Very Cool Options for Summer Sipping

Columns Ono, You Know

June 18, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Ihave been in the best of moods as of late, believe it or not. Why, you may ask? Well, the official beginning of summer is only days away — and summer just happens to be one of my favorite seasons. For me, summer equates to beautiful, glowing complexions and days that just seem all the brighter. And it doesn’t hurt that my birthday (August, if anyone should ask) also happens to be celebrated during the warmest time of the year.

Of course, the advent of summer also means rising temperatures and longer days. That’s why this week, I decided to bring to you a few “Ono, You Know” tips to combat the summer doldrums. Try cooling down with some of the best and sweetest non-alcoholic drinks in town. I promise you won’t regret it!

Rainbow Drive-In

  • The editor finds two of her favorite flavors — strawberry and vanilla — deliciously blended in Rainbow Drive-In's Strawberry Slush Float.
  • Rainbow Drive-In's Strawberry Slush Float ($3 large, $2.75 small)
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You’ll surely be seeing double rainbows upon your first sip of Rainbow Drive-In’s famous Strawberry Slush Float ($3 large, $2.75 small). This cool and sweet treat is the perfect way to beat the heat during the summer months.

According to Lance Shimabuku, executive general manager of Rainbow Drive-In, the Strawberry Slush Float is a hit among locals and tourists alike — making it one of the fast-food restaurant’s most sought-after treats. This blended strawberry drink, topped off with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, contains the perfect amount of sweet. Indeed, the pairing is like no other.

“This is something that’s pretty unique to us,” Shimabuku says. “Mr. Ifuku added this to the menu at the opening of Rainbow Drive-In.”

Seiju and Ayako Ifuku opened the doors to this iconic landmark in October 1961, and today this onolicious eatery is considered to be a staple when it comes to serving up local favorites.

Whether it’s a classic loco moco, a meaty hamburger steak or a piping-hot saimin you’re after, one thing is for certain — any meal is not complete without a large (or small) Strawberry Slush Float. The proof, as they say, is in the numbers.

“We sell about 350 to 400 Strawberry Slush Floats per day,” Shimabuku explains. “And we make it when you order, so if a customer wants to have one first thing in the morning — they got it. We serve it day or night.”

Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Ave.
(808) 737-0177
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Anytime Cafe

  • Anytime Cafe's Red Bean Shave Ice with Coconut Milk ($3.75)
  • Cindy and son Ryan Wong of Anytime Cafe, with one of the restaurant's preferred drinks.
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If you’re parched from a long day at the beach or pool, there’s no better place to hydrate yourself than at Anytime Cafe.

Located in Market City Shopping Center, Anytime Cafe caters to diners who are yearning for anything and everything as far as good (and cheap) eats are concerned.

One of my favorite summer treats is shave ice with azuki beans, and to my delight, Cindy Wong, owner of Anytime Cafe, presented me with this request in drink form. Enter the Red Bean Shave Ice with Coconut Milk. It’s fantastic!

For only $3.75, patrons receive a large glass of this refreshing drink consisting of homemade azuki beans, a bit of liquid sugar, evaporated milk and coconut milk, blended together with fine shave ice.

“This is a very popular item,” says Wong. “Sometimes we run out of our azuki beans. “It’s very refreshing and not too sweet — so it’s definitely not overpowering,” she adds. “This particular drink actually originated in Hong Kong and can be found at many cafes throughout Hong Kong as well.”

Also, be sure to try Anytime Cafe’s other acclaimed drinks such as Iced Coffee, Iced Latte, Iced Vietnamese Coffee, Iced Honey Lemon and Iced Thai Tea, all of which are just perfect for the summer.

Anytime Cafe
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218
(808) 735-3888
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Pho Kitchen

  • Pho Kitchen's Strawberry and Papaya Milk Smoothies ($3.75)
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There’s no second-guessing what Pho Kitchen at Market City Shopping Center is all about — pho-bulous pho, of course! However, don’t let the name fool you. Although the pho here is incredibly delicious, sometimes the soup just won’t cut it when you’re talking about 87-degree weather with no trade winds.

When warm days like this come around, I don’t know about you, but a cold, refreshing smoothie is the first thing I’m after. So, pho-get the pho and hand me one of Pho Kitchen’s most delicious smoothies ($3.75). Choose from tempting flavors, including Papaya Milk, Mango, Honey Dew, Strawberry or Strawberry Mix.

“Our Vietnamese smoothies (Sinh To) are extremely healthy because we always use real, fresh fruit — no powders,” says owner Alex Chong. “We blend the fruit with condensed milk and sugar, and our customers seem to love it!”

I’m a fan of the classics, so it’s no surprise that the Strawberry smoothie is my personal favorite. Yet, I can’t help but give in to the Strawberry Mix smoothie from time to time. The Strawberry Mix features a medley of delicious and nutritious fruits, including sliced strawberries, mango, pineapple and peaches.

“Our smoothies are a great alternative for kids. It’s fun to drink and it’s healthy,” Chong says.

So, sip away — but remember to take your time. Brain freeze is no fun.

Pho Kitchen
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
(808) 735-8488
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