Squid Ink Drink Fight: Battlefield Urth, Blendy Vs. Smoothie
A smoothie, when you think about it, is a remarkably unappetizing name for something you're going to put inside your mouth. A smoothie doesn't sound like a refreshing fruit beverage, but rather, something that happens after a night of heavy drinking and copious amounts of Pakistani curry. So for today's fight, we're going to try to coin the term blendy, which sounds not only more appetizing, but more accurate as well. To drink them, we went to two cafés known for having patrons who are annoyingly skinny, wear fedoras and sunglasses indoors, and spend all afternoon talking about their screenplays: Coral Tree and Urth.
A blendy from Urth Caffe
We decided to opt for the simple and seasonally appropriate strawberry and banana blendy. (See? It's working already.) We asked the guy behind the counter what was in it. "Just fruit." "No juice?" "No. Just fruit." Okay, so as it was a fresh fruit drink, and very cold, we can only assume that ice was also involved. It was an enjoyable beverage though, using good quality strawberries. Personally, we would have preferred a little more acidity to balance out the sweetness, and would not have been at all opposed to the addition of orange juice.
Coral Tree's attempt at the strawberry banana blendy
Coral Tree's menu listed a strawberry banana smoothie without much further description. A few minutes later, we were handed our pink beverage and counter guy the same question we asked the last one. "Strawberries, banana, ice, yogurt and vanilla syrup." To be honest, these are somewhat jarring omissions from the menu description, as it's a little odd not to list dairy, let alone vanilla syrup. The beverage was wildly disappointing, tasting uncomfortably sweet, like a large cup of melted strawberry ice cream. Needless to say, this sort of action is precisely how you lose a Squid Ink Drink Fight. So congratulations to Urth Cafe. Tell Jeremy Piven we said hi.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.