Ars Café is a purveyor of coffee, tea, gelato, and food complemented by art and ambiance. I learned all that after experiencing THE best expresso I have had this side of Italy. Just a single thimble of their signature expresso reflects the high quality and thoughtfulness of everything Ars represents.
Residing at the heart of this café is the gorgeous Koa wood accented custom expresso machine; this coffee maker is a piece of art in itself. Poised on top of the expresso machine and at the ready are the handcrafted mugs. Follow the length of the coffee counter and there wait the bakery and gelato cases. Stop! Chocolate gelato! My reputation as a dessert first girl is well deserved because at this point, I add a scoop to my existing order of coffee and exquisite avocado toast. No ordinary gelato, it is house made, from scratch, with organic ingredients and nothing artificial. Note for my fellow affogato fans – it’s on the menu but the quality of the expresso and the quality of the gelato are best experienced individually.
What else about Ars is distinctive? The ambiance. From monthly rotating art shows, presence of a turntable, tasteful spare decor and the absence of WiFi, Ars patrons respond to the intentional environment. We collectively chat, pay attention to what album is playing, to the art on the walls. On my last visit, blues legend B.B. King was playing. The fact that I recall that means something to me. Here at Ars, I hear and most importantly listen with enjoyment.
For these reasons, it’s the café I recommend to those who appreciate finer things. These aficionados are a diverse collection of islanders and vacationers – artists, coffee connoisseurs, foodies, hipsters, runners, walkers and generally just an all-around appreciative crowd.
3116 Monsarrat Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Chrissy, is a huge fan of acai bowls. Ask her and she will recite her favorite places, island wide, where she scores her bowls. Accomplices in many things, this wasn’t one of them – that is not until the day I had an acai bowl from Nalu Health Bar & Cafe.
We chose to cover Nalu Health Bar &Cafe in Kailua because I’d been raving about their fresh salads and perfectly prepared ahi.
Being Chrissy’s first visit, she wanted to try the ahi but not at the expense of missing out on an acai bowl opportunity!
Chrissy – “Will you help me eat the bowl?”
Me – “Meh”.
That changed when Jorge Munoz, one of Nalu’s co-owners, gave me the low down on their specially imported Acai that comes straight from the Amazon and described the deep purple color that demonstrates purity and authenticity.
From the first bite it was unique, better and less “processed” than any acai I’d eaten before. At Nalu you actually taste acai and it’s delicious – they’ve set the bar! So now when Chrissy wants company to get an acai bowl, I’ll join her on the condition that we go to Nalu Health Bar & Cafe. Fortunately, with the opening of their second location at South Shore Market, it’s right down the block.
Nalu Health Bar & Cafe
South Shore Market
1170 Auahi Street. Suite 145
Honolulu, HI 96814
131 Hekili Street, Suite 109
Kailua, HI 96734