Pinkberry yogurt  in Long Beach, California near the food-famous Pine Avenue. No photos are allowed inside, so we looked through the window glass and captured this.



Pinkberry Yogurt California Craze - Long Beach Pinkberry


Remember when Krispy Kreme Donuts were all the crazee? Everybody had to have a store because these donuts were just the "in" thing in food.  Well Huntington Beach's newest de-malled Bella Terra Mall was supposed to get one. Thank goodness it didn't! That dining phase has come and gone and in it's place is Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Bella Terra Mall, the first place in The OC to get a Pinkberry is trailing behind nearby neighbor Long Beach. This was my gig--sharing local haunts with other California writers. But they had one on me when it came to Pinkberry yogurt. Colleen used to write for the OC Register and would, no doubt, have done a write up on the Register's blog, but saw no need.  Janice had written some stuff for the LA Times and said we absolutely had to try Pinkberry, because it was all the rage. And me...I have a thousand stories waiting to be written, but am  willing to go with the flow. So in we went to see why the press, especially, seems to be so enamored with Pinkberry.

Comfort is not the forte of the Pinkberry yogurt shop. It's a bit Japanese look with mint and pink color schemes, small chairs and tables, and a cafeteria style counter where there are just two types of yogurt to order--plain or green tea. Also available are smoothies or shaved ice, which is a bed of ice, mixed fruit, pillows of mochi, yogurt and some sweetened milk.

Colleen said her feet didn't reach the footrest of one barstool, so we moved on over to a regular table where the see through pink plexi was traded for plastic chairs. Lacking permanence, the place isn't meant for lingering. Seating only a handful of people, you spend your 10-to 20 minutes, and then move on.

Workers in the store have just a small selection to choose from, so they bounce between the two options, and a variety of toppings such as mango or other fruits. The store manager told us that while the yogurt itself is very good, the healthy angle provides a better choice to ice cream stores for those trying to lose weight. He lost 20 pounds on the Pinkberry diet, giving up ice cream in trade for the frozen yogurt, he said. One serving (1 ounce has 25 calories).

If you care what Paris Hilton and Salma Hayek prefer, then you're in good company at Pinkberry. In Long Beach, the crowd seemed rather ordinary. Just people on the street stopping by for a sweet treat.  What is the secret ingredient?" Just authentic yogurt minus tons of sugar. It's light, with that very signature yogurt culture taste that those who eat authentic yogurt will recognize. Throughout California the Pinkberries will come. But who knows how long such a limited menu store and item will last? We'll find out.  Look for Pinkberry in Huntington Beach, Irvine's Fashion Island, The City Place in Santa Ana, The District in Tustin and Imperial Promenade in La Habra.

Pinkberry stores in California (it's a franchise) include: Belmont Shore, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Farmers Market, Korea Town, Larchmont, Long Beach, Los Feliz, Marina del Rey, Melrose, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Rolling Hills, Silverlake, South Beverly Hills, Studio City, Temecula, Topanga Mall, Valencia, Venice, West Hollywood, West LA, Westlake Village and Westwood. You can see there's a strong Los Angeles area/Southern California presence to this fast-growing chain that is expanding into New York and then, the world!



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