Acai bowl showdown

Tess Guan , Web Editor

Health trends have come a long way—from baked kale chips to parsley and spinach green juice cleanses, and now, purple bowls of acai puree smoothies topped with fruit and honey. When blended and paired alongside  other fruits and toppings, acai, a tropical berry high in antioxidants, becomes a treat both vibrant in color and high in nutrients.

The Poke Stop:

17468 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Although The Poke Spot is generally known as a poke joint, it offers acai bowls as well. The shop allows you to build your own bowl, which includes two fruits and two toppings, for $7.95, then  charges 50 cents for any additional toppings.  

They have a rather limited selection: berries and bananas for fruits and generic breakfast and cereal toppings. The serving portions are generous enough for a filling meal. However, most of the toppings, such as the almonds, are items you can find at home.  

Overall, the bowl has a very strong, iconic acai taste. The flavors of the berry in the puree were strong enough that I could differentiate its taste from the raspberry and strawberry fruit options I chose.  

However, the acai puree was a bit stiff, making it difficult to get a spoonful of both the mixture and toppings. The puree texture was similar to the buttery consistency of the ice cream sold at Creamistry.

Nekter Juice Bar:

Brea Union Plaza, 2435 E
Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821

My next acai bowl awaited me in a modern juice shop, where I was hit with strong scents of wheatgrass and kale shots as I walked in. The juice joint gives you the options of either customizing a bowl or ordering a preset bowl. The predesigned bowls, such as the acai mango, pitaya, and acai peanut butter bowls, all cost $7.95 while all items used in a custom bowl cost a dollar each.acaibowl2

I would not suggest building your own bowl here, as most of the choices, such as hemp hearts and pea protein, may taste better in a smoothie. Moreover, choosing a preset bowl gives you more fruit options and flavor variety.  

I ordered the pitaya bowl, which came with various fruits and coconut elements like coconut butter, coconut water, and coconut flakes. I had no idea what pitaya, another name for dragon fruit, or coconut butter, also known as coconut oil, were. I simply chose this bowl because of my love for coconut, which ultimately led to my disappointment.

My acai fruit bowl was extremely vibrant, having a hot pink color. Taste wise, however, it wasn’t as exciting. Unlike my bowl at The Poke Stop, my pitaya bowl was runnier; it had the consistency of a watered down smoothie.

In addition, the banana slices served on my bowl were warm, creating an unpleasant fusion of both warm and cold textures.

Nature’s Juice:

The Village West, 505 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789

Located in a popular shopping center in Walnut, Nature’s Juice receives most of its popularity for its juice cleanses. Unlike the other shops, this juice joint only off
ers preset bowls.  acaibowl3

The prices of the acai bowls range from $6.50 to $8.25, varying depending on different health benefits and foods found in the bowls. I chose the nature bowl, which included almond milk blended with ingredients like kale, spinach, and bee pollen.

Overall, my acai bowl from Nature’s Juice looked the most appealing. Additionally, the toppings were laid out very nicely, covering the whole bowl evenly.

Taste wise, my acai nature bowl was rather mediocre. If I have to be picky, however, I thought the banana taste overpowered the acai flavor just a little bit. In addition, I couldn’t really pick out the kale or spinach flavors in my bowl, although I’m not sure if I wanted to anyway.  

The puree had a consistency between my other bowls. It was nearly as frozen and thick as my first bowl, but wasn’t as watery and warm like my second.