We jested about it last month, but clearly it's a recurring theme. The concept of DIY-meals. Or in the case of PCH's Bowls: Salads, Rice Bowls & More. Open earlier this month next door to Chronic Tacos, they corral multiple themes with the hopes of capturing a range of tastes. With the aftermath of Thanksgiving wrecking havoc on our belt, checking out a healthier concept gave us hope.
Like we've said before, the food is only as good as its conceptualizer. Okay, supplying quality ingredients is a no-brainer (We're looking at you, lower-quality-than-usual Flame Broiler). Yet there's still service, atmosphere and selection. Bowls' Kryptonian wall color both welcomed and hurried us to order.
The first take-out theme is their $5.99-a-pound salad bar. We glossed over the standard fruit and veg lineup, but mental noted their Old World Bacon and Hot Thai Peanut dressings. You'll also find a steamed veggie tale of the cabbage/potato/broccoli variety with brown and white rice options. Their other bowls are priced by size, from a modest Junior to big Papa. If you get ravenous and include chicken or beef, you're spending closer to $10. Sauces? Go old school soy or hybrid plum BBQ, tangy hot or teri for the undecided.
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Breakfast is served until 11, leaving us with a hankering for some steak, onions and eggs. That left us with their acai bowl. Having never tried one, we expected more Jamba Juice straw than spoon-worthy sorbet. And it would've been, if not for the toppings galore. Not that we're complaining-- chopped fruit, granola, honey and shredded coconut decorated blended berries and antioxidant stuff we mispronounce. The lady manning the acai station was happy to explain and customize to our liking. Our tricked out dessert left us guilt-free.
Keith Maximillian's goal to find healthier eats closer to home resulted in Bowls, taking over a space once occupied by a yogurt shop and surf retail. We liked their hours (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily) and our acai treat is served all day. They'll also accept fax and email orders. Are your control issues short on time? Keith might be able to help.
Bowls is located on 4525-B W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 722-6957; www.pickyourbowl.com.