Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yogurtland: How NOT to be health conscious

I was the one who wanted to go there. It had been in my head for months. Or more specifically, ever since my friend Lauren described the massive cup of goodness she concocted with various types of fro-yo, like cheesecake and peanut butter, and various types of toppings, like Oreo cookies and yogurt chips. Her face was glowing as she confessed her sweet-tooth sins to me, and I was mesmerized. It sounded like a place where dreams come true -- like Charlie's Chocolate Factory! Or the See's Candy headquarters on La Cienega. I had to go and concoct my own massive cup of goodness, regardless of the potential belly bulge factor.

Months and months and months later (here's where the Notting Hill-esque seasons' changing montage comes in), my friend Joanne and I decided to finally find out what is behind all those four and five star reviews on Yelp. We made a Yogurtland date for last Tuesday evening, and met up at the bright like the sun yogurt shop (ie. hurts to look directly at it) at 3rd St. and La Brea around 8 pm. We had both had fish for dinner and felt totally justified in overindulging in massive amounts of self-serve fro-yo and toppings. Fish definitely negates dessert calories. Especially when said calories come in yogurt form. I mean, hello? Live and active cultures are like so the rage in maintaining a healthy immunity!

I arrived a few minutes before my friend, and spent the time photographing the exterior and dodging small rapid children on sugar-highs so I could peruse the twelve different flavor options available. I watched in horror as a pudgy eight-year-old boy grabbed the largest cup available and proceeded to fill it to the top with several different types of yogurt and toppings. His parents were non-pulsed. Their cups were just as big and just as full. To my right, a fairly trim and attractive couple moaned over their samples of the taro and vanilla wafer cookie flavors, before loading up their extra-large cups as well.

I was stunned. And, to be honest, a little repulsed. This wasn't Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (even though some of the patrons did resemble Augustus Gloop); this set-up seemed straight out of a scene in Wall-E -- human sloths devouring massive amounts of empty calories at the push of a button. Or more accurately, at the touch of a yogurt pump.

My friend walked in a few moments later and we gathered our sample cups and medium-sized cups (the smallest size available) to create our own versions of a Big Fat American dessert. Despite my disgust at the ostentatious displays of gluttony around me, I couldn't help but be sucked into a similar pattern of sloth-like behavior. I selected three different flavors -- cheesecake (my favorite of the bunch), taro root and vanilla wafer cookie; and then topped it with yogurt chips, mochi, graham cracker crumbs, and in a moment of weakness, cheesecake bites. Before I knew it I had rung up a $3.36 cup of yogurt. I too was guilty of being an Augustus Gloop.

My friend and I paid for our oversized treats and found a place to sit outside. We both commented that we didn't mean to take as much as we did, but it didn't stop either of us from scraping our bowls clean. When we were finished, I even had an urge to go back for more to take home with me. What had happened to the girl who is easily satisfied by two Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream bon bons, or a normal sized serving of Soy Creamy ice cream? At Yogurtland, she was no where to be found.

When the chill in the air started to get a little too chilly for my friend and my thin Southern California skins, we got up from our table to say our goodbyes. As I gave her a hug, two words painted on the inside wall of the yogurt shop caught my eye. "Health conscious." I couldn't help but laugh at the irony of the claim. After my overindulgent consumption, I felt anything but health conscious. I felt like a human sloth from Wall-E.

6 comments:

Esi said...

Sounds like a mix between the new fro-yo and the fro-yo from the 80s with new twists thrown in, but really good!

Kirby! said...

Oh my Gaaaaaaaah, I used to go to the Yogurtland on Hollywood a LOT before I realized how NOT good for you it was. At first, I didn't feel bad for getting a heaping medium-size cup because it's "low fat! And the live active cultures!!" But then you realize that dessert is dessert. And the toppings definitely don't help. I was also always totally appalled when I saw someone get the large cup. It's like a BIG GULP OF YOGURT. GRODY!!!!!!

But Yogurtland is still really delicious :) I just had to stop going there every other day....

Reeni♥ said...

This reminded me of Seinfeld. When they discover a fat-free yogurt that tastes amazing. After indulging many times they gain weight. They have the yogurt tested and it turns out not to be fat-free as claimed. Cheesecake, how could you resist?! It sounds really yummy.

K said...

You chose cheesecake flavours and still wanted to whine about the STORE not being health-conscious? You made that choice. There are much better ones in the store.

Spencer Walker said...

What a prude look at these swine for eating large portions get the broom handle out of your a&#3h and make me a sandwich

Spencer Walker said...

What a prude look at these swine for eating large portions get the broom handle out of your a&#3h and make me a sandwich