Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Chain Review: Yalla Mediterranean

Fro-yo girl here. The race is on to be the next Mediterranean version of Chipotle. Yalla is a new concept from the owners of Daphne's California Greek chain. Yalla launched in Pleasant Hill in 2014 and now has 7 locations in the Bay Area and Southern California. They have that assembly line where you choose your style/base and choose your protein, sauces and toppings. Choose a wrap, salad, or plate. Then pick a protein (falafel, shawarma, kabobs), add sides, toppings and sauces. 

I won’t go into too much detail about the food since what I really care about is their Greek frozen yogurt. The Greek frozen yogurt set up reminds me of SF’s Souvla. They use the same Carpigiani machine, offer only one flavor (plain), and offer similar Greek toppings.

The yogurt is apparently a “special house recipe.” It’s available with honey, chocolate or sour cherry sauce for $2.25 or with chopped baklava or chocolate pita crumbles for $2.95. It’s a small portion but good for dessert.

How was it? Souvla’s Greek frozen yogurt is definitely better in terms of flavor and texture; it's creamy, smooth and tastes like yogurt. Yalla’s frozen yogurt is smooth but icy and it tastes like original tart yogurt. Yalla's sour cherry syrup isn’t very sour but it’s very good with yogurt.

The frozen yogurt was disappointing and the food was as well. Their hummus was so salty. The falafel was salty too. But Chipotle is also a sodium bomb, so maybe people will like their extra salty food.

I’m hoping that San Francisco's Souvla or GRK opens in SoCal one day. Or maybe Spitz will add froyo. GRK, which got its start in NYC, recently opened a location in Dubai but they aren't present on the West Coast yet.

* YALLA: 3141 Mowry Ave., Fremont, CA 94538

3.5 out of 5 stars

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at http://internationalfrozenyogurt.com/. The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

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