Nov 2008

Pinkberry – Pasadena

Pinkberry arrived on the L.A. scene in January 2005. Since then, the fro-yo chain has expanded from sea to shining sea—fulfilling a sort of trendy food Manifest Destiny. I wanted to sample the hype when it first came about, but unfortunately a branch never set up shop in The City of Brotherly Love or in Saigon for that matter. So, while Angelenos and New Yorkers were getting their fill of the sour stuff, I had to settle for reading about it in mainstream media and within the blogging community.

Fast forward three years. The fro-yo trend is still going strong with Pinkberry wannabes popping up in strip malls all over town. While the lines at Pinkberry have noticeably thinned out, demand for this genre of sweets appears to be on the up and up.

Although I’m about four years too late, the first classic L.A. food that I wanted to try was Pinkberry. Spago, Sprinkles, The Apple Pan and Pink’s are all on the list, but first things first.

The Pinkberry closest to my apartment is about a mile away in Old Pasadena. My lovely friend Esme, whom I met in Rome while studying abroad, joined me for this highly-anticipated outing. Pinkberry yogurt is made with real milk and is about 20 calories per ounce. There are three flavors of fro-yo to choose from—original, green tea and coffee. Since it was my first visit, I asked the gal taking orders if I could taste each of the three flavors. She obliged.

The coffee and green tea flavors weren’t bad, just unpleasantly sour. Both Esme and I ordered a medium-sized original, which allowed us to choose three toppings each. I chose mochi, blackberries and mango, while Esme went with raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. After spending pennies on food this past year in Saigon, it was painful whipping out five bucks for this thing.

The verdict? Mostly positive, but I’ll probably never return again. You see, when I’m in the mood for a cold dessert, I want it to taste sweet. Pinkberry’s fro-yo and fresh fruits are quite the opposite, and thus do not fit into my spectrum of desired tastes.

Esme, on the other hand, is totally a sour dessert person. She also likes the fact that Pinkberry is a healthy alternative to ice cream. I’d much rather have ice cream.

Esme and I ate our fro-yo in a nearby courtyard that was housing a living art installation.

The trees were covered in wishes—some were sweet, while others were sour.

19 S. Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone: 626-744-0505

Pinkberry on Urbanspoon

Pinkberry in Los Angeles

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10 thoughts on “Pinkberry – Pasadena

  1. Damn right it’s expensive! I think this is just an exercise in excellent marketing. And I also agree that it should be sweet. I’ll go for an ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery (SF) or Ici (Berkeley) any day.

  2. I tried Pinky at Irvine Spectrum..and prefer Yogurt Land for more flavors and more toppings. Pinky is way too expensive and watery yogurt if you ask me.

  3. Jon – It’s hard to believe that a so-so product like Pinkberry took L.A. by storm. Are my fellow Angelenos so caught up in calories that they overlook taste completely?

    Bern – I think I’m gonna stick to ice cream from here on out. I might try a Pinkberry competitor out of curiosity, but my yogurt days are definitely numbered.

    Vy – Hahaha. You are a sassy one!

  4. I found Sierra Cup in Monrovia (about 15 minutes or less from Pasadena) much more flavorful, and the fro-yo is smoother. At first, I did not care for the oddly sour taste, but the more I ate it, the sweeter it got, as my palette got used to the sour-sweetness of the dessert. I’m so over Pinkberry, though.

    BTW, venture over to Fosselman’s Ice Cream shop on Main Street in Alhambra. It’s a family business that’s been there since the early 1900’s ( The blueberry ice cream is DELISH, and the espresso and rum raisin flavors are faves as well. They even have lychee, green tea, and a number of sorbets.

  5. Danielle – Thank you so much for these tasty tips. I’m getting so many great eating ideas from gastronomy readers! Woot to that. I think I need to start a spreadsheet to keep track of all this goodness. Nerdy, but efficient.

  6. Hello, long time no stop by ur blog. It is still great as usual =)

    i passed its link to my Auntie in Ky. She loves your posts about VN food 🙂 she said she would get back to vn sometime

    is there any Pinkberry in SG? Im a big fan of yogurt 😛 i sometimes make fruit yogurt at home. just wondering how different they are 😛

  7. Angela – Thanks for stopping by and sending the link to your aunt! I hope my blog entices her to come visit. There aren’t any Pinkberries in SGN, but plenty in L.A. They major difference between store bought yogurt and Pinkberry is the texture—Pinkberry has the consistency of soft-serve.

  8. Gastronomer: Try Red Mango. It’s much better, and not as tart, but the cheap Asian in me prefers Yogurtland b/c it’s .30/oz and you can pick from like 10 diff flavors! 🙂

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