Restaurant Review: Juju Bar

Laura Nguyen/HIGHLANDER
Laura Nguyen/HIGHLANDER

After seeing multiple Snapchats of my housemates getting Juju Bar bowls and raving about how good it was, I decided to cave in to my love for acai bowls and give it a shot. A sizable crowd was gathered near the bar area waiting for their bowls and I eagerly made my way through to examine the menu that was plastered on the wall as the smell of freshly cut fruits wafted in the air.

Six menus were on the left of the entrance and boasted fresh juices, acai bowls, yogi (yogurt blended) bowls and at least 40 smoothies ranging from classics to protein and special “cold terminator” smoothies. Single or double shots of wheatgrass, ginger and more were available as well as boosts like chia seeds that can be added in your bowl or smoothie for a little bit extra depending on what the boost was.

As I glanced over the pictures of the bowls, I was immediately drawn to the wide variety that they provided. Usually when I order an acai bowl, there aren’t that many flavor combinations; however, Juju Bar proved otherwise by giving its customers more customizable options that cater to any picky or extravagant eater. Aside from the typical drinks and bowls, they also offered cookies, oat bars, kettle chips and hot pretzels for up to $3.75.

Being indecisive and faced with such a wide selection of bowls, I was a tiny bit overwhelmed with all the choices and managed to get in contact with the busy owner who along with at least four other workers seemed to be running around in the cramped bar the entire day. “The Amazon is fruitier and it’s personally my favorite, but I also like the Tsunami since it’s creamier and you get more of the banana taste,” explained the owner with a beaming smile as she diced up some bananas on the counter.

After attempting to narrow it down to one bowl while considering options that the juice bartender recommended, I decided to try the Tsunami, which included coconut milk, acai, strawberry and banana blended together with banana, strawberry, blueberry, coconut, granola and honey layered on top. My companion chose the Pitaya Bowl, which had a blend of soy milk, apple juice, pitaya, mango and pineapple with banana, strawberry, pineapple, coconut, granola and honey on top.

Disappointingly, the walls on the other side where additional seating was located were completely bare aside from a collage of pictures of yogi bowls and acai bowls. Not many people took the time to sit down, which was understandable since Juju Bar was more of a place to get grab-and-go food.

For the price of $8.25 for mine and $7.95 for the other, the bowls were huge. (It still fits in your cup holder, but barely!) I stared at the vibrant colors of the acai layered neatly with granola and fruits wondering if I could finish all of it in one sitting even though I knew I most likely couldn’t. I took a spoonful of the bowl and I have to admit, it definitely satisfied my cravings and I instantly felt a little bit healthier as it was a change to my unhealthy cheap college meals.

Although I got a little too much granola and I would have preferred a little less toppings since the toppings alone took up almost half the cup, the first bite was a mixture of creamy and crunchy textures. From the sweetness of the granola and honey to the tartness of the fresh fruits, I didn’t get to taste the acai too much as everything else was overpowering the mild berry taste. I had to dig into the clear plastic bowl to get a clear taste of the smoothie portion, but when that struggle was over, I was exposed to a creamy acai blend that wasn’t too thick or thin and I was finally able to taste the coconut milk in it.

It was still slightly sweeter than the Pitaya Bowl, however, which gave off more of a sour and tangy flavor, although the Tsunami acai bowl still wins in my book. The Pitaya, which was basically a dragon fruit-based bowl, was more refreshing and crisp and the texture was less velvety than that of the Tsunami’s, yet it was equally as delicious. Despite the overload of toppings and the slightly stressful extensive menu of goods, Juju Bar puts other chain juice and smoothie bars to shame with their variety, quality and taste.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our snack (which could have easily been a full meal with the huge portions) and if you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying treat, I would highly recommend stopping by Juju Bar.

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