ok, i'm extremely particular and critical when it comes to yogurt, and i personally don't like any of the crap i've tried at all the other shops [with the exception of the plain tart yogurt at red mango in westwood, which i truly did enjoy]. i honestly wouldn't waste the calories on stinkberry even if someone gave it to me for free.
i read about sno:la a couple of days ago. it's a new shop in beverly hills, and i wanted to give it a try because they're completely green [even the spoons are biodegradable] and all their yogurt is organic. so off i went to beverly hills this afternoon, in search of frozen organic dairy bliss.
anyone who's familiar with the shopping district in beverly hills knows that street parking is an absolute nightmare. there is a city lot across the street from sno:la on beverly drive, but fortunately parking wasn't an issue for me today. i had to do some shopping at rite aid around the corner, so i parked there and walked over.
when i walked in, the shop was completely devoid of any other patrons, but there were four employees smiling at me from behind the counter. as one would expect, seeing as the place has only been open for a couple of days, it was incredibly clean. the color scheme and decor reminded me of red mango - deep, warm, earthy shades of green, brown, red...simple, modern, inviting...a huge departure from the visual assault on the senses a la stinkberry or its myriad imitators.
as i approached the counter, the first thing i noticed was how incredibly pristine and fresh the toppings looked. it turns out they come into the shop 3 hours before opening to prepare the fresh fruit! i don't ever get toppings on my yogurt, but on principle i give them bonus points for effort & display.
as for the yogurt, it's made with organic plain, nonfat yogurt and skim milk...and that's pretty much it for the ingredients in the plain tart flavor - it's not sweetened. they create the other flavors with the addition of nothing more than fruit purees and fruit juice concentrate, and cocoa for the chocolate.
ok,onto the tasting...
the first one i tried was the plain.
the flavor was nice, very mild. but i prefer a bit more tartness, and the texture was a little too icy for me, as i've found to be the case with most of these products.
the other flavors, however, are where this place really shines.
today they had pomegranate & mango, neither of which i tried, although one of the girls behind the counter said she loves the pomegranate. i'm a raging chocoholic, so i was curious about the chocolate. it was alongside sour cherry, and she recommended i try the 'chocolate cherry twist.'
ok, it's official. i HAVE discovered my frozen organic bliss.
this. stuff. ROCKS.
its a purist's dream. the flavors are so clean and true!
the sour cherry has the perfect level of acidity and tartness, with just the slightest hint of sweetness.
and the chocolate? oh my. deep, dark, rich. truly decadent. their recipes are 'secret' so they won't reveal what brand of cocoa powder they use in there, but it's probably better that way because if i knew, i'd be tempted to buy some and snort or mainline the stuff. fair warning that this is not for the faint of heart. if you prefer milk chocolate to dark, this will likely be much too rich for you. however, for all you dark chocolate fans, one bite of this and you'd swear they blended high-quality dark chcolate directly into the yogurt.
as for the texture...while i thought the plain flavor was too icy, the chocolate and cherry were much creamier. the cherry wasn't quite perfect, but it was close. and the chocolate seriously had the mouthfeel of premium soft-serve. perfectly creamy, and so dense!
speaking of dense, compared to all the other frozen yogurt shops in town, this place is a veritable bargain with a capital B. i ordered a small, with no toppings, and when i asked how many ounces it was, she told me six. i picked up that environmentally friendly cup, and let me tell you, it was HEAVY. i can safely say there were at least eight gloriously dreamy ounces packed in there, if not more.
and the price?
a whopping TWO BUCKS.
yep, you heard me right. $2 for a HUGE serving of what is, without a doubt, the best frozen yogurt i've had in this country in years. [i think the plain might have been even cheaper than the swirl, but i was so distracted by my chocolate cherry treat that i forgot to check again before i left.]
thank goodness i don't live in beverly hills anymore, or my waistline would be in serious trouble. [yeah, i know, it's nonfat. but as so many people in our increasingly overweight society seem to have forgotten, calories DO count. and they can add up rather quickly, regardless of the source!]
244 north beverly drive [between dayton & wilshire]