Restaurant Review #163: Pinkberry, West Hollywood

Plain yogurt with Cap'n Crunch, raspberries, and blackberries

That's right, I caved. I'm normally not one to be a sucker for a trend, but I had to know how something as dull as frozen yogurt could have so many people in such a frenzy.

I went into the experience knowing about the difficult parking situation, so I wasn't going to let that stop me, or get me a ticket. Pinkberry is located on a residential, permit parking only street. It looked like there might have been a few public spaces right out front, but I didn't want to risk it. Fortuantely, I snagged a meter nearby on Santa Monica. There's also a public parking garage less than two blocks away, so I'm not sure what the big deal is. Use the garage, people. Pinkberry has signs up warning you not to park in the permit parking areas, and a parking enforcement officer sits outside waiting for people who think they'll just dash in and out and beat the ticket man. In fact, he opened the door to Pinkberry for me. At least West Hollywood makes its policies well-known and unambiguous, unlike Santa Monica.

I'm pleasantly surprised to report that Pinkberry is, in fact, quite good. This frozen yogurt, unlike the stuff we were eating in the early 90's, actually tastes like yogurt. It's tangy, sweet, and strikes the perfect balance between icy and creamy. It also melts incredibly quickly, and yes, you really will eat all the yogurt in that gigantic looking eight ounce cup (and Pinkberry actually weighs each cup of yogurt before adding the toppings to make sure they got it right).

Pinkberry's interior is sleek and stylish with light blue walls (I was really expecting pink). There are about 6 tables inside, but since the place is incredibly busy and very small, it's not a peaceful place to enjoy your yogurt. Don't expect to take your yogurt home, though, unless you like yogurt soup.

Pinkberry, in some senses, seems to be yet another example of people being willing to pay exorbitant prices to have healthy food prepared for them. Frozen yogurt with some fruit on top really shouldn't cost $5, in my opinion, even if it is a large serving of yogurt and the fruit is fresh. Yes, the fruit is fresh--none of that canned, syrupy stuff. You can get a plain yogurt for significantly less money, but the $5 deal gets you your choice of three toppings, or a triple serving of one topping, if you prefer. Fruit selections include banana, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, kiwi, and mango (the mango is probably from a jar, but everything else is fresh and syrup-free). Other selections include almonds and. . . Captain Crunch cereal? Gross!

On the other hand, maybe the $5 price is reasonable. After all, so many prices in our lives have been driven down, down, down by the Wal-Mart effect, an effect that often overlooks the true cost of goods. Regardless of whether $5 is a fair price, it doesn't seem to be a deterrent for the masses who love Pinkberry.

Plain yogurt with triple blueberries

868 Huntley Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Pinkberry on Urbanspoon


elmomonster said...

I'm so curious about this place. I'm not willing to drive to LA for it, but as soon as they open one here in OC, I'm going.

Chubbypanda said...

That's the sanest Pinkberry review I've read so far. Nice one!

- Chubbypanda

joanh said...

I've heard so much about it! Maybe someday I will try it.. it reminds me of when Penguins was popular... remember that??

Foodie Universe said...

What is Penguins? That must be a before-I-lived-in-LA thing.

RBasco said...

Penguins is still around- it's the typical frozen yogurt- sweet.. not bad... but different than Pinkberry. There is a Penguins in Torrance and Redondo Beach. I think there may be a couple more, but those are still in existence...

Emily said...

I live in Michigan, so I really hope that some day they'll have one here.
Is there a Pinkberry in San Fransansico?

Aron Garrison said...

I just tried pnikberry for the first time today. Talk about barf in a cup! It tastes like pureed tree bark. Even the chocolate chips are fake! Don't do it, worst investment I ever made.