New: Bodhi Cafe, Smoothies with a Southeast Asian Bent

The Spicy Green Mango and Coconut Cacao smoothies at Bodhi Cafe

Spices, the beloved little Southeast Asian restaurant on King Street, closed about a year ago, but it never really shut down. Thanh Bidwell, co-owner of the restaurant, continued catering for Spices' fans, all the while fixing up the space for a new concept. Recently, he re-opened its doors to Bodhi Cafe, a juice and smoothie bar with a Southeast Asian bent. And if that sounds weird, know this: Street vendors in Vietnam and Thailand (and plenty of other countries throughout the world) were offering fresh fruit drinks long before Jamba Juice fired up its first Vitamix.

Bodhi Cafe's offerings are Honolulu Chinatown meets modern health trend, like a soursop smoothie with almond milk; and tart green mango blended with a touch of chili and sea asparagus, to give it a slightly salty finish. I'm drinking it right now, and it's the most invigorating thing I've had all week. Of course, any smoothie spot worth its juice needs a green smoothie, and one of Bodhi Cafe's combines Okinawan spinach, kale, papaya and lilikoi. Bidwell chooses to use Okinawan spinach instead of regular spinach because it grows better in tropical weather, and thus, is easier to source locally. You won't find berries on his menu; he prefers to get local, tropical fruits, like durian and jackfruit.

At night, Bidwell opens the space for pop-up dinners. For the past few weeks, Mimi's Place has been serving Peruvian food, and Bidwell plans to bring back Spices in the form of a pop-up. Hopefully that means the return of its pandan ice cream!

For the pop-up schedule, check

Bodhi Cafe
2671 S. King St. Suite D, 949-2679,