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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 7, 2005

Smoothies, healthy bites go hand in hand

By Helen Wu
Advertiser Restaurant Critic

Nick Cowgill and Catherine Cullison enjoy North Shore Blend smoothies at Diamond Head Cove Health Bar.

Photos by Rebecca breyer • The Honolulu Advertiser

Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies

2904 E. Manoa Road


Parking in Manoa Marketplace lot across the street

Open Mondays-Thursdays

7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Fridays

7 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays 7 a.m.-

2:30 p.m., closed Saturdays

Breakfast: weekdays 7-10:30 a.m., Sundays 7a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Da Spot

908 Pumehana St.


Open Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., closed Sundays

Street parking

Smoothie bars offer a fresh alternative to start off the new year for those who have overindulged during the winter holidays.

Some of the places listed below offer healthy and tasty bites to go along with their refreshing drinks. You can find selections that don't leave you feeling stuffed after a meal but that are still satisfying.

Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies

Andy and Norma Rodrigues have owned and operated this Manoa favorite since 1977. This small eatery has lots of 'ohana feel, along with freshly baked sweets and many vegetarian options. Meat eaters can relax: Bacon, chicken, turkey and even roast beef are on the menu.

Andy's smoothies are $3.25 to $4.95. Most consist of some combination of strawberries, bananas and papaya or all three. Heaping sandwiches ($3.50 to $6.50) are garnished with grated carrot, lettuce and sprouts. Soft, homemade, whole-wheat bread adds to their appeal. Four basic salads are offered from $2.75 to $4.99. Simple breakfasts are popular with a straightforward selection of pancakes, French toast and omelettes. If you have to be bad, a goodie from the pastry case will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Highlights: oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies (85 cents); blueberry or cherry turnovers ($1.50); mango, banana, strawberry and papaya smoothie ($3.95); eggplant-melt sandwich ($5.85) — baked eggplant slices are a substantial filling; birds' nest salad ($3.30 small, $3.99 large) — a garden salad with the works, a choice of tuna or avocado and papaya-seed dressing.

Da Spot

Husband Ahmad Ramadan and wife Ako Kifuji opened Da Spot last May. Their colorful storefront is hard to miss on a small block of mom-and-pop shops near McCully. This take-out eatery has sandwiches and smoothies in addition to Egyptian food. Yes, Egyptian food.

Where else can you find "da dollah menu" with chewy, sweet baklava in addition to fish-stick or chicken-nugget rice bowls for the kids? A small selection of homemade Egyptian dishes stands out here. Kanafa (ka-NA-fa) is a sweet treat similar to baklava but with finely shredded filo dough known as kataifi (ka-TIE-fee). Ful medames (fool MAY-da-mez) — a tart but robust dish of fava beans, tomato, garlic and onion scooped up with pita bread — is a piquant blend of textures and tastes. Mahshi (MAH-shee), meaning stuffed in Arabic, is grape leaves filled with savory rice that will easily satisfy your appetite. Vegetarians can request a substitution of falafel (fe-LAH-fel), fried patties of seasoned, ground chickpeas, for the chicken that normally comes with this plate.

If Middle Eastern cuisine isn't for you, pick a sandwich — turkey pastrami ($3.50) and Philly cheese steak ($3.75) to name a few. None costs more than $3.75. Smoothies are made with fruit and local Tropilicious sorbets. With more than 21 selections, they are available in three sizes: 16 oz. for $2.75, 20 oz. for $3 and 32 oz. for $3.75. Soy milk can be substituted for sorbet; aloe, honey and protein boosts can be added for 50 cents.

Highlights: baklava ($1); kanafa ($1); "da kine" smoothie with strawberries, banana, mango sorbet and passion-orange juice; lychee-mango smoothie not on the menu yet, but ask anyway; ful medames plate ($4); mahshi plate ($6.50)

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

Marcus Marcos, the owner of Diamond Head Cove Health Bar, makes a fish salad. The eatery also serves up a jumbo hummus wrap and other healthy choices.

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

3045 Monsarrat Ave., No. 5


Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday open till midnight for "'Awa Nights" featuring 'awa bar and impromptu jam sessions

Limited parking in front lot

Marcus Marcos and wife Ann own this spot that emphasizes local fish and produce on its menu. "Da Cove," in business for more than a year, is a mild-mannered smoothie spot by day and 'awa lounge four nights out of the week. Marcos prefers to catch the fresh fish himself. Sometimes his fellow fishermen friends help him out, but charter fishing boats or the fish auction are other options. After trading in his corporate job, he now also enjoys scouting out farmers' markets for locally grown produce.

The fish is made into fresh limu-shoyu poke made with Kaua'i pa'a salt. It is also sautÚed with garlic, onions, capers and mushrooms in a shoyu-based sauce. The sautÚ becomes a topping for a salad bursting with fresh mixed greens, broccoli, butter avocado and Moloka'i tomatoes. It is also used to fill a "taco" with salad greens which is more like a wrap in a spinach tortilla. Vegetarians will enjoy one of the best wraps in town — a jumbo hummus wrap stuffed with spinach and grated carrot accompanied by a zippy dressing made with Dijon mustard and mirin. Smoothie boosts are 75 cents and include protein powder, coconut milk, peanut butter, spirulina, maple syrup, honey, wheat germ, mangosteen, and liliko'i when available.

This eclectic combination gift shop, eatery and lounge is also where you can find musicians Barry Flanagan of Hapa, Ernie Cruz Jr. of Ka'au Crater Boys and Guy Cruz of Pure Heart/Col÷n gathering at night for informal musical appearances.

Highlights: minty fresh smoothie ($4.50) — fresh mint, honeydew, grapes and soymilk provide an invigorating thirst quencher; awa smoothie ($5.50) — banana, coconut milk and maple syrup help the awa go down easier for those faint of heart; veggie wrap with hummus ($6.50); fish taco ($8.75); fish salad ($9.50 small, $13.50 large) — be aware that the "small" is already "large" sized; fresh poke ($5 for 0.35 lb.)

Reach Helen Wu at hwu@honoluluadvertiser.com.