Shopping mall snack bars come and go. I don’t pay much attention to food court eateries and mall kiosks mainly because I’m not a shopper. But recently I heard about a stand called Enjoyer inside the Glendale Galleria serving organic Lithuanian popsicles. I checked it out and found more than one new food gem.
To be clear, the popsicles themselves aren’t Lithuanian, but Enjoyer’s founders, Paulius and Virginijus, are Lithuanian natives. They bring a handcrafted sensibility to their chilly treats. Fruits and other organic ingredients come from local farmers’ markets. Each popsicle is handmade in an East Los Angeles kitchen 48 hours before being placed in the Galleria display case. They stay there no longer than a couple days.
Paul, as he likes to be called, is earnest about making the best product he can. The flavors evolve according to personal and public response. Samples of all the flavors are free to try. After enjoying chunks of the mango, cheesecake with nuts, and dark chocolate flavors, I finally decided on a pistachio gelato popsicle. A deep green color, the natural, nutty taste combined well with the smooth, rich ice cream. The husband opted for the passionfruit sorbet popsicle. Fantastically tangy, it boasts 70% fruit. The texture on both was perfect, soft enough to bite into but hard enough to hold together all the way down to the popsicle stick.
Why the name Enjoyer? According to Paul, their motto is: 70% Fruit + 30% Smile = 5 minutes of Joy. Come by the stand near JCPenney and try a chocolate-dipped coconut, an organic strawberry, or maybe a “Whatever.” They’re low-ish in calories, all natural (except for the blue vanilla for the kids) and just $4. That’s a decent deal for five minutes of joy.
Two other eateries also opened recently in the Galleria. Green Crush, a Southern California mini-chain, is making quite a splash. Social media savviness is part of the attraction, but these drinks are really refreshing. Here again, mall shoppers can stop by and try free samples of their various agua fresca-like concoctions. The colorful, icy creations lined up in oversized glass barrels with all manner of fruits and some vegetables floating in them look irresistible to start with. The cooling sips are icing on the cake.
But it was their signature drink, the Picante Mango, that sold me. A spiral of thin mango slices dipped in a spicy-sweet mixture similar to Tajin seasoning grace the top of a tall cup. You eat one in between sips of the icy, spicy mango-water mixture underneath, a drink that miraculously gets better as the ice melts. It seemed to last me two hours, making Green Crush’s Picante Mango ($6) a good choice for walking the mall.
When you finally do get hungry, consider stopping in at the new Bibigo in the Galleria food court. It’s your standard build-your-own-Asian-bowl place but this time with Korean flavors. There’s the rice or noodle base and the grilled meat (such as bulgogi or spicy pork). The sides and sauces are unique: mixed beans, kimchi, pickled Asian slaw along with the spicy KoHot, citron soy and sesame sauces. I recommend piling on the sesame seeds, crispy garlic and seaweed toppings. You can even add a fried egg for one dollar, although they look a little scary sitting, pre-cooked, on a griddle.
Bowls are $7.95 plus tax. Don’t bother with the hot stone bowl for $1 extra. It’s nowhere near as fresh as a sizzling hot pot at a Korean restaurant, but it’s a healthy choice for mall food.
What: Enjoyer, Green Crush and Bibigo
Where: Glendale Galleria, 100 W. Broadway, Glendale
LISA DUPUY welcomes comments at LDupuy@aol.com.