At Tropical Tribe, health meets flavor in bowls and shakes that combine fruits and herbs harvested from around the world. Açai bowls blend the popular superfruit with guarana imported from the Amazon rainforest. Shakes made with cool Yerba Mate tea quell thirst using a nutritious herb from the Atlantic rain forest, not to be confused with the Atlantis rainforest, which is made of actual rain.:m]]
Meandering through rows of coffee trees in a Waialua coffee orchard, roastmaster John Alvarez gauges by sight alone the maturity of the trees and the ripeness of the berries peeking out from verdant leaves. Though the coffee aficionado follows his beans’ route from germination into each piping mug, his true passion lies in roasting. Back at his roasting site in the shadow of Mount Ka'ala, handfuls of beans cascade through his fingers, pouring back into the drum roaster’s cooling bin as he inspects their chafes and hues to ensure an even roast. Though he concedes each island’s orchards produce different flavors, it’s the slow-roasting process—featured on Hawaiian Grown—that accounts for his coffee’s smooth, sweet taste. “It’s like being a chef at a restaurant,” he says of his duties. “A lot of people take it for granted, but it’s what makes all the difference.” Just outside, amid the Ilikai Hotel's fountains and gardens where his coffee shop is located, people sit on the patio, take in the sun, chat, and sip on the signature coffee.
Kissaten Japanese Noodle Shop’s litany of ramen showcases a variety of broths composed of miso, curry, or classic shio base, highlighted by the fresh medallions of pork or fried shrimp tempura floating amid thin noodles. In addition to the 12 types of noodle bowls, Kissaten Japanese Noodle Shop serves up rice dishes adorned with shitake mushrooms or vegetable tempura, or beef bowls served over yam noodles. A second location bolsters the menu with a variety of delicate café fare, such as salads with smoked salmon and baby spinach and sandwiches with shaved pastrami and caramelized onions.
Inside Yogur Story's airy two-level dining area, patrons feast on American favorites such as omelets and sandwiches or creative Asian-Pacific fusion fare. K-pop steak pizzas blend spicy barbecue sauce with grilled beef and braised greens, and the K-town combo places 8-ounce steak aside spicy Asian shrimp.
Manifest Hawaii blurs boundaries as a caffeine-purveying lounge by day, a cocktail-pouring live-music party by night, and an art gallery by choice. While Apollo rides his chariot, Waialua coffee aficionados mingle among multimedia masterpieces sipping espressos ($2), slurping cappuccinos ($3.50), or shot-gunning mochas ($4). Those who, like Popeye, prefer to get their strength from leaves rather than beans can sample the Tiger Spice chai, and others who, like Olive Oyl, have trouble making up their minds can get a taste of both chai and espresso in the Dirty chai ($4.50). Evening quaffs come brewed and bottled ($5) or freshly mixed with premium liquors ($7). Each evening brings a different band to the stage to get guests grooving, and Manifest regularly hosts special events, fundraisers, and mad-hatter-helmed tea parties.