Monday, October 01, 2007

the big freeze.


i finally had my first pinkberry experience. we were driving through the westside on one of the hottest days in a while, and needed a bit of a respite, so we thought it was about time to check out the whole fro-yo or whatever pinkberry is thing. not really knowing where one was, i called information and asked for the shop, and when asked which location, i just named the street i was on, and the operator asked which of the three locations did i want? beverly hills? again, the operator: which of the two on the same street did i want? sheesh. overexpanding much? we picked a location--which was empty and about 15 degrees warmer inside than the already boiling midday--picked out our treats, and headed for the shade of a nearby park. i ended up with green tea topped with fresh raspberries, pineapple and (canned?) lychee, my cousin picked out plain with raspberries, kiwi, and granola. we were both surprised that neither were particularly tart, considering what we had read, and the flavour of the green tea was pretty non-existent. it was a disappointment flavourwise, and it melted far too quickly, but the iciness and fruit were very refreshing on a hot day. and dammit if i'm not craving the darned stuff despite its shortcomings. crackberry, indeed.

gwa-il bingsu

i have to say though, if i'm craving an icy treat on a warm day, i'd rather head on over to olympic for the korean version of the filipino halo-halo or hawaiian shave ice. it's called gwa-il bingsu, and generally consists of a hill of finely shaved ice, preserved sweet red beans, fresh fruit, and condensed milk. cake house makes a fine version with the red beans, condensed milk, fresh berries, canned fruit cocktail, and jelly candies, but if i have the time for tea and a bit of sit down, wien's version with red beans, kiwi, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, kinako (roasted soy flour), and ice cream instead of milk, really sort of hits the spot for me. i love the texture of the cellulosey grapes and watermelon against the snowy ice and gritty kinako, and the ice cream substitution keeps the whole thing from getting too soupy too quickly.


if you have a preference for either or, don't get confused by the similar names (wien's full name includes the phrase 'cake house'), addresses or phone numbers; cake house in on the westside, wien in koreatown to the east.

too many locations. time to thin the herd.

cake house
11301 w olympic blvd
la 90064.

google mapped!

3250 w olympic blvd
la 90006.

google mapped!


Jane said...

There's actually a whole bunch of new Pinkberries and Red Mangoes (imo better tasting, there's one on weyburn and westwood-ish in westwood) and various knockoffs. I think the same two pinkberries would be the bev hills/century city (mall) ones..they're technically both on santa monica blvd.

Anyway, if you're into bingsoo, Pinkberry actually has that on the menu. I've almost never seen anyone order it, but it's the almost identical thing..shaved ice, fruit, froyo (in lieu of ice cream), but I don't think there's any red beans.

That being said, I don't think cake house (also next to another pinkberry) or wien are particularly good with their bingsoo, but then again, I can't really name a place that sticks out in a good way. Plus it's really hard to screw it up..and cause it's so hard to make a dessert like this be memorable..shrug.

Anyway, militant angeleno wrote a series about "ethnic iced desserts" you can check out at if you're interested in anything similar.

santos. said...

hi jane! thanks for all the information. i didn't mention a location because, well, you could've had my experience in (theoretically) any of them. having said that, it will probably be a while before i look for another to test that out. my favourite frozen yogurt happens to be a container supermarket yogurt placed in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until partially crystallized but still pliable. cheap and in an ideal location :)
i haven't had bingsoo anywhere in los angeles besides the aforementioned places; i've seen it elsewhere, but they all looked comparatively anemic. these were the only ones that have tempted me so far; they are likely not the best out there or maybe even particularly good by your standards. (laughing) my standards are probably pretty low. i really like both, but for different reasons.

Cathy said...

I'd never heard of Pinkberry, but I see they have a few locations in NYC - one quite near Bob and Chuck. Is it worth a visit? I'll be there in November, though I'm not sure I'll be up for frozen yogurt in November and in New York!

santos. said...

hi cathy! i'd be interested in reading about your reaction to the taste/addictive quality to it, but i would wait. i like it better than a lot of commercially available stuff, but i don't often seek out frozen yogurt. i'd probably be happy with a knock-off. or nothing of the sort in new york in november! i would love it if you would go to jacques torres' shop or even get a cup of hot chocolate from mariebelle. mainly because i think you'll enjoy it but also so i can read about it and live vicariously through you :)

Acornbud said...

The pictures are very pretty (and so are those tomatoes over there on "scent". I love Dave's green tea ice cream the best so far. Of course I'm not very well traveled, heh.

Michelle said...

halo-halo! now you're talking. and hallo-hallo to you!

-K- said...

I don't get the pinkberry experience either. I do unfortunately get the gelato experience, especially the one(I forget its name) on Havenhurst, just north of Franklin.

santos. said...

hello mr. k, i'm totally with you on the gelato experience. is that hollywood gelato?

santos. said...

hello acornbud! my comment was swallowed in the ether somewhere....i like dave's green tea a lot--you're lucky you don't have to travel far to get it!

michelle, hallo-hallo to you too!

Dr.Gray said...

For green tea ice cream you really have to try something like this - green tea ice cream. Beats any store I have tried yet.