Love Hello Kitty? Love froyo? Then you'll probably be as giddy as a preteen Japanese schoolgirl to discover that Yogurtland has paired up with Sanrio to debut their co-branded merchandise set for release beginning tomorrow through Labor Day weekend. All your favorite characters -- Hello Kitty, Tuxedo Sam and Badtz-Maru (not that we know them by heart or anything) -- will be there in person to take pictures and sign autographs for fans on July 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Yogurtland in Universal CityWalk.
The day after Tax Day, Los Angeles residents will do two things. Galvanized by the promise of impending refunds, some will start throwing cash around. Crushed beneath the weight of checks they just mailed off, others will batten down the hatches, crafting new family budgets, vowing to spend less on even the little things -- like avocado on a burger and those midafternoon froyo snacks. Thankfully, the day after Tax Day, somewhere in Los Angeles, a little thing -- specifically, that froyo -- will be free. According to this Twitter feed, the travellin' Ben & Jerry's truck will be breezing through L.A. on April 16.
In honor of National Frozen Yogurt Day, you can get free frozen yogurt today from 4 to 7 p.m. at any Yogurtland. The popular serve-yourself froyo chain is also offering one-day-only special-edition collector spoons and cups. Expect long lines -- even longer than usual. Find a full list of locations here.
The owner of a local frozen yogurt shop is accused of luring an employee into a storage room, knocking her unconscious, removing all her clothes and then stuffing her into a soundproof box early last Wednesday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the woman said she woke up face down wearing only an adult diaper and a collar but managed to undo the tape that bound her and escape to a nearby optometrists's office, where the police were called. Robert Yanchen Lee, the 37 year-old owner of O' My Yogurt in Alhambra, was apprehended by noon that day.
Frozen yogurt is a fairly low calorie treat that can be consumed by pretty much anyone, even the dairy-free. It's been altered in so many ways to meet dietary restrictions that we're not even sure if some variations can still be considered froyo. But even in cold weather (does 50 degrees count?) you can spot Bigg Chill, in a strip mall on the corner of Westwood and Olympic Boulevards, by its long lines and frantic customers fighting over spots in the dinky parking lot. The 20-year-old shop is a favorite for locals, but there's a newbie in town, Frost, which opened a few months ago down the street. Frost has more flavors, toppings and gelato than the West L.A. staple, but does the yogurt match up?
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...
While fro-yo pioneer Pinkberry has experienced a chill in the Los Angeles market over the past year or so (the West Hollywood, Venice, Hollywood and Los Feliz locations have all closed), two of its imitators are making inroads: Yogurtland and Menchie's.
Yogurtland improved on Pinkberry's model by charging less, adding more toppings and flavors (many of them noxiously far from plain yogurt) and allowing customers to serve themselves, then charging them by the ounce. The customization has proven to be a crowd-pleaser.
Located in the Melrose District, on the corner of Fuller and Melrose Avenue, Yogo self-serve frozen yogurt is the only Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) certified, Cholov Yisroel kosher yogurt shop in Los Angeles. And judging by the little kids wearing yarmulkes, jumping around the store, grabbing at the toppings counter, the word is out, at least in the local Jewish community. Open since April, the family-owned business is expanding with two more locations: one on Fairfax and Santa Monica Boulevard, set to open next week, and the other in the Pico/Robertson area, which will open in about a month. "It's Cholov Yisroel," explains Sassan Rafail, one of the four owners. "That's the Ferrari of kosher."
In a symbolic close, the original West Hollywood Pinkberry store that kicked off the national froyo craze -- and came to be affectionately known as "Crackberry" -- stopped swirling last week. The location will be transformed into a "Pinkberry Support Center" for the brand.
The original Pinkberry store, located on Huntley Dr. and Santa Monica Blvd., not only famously proved how far one will go for a cup of froyo, but also had West Hollywood in a frenzy over the traffic the small store was bringing into the neighborhood.
Although Pinkberry reps cite the notorious scarcity of parking spaces and the volume of close by locations as reasons for the original location closing its doors, the momentous close may be suggestive of a bigger trend.