Yogurtland - Irvine
The Irvine Yogurtland finally opened today and it's much too cute -- as if Hello Kitty threw up on a Jamba Juice. Designed with a chic feminine aesthetic, it is crisply painted in muted pastels and incorporates over-sized, softly-focused glamour shots of fruit.
The furnishings are by IKEA, and in the middle of the room, vertical panes of stenciled glass grow out of the floor and into the ceiling. They separate the space in two and await some poor sap with fro-yo tunnel vision to run right into the see-through surface like a disoriented bird into a window. This is a decorative element full of slapstick-comedy potential; but one that makes this Yogurtland the prettiest, little frozen yogurt shop in Orange County.
Evidently, with the money so well-spent on the interior designer, none was left over for a proofreader. On a large plate glass plaque etched with verbiage extolling the virtues of yogurt, spelling slip-ups, grammatical gaffes, and embarrassing "Engrish" run rampant. A copy editor would be reduced to tears, but we were more than slightly amused as we saw it on our way to the yogurt machines.
There are eight machines in all, located at the back of the store, inset behind a green tiled wall, and invisible save for their spouts, which output sixteen different flavors. And as this is essentially a yogurt buffet, our journey begins at the first one with a styrofoam or plastic cup.
But before dispensing, we start by surveying the options first. The reason? A more enticing flavor will be inevitably found further down the line, and we want plenty of vacant space in our cup to allow for it.
Like many post-Pinkberry yogurt stands, fresh fruit, nuts, and cereal await at the next stop after pouring: the topping station. I choose chopped mango and strawberry to crown my self-styled plain yogurt/blueberry/mango frozen treat.
It is my opinion that fresh fruit is a better complement to yogurt than those macerated, syrupy preserves found at fro-yo joints established in the pre-Pinkberry era. In fact, it's not a stretch to say that it is one of the reasons for Pinkberry's success.
Finally, when I'm good and ready, the last stop is the weighing station and payment, where I will be charged $0.30 for every ounce of yogurt and topping.
I average between $2 to $3 for a serving of dessert that more than satisfies, and with less hype than Pinkberry. Close to home, this Yogurtland will be my go-to frogurt stand; girly-decor and bad grammar notwithstanding.
To read my post on the Fullerton Yogurtland:
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14775 Jeffrey Road, Suite J
Irvine, CA 92618