fans, it has an addictive quality.

Maria and I kept it simple on our first visit: We ordered smalls, with just one topping each: I got strawberries, while Maria chose mango.

The Pinkberry experience goes something like this:

First spoonful: Huh. That's what the hype was all about? I don't get it.
Second spoonful: Actually, it's not bad.
Third spoonful: Yeah, that's pretty decent.
Fourth spoonful: How do they make this? It's got an intriguing flavor...
Fifth spoonful:... and I'm fascinated by this aftertaste.
Sixth spoonful: OK, I kinda get it.

And so on. Of course, part of the Pinkberry mystique also rested on the fact that you had to work to get your frozen yogurt. Pinkberry's first location, in West Hollywood, sported lines around the block (angering local residents, who complained loudly about parking issues). But Pinkberrys are beginning to pop up everywhere. Too much too soon?

Here's what the L.A. Times wrote back in August.

No comments: