The Avocado Smoothie

There are many (edible) things that make me smile, but few that make me smile so much that you can actually see my teeth. I’m a tight lipped smiler, out of habit, but once in a big while, something will be so delicious that for a brief moment, I forget to keep my lips together. Things that fall into this category: Kaka’ako’s Kitchen’s bread pudding, hamachi, foie gras, Vietnamese eggplant, jai and…

…The Avocado Smoothie. My affection for this drink has been documented before. Many times over, in fact. It’s the one drink I search out everywhere I go. While in school at Claremont, I’d truck back five or six orders at a time from Mr. Baguette in San Gabriel Valley every time I was lucky enough to bum a ride off someone. I’d drink two and stash the remainder in the freezer, slowly rationing them so that I would never run out before my next visit. During summers in Vietnam, I’d start the day with a smoothie, and end with another in the evening, the creamy chill slipping down my throat, cooling from the inside out. But in New York, (and if there were ever any reason to despise New York, this would be it), NO ONE MAKES AN EXCELLENT AVOCADO SMOOTHIE. You can find many bad ones, and a few good ones, but that’s about it. How is it possible that a city which offers so much, absolutely FAIL at the avocado smoothie. It’s pathetic.

Here in Hawai’i, we’re lucky to live on an island that not only offers an abundance of awesome local avocados, but also, numerous restaurants with crazy good avocado smoothies. I’ve sampled a fair share, though not all. I’m quite content with what I have found, and I have one favourite.

In the Maunakea Marketplace there’s a boba stand call Thang’s. Anyone who claims to love avocado smoothies must go there now. Right this moment. The menu is an awesome sight: pennyworth juice, durian shakes, jackfruit smoothies… goodness, so much deliciousness. The durian is particularly tasty, but the Avocado Smoothie is the only one you want, no, need. How does one begin to do a proper avocado milkshake justice? It’s a bit like this, but better: chunks of fresh avocados, a generous pour of condensed milk, then a bit of whole milk, and then ice. It couldn’t be simpler. And yet, the TASTE. OH MY GOD. Ridiculous! At Thang’s, they fill the bottom of the cup with some boba (overcooked according to many, but that’s exactly how I like boba), and then slosh in a tower of the creamy pale green shake. It’s perfectly thick, enough so that the straw stands straight, but not so much that it must be spooned. And the taste? Oh maannn, okay so. You know how good a really fresh, finely ripened avocado tastes right? Pair that with a lace of chilled sweetened condensed milk and crushed ice. Oh yes. Oh god. Liquefied avocado gone creamier, slightly sweeter and all the more bold.

Just another food item that makes Hawai’i special :)

Thang Coffee & Bubble Tea

1120 Maunakea Street

Maunakea Marketplace

Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

  • kathryn
    May 29, 2008

    I think it’s a west coast drink, right? I mean, it’s also much more difficult to find a good AND cheap pearl milk tea in NYC, yes?I think Zozo’s made avocado smoothies before they closed down. RIP Zozo’s!

  • SicklyBug & Cassaendra
    May 30, 2008

    Hi Kathy~Ooooh! I sooo miss avocado shakes/smoothies living here. *cry* I hate the avocados in Ohio, so I won’t even attempt to make one. You just reminded me of Viet Cafe at McCully Shopping Center.Drink as many as you can before you go back to NY! :P- Cassaendra

  • anonymous
    May 30, 2008

    BUBBLE TEA!!!!!

  • anonymous
    May 30, 2008

    originally i thought that picture was of canteloups… it’s an avocado?! looks really good! have you tried making it at home?

  • anonymous
    May 30, 2008

    ohhhh i so have to drink one when i get home. oh and i think you should go to the new safeway in kapahulu. they have a huge thing of prepared foods that looked pretty good. there’s chinese, and poke, a sushi bar, and like a sandwich deli. i didn’t get to try it when i was home, but i think you might like it!

  • reid
    May 31, 2008

    Kathy,How long are you going to be at home? I am in Sydney, but will be returning shortly. Would like to meet up with you if you are still in Hawaii.

  • Robyn
    May 31, 2008

    Make me a smoothie! WE CAN DO ITTTT.

  • musubi
    May 31, 2008

    Oooh, I’ve never tried Thang’s, but I will DEFINITELY go there this weekend after reading this, thanks for the tip!So, in return, here’s something you might want to try while you’re home these few days: MANGO Bread Pudding at Times Supermarket!You can find the Mango Bread Pudding in the Deli at Times Beretania. It’s in the refrigerated case off to the side, generous slices packed in clear plastic clamshell containers for $2.79 each. It’s dense, moist & custardy… and since it’s chilled, the mango is a refreshing addition!Kakaako Kitchen’s BP is also one of my faves… but my all time FAVORITE was the Chocolate Bread Pudding at Scoozee’s… Man, was I sad when that place closed (sob)!!!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    June 1, 2008

    Kathryn!OHH maannn I never did make it to Zozo’s before it closed, FAIL :(Hey Cassaendra!Heheh, just drank another today! oo I passed Viet Cafe the other day – they’ve closed down! Not sure if they’re moving to another location, or if they’re gone forever…Olivia!I totally thought of you when I saw the bubbles, lol!Danny!I know, the avocados are almost TOO perfect, aren’t they?! Never tried making at home before…Hey Chicago!Ahhh my mom keeps on telling me I need to stop by the new Kapahulu Safeway…I hope I can make it there before I leave! :)Hey Reid!Just sent you over an email! :)Robyn!Well now that you’ll be living PRATICALLY NEXT DOOR…mebbe we can!! :)Hey Musubi!Mango bread pudding?!?! Okay that’s totally going on my never ending listing – I’m feel like I should extend my trip home for another week or something! :)

  • anonymous
    June 16, 2008

    AYAYAY! I love avocado smoothies too! When I was living in Beirut, I used to go to this place called Aseer Salam with my friend Ria on Friday nights. I always got the avocado juice with honey, pistachios, and cream (well, ishta in Arabic). If I was really feeling naughty I would get chocolate on top also. Reading your post made my heart melt!

  • Stephen
    July 14, 2008

    hi. linked to your blog via hapa|hale and am enjoying it. just passed that stand several weekends ago and was intrigued, but kept walking. now i know to stop and order the avocado went to school in claremont?! what a rarity. you must have gone to pomona or cmc. from the quality of your writing, my guess would be pomona. no offense intended if you went to cmc, but i would have to offer my condolences. ;) i’m a pomona (and fellow punahou) alum. :)

  • anonymous
    February 27, 2009

    Ok, so I was adventurous at my local Thai place last night and tried one of these babies for the first time. Heaven. The place is called Snow Spice at the corner of Lawrence and Western in Chicago, IL. This was only my first, so I don’t know how it stacks up, but I can’t wait to try more. Many many more. Oh, try the green curry while you’re there too. -Christine

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