In 2008, four sisters started Bambu Desserts & Drinks as a hobby. Today, the San Jose?born brand has established a major presence in the Bay Area, and has expanded to other states including Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas. Bambu?s success can be traced to the quality of its treats, as well as its variety: the menu is packed with about 100 Asian-inspired desserts and beverages. Tapioca balls float in their milk teas, which range in flavor from lychee to coconut to jasmine, and their dessert drinks combine such intriguing ingredients as coconut, pandan jelly, longan, basil seed?which form the Bambu special. Various hot and cold coffee drinks, such as Vietnamese coffee, caf? mochas, and lattes, put a spring in guests' step?more convenient than filling your shoes with jumping beans. The staffers also concoct blended coffees and smoothies, which come in flavors including strawberry, coconut, papaya, and avocado.
After their personal experience with juicing revolutionized their lives, the husband and wife behind Drinkbar. Juicery decided to share their story with the public. The self-described “flexetarians” respect all food choices but choose to imbue their cleanses with raw juices, local coffees, and smoothies that help flush the body of toxins while flooding it with nutrients. Crafted from all-natural ingredients such as fresh carrots, apples, lemons, and kale, the juices can help customers shed pounds, evict harsh chemicals and toxins from the body, and even gain more restful sleep.
Upon first glance, Tiki Monster H2O looks like your average snack shop?there's shelves packed with colorful candies and bags of chips, coolers filled with frosty soda bottles, and a counter lined with flavored syrups for snow-cones. Examine the inventory more closely, however, and you'll encounter retro, novelty, and unusual treats interspersed with familiar selections of Coca-Cola cans and packets of Cheetos. There are more than 100 different types of gourmet sodas, many in inventive flavors such as chocolate-covered maple-smoked bacon, green-apple jalapeno, and key lime pie. Shelves are also lined with vintage candies and international sweets, ranging from kitschy candy cigarettes to Asian red-bean ice-cream bars.
As guests marvel at the colorful labels of cartoon-character energy drinks and peruse racks of sunglasses, staffers keep busy behind the counter. They blend up simmering specialty Marley coffee beverages and shaved-ice drinks in flavors such as orange cream, chai tea, and salted-caramel cream. They frequently screen old westerns on the shop's TV, transporting viewers back to a time when cowboys still rode horses and regularly dined on tree bark.
All you have to do to find Lemon Drop Juices is listen to the whirl of the blenders mixing up juice and smoothies. The appliances brim with fresh fruits and veggies mostly culled from local, organic farms, rather than a child's Play-Doh set. Customers visiting Lemon Drop can also browse the bins of fresh produce or grab a mason jar packed with the makings for a nutrient-rich salad.
"Friendship" is painted above the picture windows at Kaye's on Brookhurst, so that it's the last thing customers see when they walk out the door. The staff aims to make the eatery a welcoming place, where diners enjoy breakfast so much that they return for lunch. In the morning, both traditional and specialty breakfasts tempt palates, such as the house favorite pancakes with a citrus glaze. At lunch, hearty sandwiches and housemade chili fill bellies so customers don't have to inhale as much air. Sunny yellow walls and dark wood chairs complement the bright paintings hanging on the wall, all creating a warm atmosphere.
The Snow Bar sends a delicious chill right into customers' taste buds. The secret to this feat: light, freshly-shaved "snow," which the staff colors with tasty flavors such as vanilla, coconut, and pistachio. In total, more than 20 flavors await customers' decisions, while over 40 topping choices add to the long list of potential desserts.
Fresh fruit accounts for some of those topping choices, but what Snow Bar doesn't use for capping snow gets turned into frozen smoothies. These churn up in varieties such as "Choco," "Peachy Keen," and "Berry Sweety," the classic combination of bananas, strawberries, and good vibes.