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.