Professor Salt | Aug 5, 200301:53 AM     10

Maybe you love boba, or maybe you find it gross. I happen to love boba drinks and have been sampling them all over LA and OC for some time now. My favorite place, to date, is Boba Smoothie in Costa Mesa (714-979-9665), which is on the NE corner of Harbor Blvd. and Baker St, just a mile south of the 405 and the new IKEA. It shares a parking lot with the Henry's Market and is kitty corner from the Marukai market.

Boba Smoothie blends real fruit into their smoothies (dairy free) and shakes (blended w/ milk or soy milk). Most boba shops use only fruit flavored syrups, a difference you may not miss until you've had one with real fruit. If a place like Jamba Juice or Robek's added boba to their drinks, you'd have an approximation to what's made at Boba Smoothie.

Tonight, I had a mango smoothie, which was blended to a silky, thick, and pefect consistency. The manager said that in addition to fresh fruit, they add some mango flavored syrup to offset fruit that's may not be perfectly ripe, which I thought was honest of him to offer without my asking. In any event, a silky smooth consistency with perfectly cooked and lightly sweetened boba.

They also have an interesting range of teas and herbal tea-stuff, like rose hips and mallow herb. They also sell stevia herb, which is a natural non-caloric sweetener. While stevia extract is commonly sold, I've never seen the herbal form sold in the US (thought it was illegal). Will have to try the really beautiful teas one day, on the off chance I get bored of the smoothies.

They have a small, boutique-y store, and don't have a zillion items on their drink menu, which is a plus in my opinion. I don't recall seeing any nasty non-dairy-creamer based drinks, which I find disgusting. I like that they focus on flavor choices they can get in fresh fruit form, as opposed to relying on mixes, syrups, or canned stuff.

What's your favorite boba shop? Do they use real fruit?

Link: http://bobasmoothie.com

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