Nunzio Donato Ciaraulo and his wife, Cristina, curate a menu of Old World dishes hailing all corner of Italy, from Venetian-style risotto to coils of tomato-kissed Neapolitan pastas. Though the offerings change regularly, diners can count on classics such as pizzas and pastas joined by a revolving assortment of roasted pork, tender veal, cooked-to-order steaks, and simmering seafood. Sweet teeth applaud louder than an ice-cream truck with subwoofers when they see the dessert menu, which lists traditional mealtime denouements including tiramisu, cannoli, and sorbets.
From foodies to celebrities to trend watchers, the buzz around Pinkberry has been sweeping the world. Excitement was high from the very beginning, when in 2005 Pinkberry opened its first store in West Hollywood, California. The demand for the swirls of yogurt was so great that Pinkberry was dubbed "the taste that launched 1,000 parking tickets" by the Los Angeles Times. Undeterred by parking regulations, people were drawn in by their cravings for the yogurt, the abundance of toppings, the bright and energetic store design, and the kind smiles of the staff. With more than 220 locations in 18 countries, Pinkberry is now one of the most-talked-about premium frozen yogurts in the world.
Starting with a base of nonfat, hormone-free milk and nonfat yogurt, Pinkberry's artisans incorporate live, active cultures into the mix to create a healthy, refreshing treat. The original yogurt is always available, but staffers also swirl seasonal flavors throughout the year, such as strawberry, cookies 'n' cream, and cherry. The selection of fresh fruit also rotates with the seasons and is cut daily in each store. Other toppings, such as honey-almond granola, dark-chocolate crisps, swirl pearls, and italian caramel, allow customers to create an inspired flavor combination every visit.
Western Bagel has captured local tongues and breadbaskets since first exporting its circular treats to the bagel-barren West Coast 63 years ago. The freshly baked dough-discs cover a wide range of flavors and styles. Recruit a seasoned trio of sesame, poppy seed, and everything varieties from the stable of original recipes and erect a fort by spackling them with rich cream cheese. Meanwhile, each of the six alternative selections, all nearly fat-free and 110 calories, pack a flavorful punch without fostering paunch.
Consuming between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day can seem like a daunting task. But Robeks turns what could be a chore into a delicious pastime with fresh juices and blended smoothies incorporating oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and other fresh fruits. Elsewhere on the menu, tasty protein muffins, vegan cookies, power bars, and wheatgrass and lemon-ginger shots help customers adhere to a healthy lifestyle without hiring an apple tree as a personal trainer.
It started as a simple idea shared by two moms. Karen Bain and Lisa Kudrika wanted to make their favorite dessert, shave ice, “hip and trendy,” according to 805 Living magazine. So when they opened Shave It—which recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Tarzana location—they made sure to express their sense of style with chic interior design inspired by water, ice, and snow. Inside the shop, blue plexiglass hangs like icicles over steel tables and chairs. Flat-screen TVs broadcast shots of surfers and snowboarders, and a colorful floor changes design with every step.
Each cup of fluffy shave ice comes drenched with fruity “flavas” flown in from Hawaii, such as mango, guava, or green tea, or a combination, such as root beer ice over vanilla ice cream. Beyond the storefront, Shave It also purveys the frozen concoctions on the go, thanks to a mobile truck that is often spotted at beaches and parks, unless its cloaking device is turned on. They also donate a percentage of their sales to their foster-child foundation, Foster a Miracle.
If you can't find something to top your frozen Xogurt among the fresh fruit chunks and baked goodies at SweetXO's full toppings bar, it's not that big of a deal. Because you'll definitely find something you like in one of the store's more than 200 candy bins.
SweetXO, one part old-fashioned candy store, one part modern yogurt bar with 18 different flavors, lets customers loose in the candy-store portion to find the exact sweet they're looking for to complete their fro-yo creation. At the counter, its sweets-makers also peddle baked goods, such as soft, oven-fresh cookies and brownies that come in six different varieties.