Monday, July 21, 2008

Red Mango : Palo Alto

Like a pipe with too many G.I. Joe toys stuck in it, I'm ridiculously backlogged with restaurant experiences. And while I usually like to operate in a chronological first-in-first-out manner, to expedite things, I'm going to get through a few recent experiences to flush my pipes so to speak.

I think it's fitting that I start things off with a day where my schedule was so scrambled that it was a day of dessert before dinner. Specifically frozen yogurt from Red Mango.

Red Mango apparently started this whole South Korean frozen yogurt trend. If you haven't heard of what I speak of, this old NYTimes article does a good job of setting the scene of how Red Mango, Pinkberry and the various competitors got started and the initial furor that occurred when Pinkberry first hit U.S. soil. For some further reading on the intense competition and copycat behavior between the major players, check out this Eater article.

What's strange about Pinkberry and Red Mango is that even though they started off in LA and later opened up locations in New York, they've taken an incredibly long time to make a presence in the SF area. This Red Mango in Palo Alto currently is the only Red Mango in the area. There is another one scheduled to open up in Cupertino, but there are none in or scheduled for San Fran proper. There is also no Pinkberrys in this area. I'm not quite sure why; perhaps it's because SF isn't quite as trend-driven as LA and NYC?

In any case, this was my first time trying Red Mango and I must admit I was a touch let down. What I like about Pinkberry is that it doesn't taste like the American yogurts; its tartness is more reminiscent of yogurts in Asia or Europe and together with the coldness, Pinkberry yogurt makes my mouth pucker, but in a strangely good and addictive way. Meanwhile, Red Mango's yogurt really just tastes as if Yoplait found a way to get their yogurt in a soft-serve type form (okay maybe a bit better quality yogurt, but still). And while this may match someone with a really conservative American palette, this yogurt is as exciting to me as buying groceries at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Ugh.

Red Mango
429 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA (map)
(650) 324-1811‎
($Dessert, $Korean, $SF)


  1. do you know of any fro yo places in philly? thanks

  2. I don't. Usually these fro yo places are around Chinatown/Koreatown areas and none of the major yogurt players to my knowledge had made it out to Phili just yet, although there's a possibility that some of the bubble-tea places in Chinatown have some sort of version. Your best bet is to hop on over to New York and try one of the many stores there (Check out NYtimes map)

  3. There's apparently a place on South St called Phileo: See for details. I haven't yet had a chance to try it out.