Acai Bowls and Smoothies
650 Castro Street #140
Mountain View, CA
Price Range: $$$$
For the past year, Mahalo Bowl has been the vibrant purple food truck that roamed the Bay Area, preaching health and happiness. While the Mahalo Bowl truck had a set location in Sunnyvale, it ran on an inconsistent schedule. Unfortunately, without a set agenda to abide by, customers would often arrive at Mahalo Bowl’s usual site and the truck would be nowhere to be found. Luckily for fans, Mahalo Bowl has opened up a permanent store on Castro Street in Mountain View. Building its empire from the ground up, Mahalo Bowl sticks to its modest roots in every aspect of its business, ultimately ending up with acai bowls that will leave customers yearning to come back for more.
Upon walking into Mahalo Bowl, one notices the gentle but bold lavender walls, similar to the color of the acai bowls they offer, painted with informational paragraphs on acai. Big windows look out onto Castro street, giving the store a relaxing open feel. Similar to a coffee shop, Mahalo Bowl offers free Wi-Fi which gives their on-the-go customers the opportunity to enjoy their bowls and work at the same time.
Just to the right of the cash register on the wall is a large depiction of a food truck, with the Mahalo Bowl logo on it, reminding their customers as well as themselves where they came from. Written on the truck is Mahalo Bowl’s motto, “Your Body will Thank You!” highlighting that eating Mahalo Bowl is a smart and advantageous choice.
With 10 acai bowl choices, six pitaya bowl choices, as well as six smoothies, newcomers can find themselves a bit overwhelmed. However, the manager is extremely friendly and talks the customers through all their options. Mahalo Bowl’s recognition of the value of good customer service was made apparent through its considerate treatment of customers.
With a wide range of organic options, Mahalo Bowl has created a community of people who believe in a healthy lifestyle, feeling light and energetic, and fresh organic products. This aspect speaks volumes as it shows Mahalo Bowl is among the new breed of stores that are not only looking to make a profit but also make a positive impact in the local society. Through one of its slogans, “What’s in your bowl?” Mahalo Bowl provokes its customers to consider their eating choices and make healthy decisions.
The three most popular items at Mahalo Bowl are the Original, Mahalo, and Shaka Bowls. The Original is the typical acai bowl, made with acai, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries in the blend, and garnished with granola, strawberries, and bananas. With no specific attributes that make it stand out, it compensates with the quality of the ingredients and final product. The Mahalo Bowl is a fan favorite, hence the store’s name in its title. It differs from the Original in its use of guava juice and mango in the blend, giving the bowl a more prominent tang. Along with the guava, coconut shavings are feathered on top to adorn the bowl.
However, the best bowl by far is the Shaka Bowl. Rather than having apple or guava juice, the Shaka combines pineapple juice and coconut milk. With the pineapple and coconut combination, the Shaka finds a perfect harmony between tangy and sweet, taking one’s tastebuds to the relaxing shores of Hawaii and back. The comparison between the three bowls relates to the porridge in acclaimed story of Goldilocks. The Original was too normal, the Mahalo was too tangy, and the Shaka was just right.
It is key to point out the freshness of the bananas at Mahalo Bowl. Bananas are an essential part of the fruit topping and can easily make or break a bowl. Seeing as it is extremely hard to keep bananas fresh, it was a pleasant surprise to see perfect bananas. On top of that, each bowl included a honey drizzle over the granola, adding a candied taste that was drool-inducing. The quality overall is thorough; from the smoothie blend to the fruit on top, Mahalo Bowl shows that they hold each and every one of their bowls to a high standard.
Coming from its beginnings as a food truck, it is clear that Mahalo Bowl has taken the values of hard work and genuine quality and infused them into a modern acai bowl shop. So the next time someone asks you “What’s in your bowl?” your answer should be “Mahalo.”