The Acai Berry Beauty Secret Revealed

Columns Ono, You Know

April 13, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

We all like to believe that, like a fine wine, we get better with age. While that may be true for a lucky few, my mother taught me well, advising me to take precautionary measures against aging while I’m still young. That means daily sunscreen application is a must, in addition to utilizing a day and night moisturizer, as well as an eye cream (You don’t want bags under your eyes — Louis Vuitton status!). To win the fight against aging, one also must keep healthy and fit with regular exercise, adequate sleep and a diet rich in antioxidants.

“Mother knows best.” So, of course, I take her advice to heart, as my mother continues to age so gracefully.

And since we’re talking beauty secrets here, I might as well fill you in on acai, an amazing super fruit originally grown in the Eastern Amazon region of Northern Brazil. To the people of South America, this purple berry has been deemed the “beauty berry” for years. Why, you may ask? Well, in addition to its inviting taste, the acai berry is rich in antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, all of which help to support a healthy appearance and natural glow.

Have we stumbled upon the Fountain of Youth? While I can’t say for sure, I still incorporate acai into my daily breakfast, and it’s nice to know that I also can count on the following Ono, You Know establishments to serve up acai creations that are … well, berry, berry good!

So, there you have it, Ono readers — one of nature’s most powerful beauty secrets revealed.

Forever young is the only way to be!

Eggs ‘n Things

Any breakfast fanatic will tell you that Eggs ‘n Things hits the spot with exciting eats that are oh, so good. Eggs ‘n Things boasts a fan base of locals and visitors from around the globe, and for that we can thank founders Jan and Jerry Fukunaga, who opened the first establishment on Ena Road in 1974. Currently, there is a total of three Eggs ‘n Things locations on the island — Saratoga Road, Kalakaua Avenue (Waikiki Beach Eggspress) and Piikoi Street next to Ala Moana Center.

While I am a self-professed sucker for Strawberry Whipped Cream Pancakes, sometimes something’s got to give, and Hawaiian Acai Bowl ($7.45) steps on up to satisfy my sweet tooth.

“In the past, we’ve received requests for an acai bowl, and it wasn’t long before we added it on the menu,” says Nolan Yamamoto, assistant manager of Eggs ‘n Things’ Piikoi location.

Offered throughout the day, Hawaiian Acai Bowl features the restaurant’s exclusive acai puree accompanied with bits of granola, morsels of pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and banana.

“The response from patrons has been impressive. They love their acai,” Yamamoto says. “Acai is rich in antioxidants and low in calories.”

A win-win for all, Eggs ‘n Things’ homemade acai puree is infused with fresh guava juice, and best of all it’s smooth and thick, without the gritty consistency that often is associated with acai puree.

Eggs ‘n Things
451 Piikoi St. (and various locations)

Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar

A marriage of breathtaking beauty and stellar Italian cuisine puts Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar at the top of my list of dining hot spots in Waikiki. Situated on the first level of Building B in Royal Hawaiian Center, Il Lupino offers a classically serene atmosphere, whether dining indoors or in the garden terrace overlooking The Royal Hawaiian. The restaurant is best known for its pizza, pasta, freshly carved cured meats and a variety of Italian cheeses.

Il Lupino's Acai Bowl ($10 small, $14 large). Rachel Breit file photos

Il Lupino’s Acai Bowl ($10 small, $14 large). Rachel Breit file photos

Yet, Il Lupino also pays homage to the Brazilian super fruit with its Acai Bowl. Available for breakfast and lunch, Acai Bowl is priced at $10 for a small and $14 for a large. Acai berries (with no added sugar) are blended with ice into a sinfully smooth puree, perfect for the warm spring weather. A touch of organic honey is then drizzled over the acai, resulting in a beautiful symphony of sweet and tart. Finally, locally made, wheat-free crunchy granola composed of walnuts, sweet coconut and whole grain oats is sprinkled over the acai, and freshly sliced bananas, strawberries and blueberries are delicately placed atop the dish, robust in nutritional value and vibrancy.

Prefer to drink this ono concoction? Then Il Lupino’s Acai Smoothie ($10, breakfast only) is for you. An acai bowl in a glass, this refreshing drink encompasses pure acai, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, granola and honey.

Venture into Waikiki to experience the amazing benefits of acai at Il Lupino.

Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar Royal Hawaiian Center Bldg. B, Level 1
2233 Kalakaua Ave.


Say yes to YuZu in Ala Moana Hotel, an establishment committed to presenting its patrons with a healthy take on traditional Japanese cuisine. Owners Isamu and Moco Kubota are fans of yuzu (hence the restaurant’s name), or Japanese citrus fruit, that brings pizzazz to any dish. The Kubotas enjoy experimenting with flavors, melding them into one unique creation that is insanely delicious. And yuzu isn’t the only ingredient that makes for a stunning meal: In fact, when it comes time for dessert, acai grabs the spotlight.

YuZu’s Acai Rare Cheesecake is a must.

YuZu's Acai Rare Cheesecake ($5.50)

YuZu’s Acai Rare Cheesecake ($5.50)

And don’t tell me you’re full, because there’s always room for dessert! Priced at $5.50, Acai Rare Cheesecake is love at first bite. A graham cracker crust, made with butter and agave nectar, firmly holds the light, but decadent cheesecake in place. Sans topping, the cheesecake already is superb, but, of course, the restaurant goes all out, making sure the cake oozes with fresh acai berry sauce. Accented with cane sugar and yuzu juice, the sauce is perfect. Take note of the refreshingly sweet and tangy flavor that complements the rare cheesecake without overpowering it.

So, save the best for last when dining at YuZu. Trust me, Acai Rare Cheesecake is nothing but amazing. For the vegan appetite, YuZu also whips up an incredible Acai Vegan Mousse for $4.45.

YuZu Ala Moana Hotel, Kona Tower Lobby
410 Atkinson Drive

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best