The Minds Behind Aloha Bowls Have Finally Found a New Home
Volcanic Climbing and Fitness’ Arch Café will bowl you over with tasty acai.
Come for the climbing, stay for the acai: That’s what we learned last week. It’s true what they say about sweet things being found in the most unlikely of places. Before we stumbled upon Arch Café, a teeny, one-window slip of a shop located in the new Volcanic Climbing and Fitness gym on Punahou Street, we had no idea our afternoon was going to get so tasty. Let’s just say we ended up spending almost as much time ogling the menu as we did scoping out the rock wall.
The Arch Café team is no newbie to the acai bowl scene. The minds behind the now-defunct Aloha Bowls food truck, a BC beloved, are also avid participants in the local rock-climbing scene, which made setting up shop in Volcanic’s latest spot especially alluring—and absolutely genius. (Fitness buffs working up an appetite after a day of bouldering = an ideal market for acai bowl purveyors.)
The digs may be small, but the bowls are just as big as they were at Aloha Bowls. Forget what you know about acai from Jamba’s sad little smoothies in cups with a teaspoon of granola sprinkled on top. These beasts come packed with a veritable cornucopia of beautifully arranged fresh fruit (SO much fruit) and other appetizing accoutrements, including bee pollen, coconut, goji berries, granola, honey and even homemade sorbets. Dig through the hefty fan of fruitasticness up top to get to the deep purple acai—or hot-magenta pitaya!—blends below. Each blend is unique to the café’s bowl flavor, with some tangier, others sweeter and still others quite mild, a less sweet option that can be refreshing. As a final attention-to-detail touch, the bottoms of the bowls are lined with honey and granola, so you get a crunchy bite and fierce flavor in every spoonful.
We liked the Bowlder bowl, a luscious blend of acai, banana, mixed berries and soy milk, with some mint thrown in to make it interesting, and a classic topping of blueberry, banana, strawberry, honey, bee pollen, granola and goji berries. Pitaya lovers will dig the Paradise bowl, a pretty-in-pink blend of dragonfruit, coconut water, banana, mango and pineapple, with granola, banana, mango, honey, bee pollen and coconut flakes. Our favorite? It has to be the signature Arch bowl, a bright blend of coconut water, mango and banana, with a tropical bouquet on top that consisted of banana, pineapple, mango, haupia sorbet, honey and toasted coconut flakes.