Posts Tagged ‘diamond head cove health bar’

Açai in Ha-wa-ii – Part I

August 1, 2008

Part I | Part II

With the hot summer months upon us, there’s no better way to cool off than with an ice cold, refreshing treat. And since we’ve already covered some of the more popular shave ice joints across the state why not go with the latest health trend in Ha-wa-ii… Açai!?

Açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), is a small, berry-like fruit that grows on the Açai Palm native to the rainforests of Central and South America. Most popular in Brazil (cumprimentos!), it is widely known to be an uber healthy superfruit, carrying with it powerful antioxidants, amino acids and essential fibers and fatty acids. Heck, Oprah even gives it the thumbs up, and we all know that her word is gospel. *grin*

Today, you can find Açai all over Hawaii (and the United States for that matter) in juices, frozen fruit bars, vitamin supplements, chocolates, and most commonly in frozen smoothies known as an Açai cup or bowl. This month, we’ll explore the places around Oahu that serve up this special treat. Excelente!

Blue Hawaii Lifestyle

Located on the second floor of the new Nordstrom wing of Ala Moana Center, this health specialty store doubles as a juice bar/café, serving packaged foods, coffees, teas, fresh-made juices and even books and music.

Blue Hawaii Lifestyle products
Blue Hawaii Lifestyle products

For $6.75, you can enjoy their Small Açai Bowl topped with bananas, berries, honey and granola ($8.75 for the regular size), which, incidentally is their number one seller.

Ed’s Tip: Unless you’re a monstah eater, a small bowl should suffice as a snack for two peeps.

Small Açai Bowl topped with bananas, berries, honey - $6.75
Small Açai Bowl topped with bananas, berries, honey – $6.75

The presentation was just as good as the taste. Loved the use of fresh fruits and their surplus of granola!

According to PR point person Matt Olson and founder/CEO Michael Zhang, Blue Hawaii LifeStyle plans to expand to mainland China by the fourth quarter of 2009. “Beginning in Shanghai’s Xintiandi Shopping Center, we will continue the expansion to Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, bringing our concept of the active, healthy lifestyle found here in Hawaii to a new demographic.”

A great way to start guys…

Blue Hawaii Lifestyle
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 2312
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
Tel: (808) 949-0808
Floor Map of Ala Moana: Flash | PDF
Monday-Saturday 8:30AM-9PM, Sunday 9AM-7PM

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

This surf-vibed, smoothie/salad bar is located on Monsarrat Ave and features an assortment of smoothies, juices, salads and wraps.

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar
Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

Most of their ingredients are local, including the fresh fish used in their salad and wraps. They also serve traditional organic Hawaiian Awa, three types of Açai treats (which is why we’re here! 😛 ) and have live music on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

But enough about that… let’s get to the Açai baby! They have three of ’em (two bowls and one smoothie), which includes the Da Cove Bowl (Açai, Bananas, Strawberries, Granola & honey for $7.50), the Mana Cove Bowl (Açai, Bananas, Strawberries, Blueberries, Granola, Beepollen & Honey for $9.25), and the Açai Smoothie (Açai Bananas, Strawberries, Mixberries for $7).

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar inside menu
Diamond Head Cove Health Bar inside menu

A slight word of caution. There may be some discrepancies between the menu outside and the menu inside (which I hope they’ve fixed by now), so inquire within. Based on what I read inside, I was hoping to get “Mixberries” with my Da Cove Bowl, but was disappointed when it didn’t have any. On the way out, I read the board outside which did not list any berry besides strawberries (twice!).

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar outside menu
Diamond Head Cove Health Bar outside menu

The presentation wasn’t the greatest, likely due to the mad rush (see below), but the taste was pretty good nonetheless. It probably could’ve used a little more granola and a little less honey though.

Da Cove Bowl (Açai, Bananas, Strawberries, Granola & honey) - $7.50
Da Cove Bowl (Açai, Bananas, Strawberries, Granola & honey) – $7.50

Ed’s Tip: Try to avoid the peak times here. Besides the very limited parking situation outside, they can get really busy up in hurr. We came when there was a big crowd and a shift change taking place, so they actually forgot/misplaced our order. 😦

Diamond Head Cove
3045 Monsarrat Ave #5
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 (map)
Tel: (808) 732-8744
kava@diamondheadcove.com
Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu: 10AM-Midnight (kitchen closes at 10PM) – Live Music (Awa Nights)
Mon, Fri, Sat: 10am-8PM (kitchen closes at 7PM)

Jamba Juice

And finally… what’s a discussion about Açai without a mention of the mother of all smoothie hotspots: Jamba Juice!?

Jamba Juice Mililani
Jamba Juice Mililani

Introduced statewide right after Christmas last year, Jamba Juice’s Açai Cup is blended with pure Açai concentrate and soymilk, combined with bananas, strawberries and blueberries, and topped with organic granola and fresh bananas.

Açai Cup topped with fresh bananas (Brazilian Açai juice, soymilk, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, also topped with organic granola) - $5.25 for the sixteen ounce / $6.25 for the original size
Açai Cup topped with fresh bananas (Brazilian Açai juice, soymilk, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, also topped with organic granola) – $5.25 for the sixteen ounce / $6.25 for the original size

Here’s a close-up of the actual Açai portion of the smoothie:

Close-up of Jamba Juice's Açai Cup
Close-up of Jamba Juice’s Açai Cup

Here’s the much prettier, PR version of the Açai Cup. Dayem, those photographers are gooood! 🙂

Açai Cup ad (photo courtesy Jamba Juice Hawaii)
Açai Cup ad (photo courtesy Jamba Juice Hawaii)

My first exposure to the sweet Brazilian treat was actually via Jamba Juice’s Açai Cup. After tasting the way the other places do it though, I’m secretly hoping that they start drizzling honey over the top of theirs one day. 🙂

Jamba recently added two new drinks to their “Meal in a Cup” lineup: the Hawaiian Açai Cup, which blends Açai concentrate, mangos and guava juice and topped with organic granola and fresh bananas (Sixteen $5.25/Original $6.25), and the Chunky PB ‘n Jamba, a thick blend of soymilk, vanilla yogurt, organic peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries & organic granola and then topped with more blueberries (Twelve $4.50/Sixteen $5.25).

Ad for the Chunky PB 'n Jamba and the Hawaiian Açai Cup (photo courtesy Jamba Juice Hawaii)
Ad for the Chunky PB ‘n Jamba and the Hawaiian Açai Cup (photo courtesy Jamba Juice Hawaii)

The Hawaiian Acai is a spin-off of the original Acai Cup substituting guava juice and mangos instead of soymilk, blueberries and strawberries. The Chunky PB `n Jamba is a continuation to the delicious Chunky Strawberry which replaces the bananas with blueberries.

I know it’s not Açai, but since I got it recently, here’s a closeup of the Chunky PB ‘n Jamba FYI.

Chunky PB 'n Jamba closeup
Chunky PB ‘n Jamba closeup

Chunky Strawberry is the final “Meal in a Cup” drink in their arsenal. It blends strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, soymilk, and organic granola and is topped with fresh bananas (Sixteen $5.25/Original $6.25).

Ed’s Tip: Stick with the traditional Açai Cup. My cubicle mate and I have both tried the Hawaiian Açai and though it’s good, we still prefer the original da bes’!

Since everyone’s probably already been to Jamba at least once in their lives, I had to inquire within to find a gem for you valued readers. One little undiscovered morsel that will come in handy next time we all go.

Enter Marketing Director Sheri Rigg. “One thing customers may not know is that ANY smoothie on the menu can be customized to their taste preferences, nutritional needs, etc. They can swap out fruits in the recipe, change the consistency of the smoothie (e.g. make it thicker), or add ingredients or nutritional boosts. All the new products mentioned above include organic granola made with flax and pumpkin seed. Customers really LOVE the granola and can top any smoothie with this granola or have it blended within to create a thicker consistency. Topping their favorite smoothie with additional fruit is also delicious!”

Sounds like a little “Have It Your Way” action if you ask me. Yes, I know that’s another company’s slogan, but you catch my drift. I think I’m gonna try that next time. I’m gonna customize my Açai cup with more blueberries, less strawberries. And maybe I’ll bring a bottle of my own honey. 🙂

Jamba Juice Hawaii
Numerous Locations (store locator)

Well, that’s it for part 1. Next month, we’ll hit up Lanikai Juice, Jewel or Juice and Wedding Café for more from the world of Açai in Ha-wa-ii. Adeus!

Part I | Part II

Recap of UFC, Affliction, Dream Weekend

July 21, 2008

Happy Manic Monday Errone. Another big weekend in MMA. Did y’all catch it? Let’s recap shall we?

UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Irvin (Fight Card)
Rory Markham continues his success with a Rashad Evans-esque roundhouse knockout of Brodie Farber. CB Dollaway tricks us all with a unique (but self-proclaimed favorite) Peruvian necktie choke on Jesse Taylor (I wanna try that one!). The latest rumor is that Taylor is close to being kicked out of the UFC (again) after disparaging remarks he made about Quinton Rampage Jackson’s latest troubles. Good for him if that is the case. Two strikes and you’re out if you ask me. I was surprised that Kevin Burns lasted as long as he did against a beast like Anthony Johnson, let alone win by TKO over him. Granted the eyepoke caused it, but like Johnson said in his post fight interview, give it up for Burns. Cain Velasquez put Jake O’Brien in a crucifix arms to stop him, while Frankie Edgar showed that he only has one gear (forward) over his decision win over Hermes Franca. Brandon Vera looked very unimpressive over a decision win over Reese Andy (I thought he would walk through him), and finally… the main event! Anderon Silva does it again! We all knew his technical skills would pick apart the brawler in James Irvin, but 1:01 in the first round? WOW! That straight right after catching Irvin’s kick was so short and compact, but the fact that it had enough power behind it to knock Irvin down, woah! I can’t think of anyone who will be able to beat Silva besides Silva.

Affliction Banned (Fight Card)
Paul Buentello looked unimpressive yet again against an out of shape, last minute addition in Gary Goodridge. Was really looking forward to seeing watching Aleksander Emelianenko too! 😦 Vitor Belfort looked like the Vitor of old and really impressed in his decisive knockout of Terry Martin. Edwin Dewees was overmatched, as expected against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Mike Pyle impressed against a green JJ Ambrose. Renato Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead and Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao were snoozers. I didn’t expect that from Lindland. Until this point, it looked like Affliction was a bust (boring as heck). And then… Josh Barnett surprised with an uncharacteristic knockout (jumping left hook) of Pedro Rizzo. Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell was a snoozer until the Andrei of old showed up at the end of the second and then into the third when he knocked out Big Ben. And then… HOLY COW! Fedor Emelianenko answered all questions about his #1 ranking when he just ran through Tim Sylvia with a flurry of punch combinations and then a modified rear naked choke using his forearm! W-O-W! Bring on Couture!

Dream 5 (Fight Card)
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto’s injury was unfortunate, but the show sure did go on. Eddie Alvarez impressed again in a gritty knockout of a tough, game Tatsuya Kawajiri, but suffered an eye injury (from a right cross) in the process. He almost made a critical mistake by thinking Kawajiri was done, but jumped in to finish the job after the referee told him to keep going. Did you see that insanely quick triangle lockup of Caol Uno compliments of Shinya Aoki! Jeez! That was lightning quick and I just had to rewind that like 5 times to watch it carefully! It almost looked like he let Uno out of the guard to set that up. But how about Uno’s heart? That triangle was TIGHT! I cheered when he got out of it! LOL! Joachim Hansen‘s arm-bar submission victory over the Black Mamba (Kultar Gill) set the stage for his path to the final. Urijah Faber’s protégé Joseph Benavidez made quick work of Kodo, while Hideo Tokoro stopped Takeshi Yamazaki in the second. That Tokoro guy impresses me with his speed and athleticism. Kuniyoshi Hironaka split open Motoki Miyazawa‘s forehead with a straight right, causing the doctor to stop the fight, while Yoshihiro Akiyama used his gi to his advantage to choke out Katsuyori Shibata from the top. Alistair Overeem proved he is a star in the making with an impressive arm lock over an out of shape Mark Hunt. Hansen’s straight left from the top found it’s mark on Aoki’s chin as he jumped on to finish the job. Aoki cried as usual, but you could really feel the pain from Alvarez’s tears during his speech. You know the Alvarez Hansen 2 matchup will be a good one. As a fan, I also want to see the Alvarez Aoki matchup some time in the future.

Talk to me!
Whatchu think? Were my observations pretty accurate or ya got something to say? Holla atcho boy! 🙂 Have a good week all!

And finally… For those non-MMA fans out there, here’s a snap from yet another Acai Bowl I’m enjoying on this Acai quest, this time from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar off Monsarrat. Look for the first in my two part series on the first of the month at AroundHawaii.com!

Da Cove Bowl from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar
Da Cove Bowl from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar