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North Ohana Kava Bar location keeps sober drinking colorful and fun 

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper

Ohana Kava Bar, 4337 N. Academy Blvd.,358-6798, ohanakavabar.com

When I revisited the original downtown spot last year, I wrote that Ohana feels like a health lab, inviting adventure and exploration.

As a nightlife alternative to alcohol bars, the colorful spaces manage to keep the social act of drinking fun. I love the decor at this second location, including legit club/stage lighting that illuminates Tiki masks and other sea-themed items. A chunk of kava root inside a glass case on the bar feels like equal parts lab or museum display and object-worship.

As usual I want to try everything, but settle for a drink flight of a few tap samples for $5 and a fun concoction called Purps McGurps. For the flight, I pick the Lemon Haze, a tannic herbal lemonade, not too sweet, big with lemon balm essence; a light, tart CBD-infused kombucha; and a strong nitro cold brew coffee, bean of origin unknown by my bartender.

To further mix/balance out sedating and uppity substances, the Purps McGurps incorporates a flower called Indian Warrior (said to relieve muscle aches, tension, anxiety and more) with fizzy grape juice, its sweetness almost overwhelmed with a somewhat bitter herb flavor, not unpleasant but challenging to some, says my bartender.

I like it as a non-alcoholic wine substitute. Overall, I think Ohana’s underrated.

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