Ohana Kava Bar
’s built a following as a nightlife spot for folks to stay sober but social. Manager Ben McQueen underscores that value as he refreshes our memories on the basics of the drink’s properties, like kavalactone-gifted calming/sedating benefits beyond a mild numbing sensation to the mouth. He guides us through a potent Island Time sampler (a not-cheap $20) of three double pours of different kavas: a Fijian, Vanuatuan and Solomon Island kava. The latter’s the most challenging in flavor, reminding my girlfriend of “living in a co-op” for its dirt characteristics. The other two land more approachable and earthy, faintly nutty, benefiting most from a little fat buffering by coconut milk that McQueen adds for us to try, in addition to a hibiscus extract. We do pucker under the zing of a Fire Cider shot made with habanero, honey, warming spices and apple cider vinegar, to which we add drops of adaptogenic tonics. Ohana feels more health lab than drink bar, inviting adventure and exploration.