For the health food fanatic
Aloha Aina Juice Cafe, Puhi
Even though açaí bowls are ubiquitous in Hawaii, they actually got their start on a whole other continent, in Brazil. According to Aloha Aina Juice Cafe owner Misha Taylor, Hawaii's residents adopted açaí bowls after Brazilian surfers migrated to the islands in search of the best waves. Because the focus in an açaí bowl is fresh fruit, it was a perfect match for tropical, local fruits: think passion fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple, and papaya.
When Taylor opened her juice cafe, she wanted to focus on local flavors: “I really wanted to have an emphasis on Hawaiian-grown produce,” she says. “When my oldest daughter and I were brainstorming names for the business and talking about what our core beliefs as a family are, we talked a lot about loving the land which we were raised on. That’s where ‘Aloha Aina’ came from. The literal Hawaiian translation is ‘to love the land.’ ”
While you’ll find ingredients like shredded coconut and homemade macadamia nut granola throughout the menu, order the Aina bowl for a taste of a true Hawaiian specialty: poi. Made from the root of the taro plant, Taylor admits poi doesn’t taste all that great on its own, but when blended into the Aina bowl, it adds a whole new layer of consistency and flavor.