Until we moved to Los Angeles, frozen yogurt made us think of youth and summer: cardboard cones, vanilla peaks dripping into puddles that dried stickier than Velcro, and swims to wash away the stickiness. Now, we think of tart acai berry-pomegranate swirls, shiny pharmacy-clean counters, gleaming batteries of self-serve spigots, oceans of colorful toppings, scales, weird space age plastic chairs, and free Wi-Fi. Frozen yogurt has come a long way.
Thankfully, there is a yogurt shop hugging approximately half of this city's more yuppified street corners, so we don't have to actually travel a long way to put it in our face. This week, temporarily car-less and steaming in our hot apartment, we decided to enjoy a yogurt-y experience at three yogurt chains within walking distance of our abode. We didn't go to the best places in town, we are sure, but we were limited to foot-power. Turn the page...
Yogurtland (310 South La Brea Ave.): We see this one a lot when we aren't getting around via feet. The toppings bar isn't so expansive that it stresses you out. The "tart" variety was actually tart--rich and tangy without any chalkiness. The non-"tart" flavors were too sweet. While we were waiting to weigh our cup, a little boy got his hair stuck to the drippy mouth of the chocolate syrup pump. That was gross, although not the store's fault or, for that matter, the boy's. This location is next to a gym where absurdly muscular people and their less muscular trainees stand around and take turns hanging from bars and picking up heavy stuff. We'll just have the yogurt and a spot of shade, thanks. Tart and mango with Captain Crunch.
Yogurt Beyond (5273 West Olympic Blvd.): This place was weird. As with the chocolate sauce incident, it wasn't the place's fault, even though the many-colored sign is totally bonkers and the name a little perplexing when you consider all the clever things you can do with the word "yogurt" and its abbreviations. No one was there when we arrived and the person behind the counter just stared at us and grinned. Back up, man, we're making big decisions here -- like whether or not to top soft-serve with bits of Butterfinger or Kit-Kat. This yogurt was okay too. Please note that okay doesn't mean sublime. Caramel, cafe au lait, and original tart with three little cubes of cheesecake.
Nubi Yogurt (6060 West Olympic Blvd.): This joint takes the cheesecake for its furniture designed to make you feel like you're in a futuristic cantina. On the other hand, the pink grapefruit yogurt tasted like medicine, and not the good kid-friendly kind. All the fruit stuff was off. Though relatively cloying, the pistachio passed muster. But seeing as it's closest to our house, we'll be back. Pistachio and tart with miniature chocolate chips.