Kairos Nutrition Bar, located in a little strip mall on Beach Boulevard near San Pablo, used to be just a juice bar. Kairos first opened in March of 2014 and focused primarily on fresh juices. They have recently undergone a major update, drastically renovating their space and expanding their menu to include healthy food options like bowls, wraps, and quite a few Latin items as well. The revamped Kairos Nutrition Bar reopened earlier this summer and is definitely worth checking out.
We recently stopped in for lunch and the first thing I noticed was how appetizing it smelled. The place was filled with the smell of meat sizzling on the grill, plus the unmistakable scent of black beans and rice. I was so excited to order. There was a short line, so I looked over the menu while I waited. They have a really large menu, and by large I mean huge, filling up most of the wall behind the bar. It is printed on big chalkboards and is very well laid-out and easy to read. It made it easy to pinpoint exactly what I wanted. The hardest part of choosing was that everything sounded so good. The menu includes wraps, bowls, smoothies, and fresh juices that are all customizable to an almost endless degree. They really encourage you to build your own healthy meal, choosing from a wide variety of fresh ingredients. In addition, they have a Latin menu that looks incredible, featuring several authentic Latin dishes with a healthy twist.
The other thing we noticed right away were the bright colors in the space. You can’t really miss the neon orange and green paints on the walls. It makes the space feel cheery and energized. Kairos has tons of seating, unlike a few other smoothie spots we’ve been to where seating options are somewhat lacking. It’s clear that Kairos has created a friendly atmosphere where you can feel comfortable grabbing a seat rather than just grabbing your smoothie and running out the door.
We decided to stay and eat there. I ordered a small Green Caribbean Smoothie ($3.75) and a Salmon Collard Wrap ($7.75). For my kiddo, we got a Kid’s Kairos Bowl ($4.95) with chicken and also a Kid’s Strawberry Smoothie ($3.75). The wait for our food was only a few minutes and then we dug right in. My Salmon Collard Wrap was delicious. It included perfectly cooked salmon, sweet potato, red peppers, brown rice, green onions, and black beans all wrapped up in a collard leaf. The salmon was well-seasoned and would have been amazing on its own. The sweet potato added a nice sweet contrast and the red peppers added some crunch. The wrap was served with a mango chile dipping sauce. I was really looking forward to that sweet/hot combination, but all I got was heat. I tasted no mango flavor at all whatsoever. It was a bummer because I bet the mango would have gone really well with the salmon.
The Kid’s Kairos Bowl was surprisingly good. Just like the wrap, it was a large sized portion. The chicken, beans and rice were piled high on a bed of fresh leafy spinach. The chicken was so amazingly well seasoned and juicy. Being a place that focuses so much on fresh fruits and veggies, you might think that the meat would be a secondary focus and not be as tasty as the produce. Think again. Both the salmon and the chicken were incredible. On their own, the seasoning was spot on, and added to the wrap and the bowl, added a ton of flavor. The black beans and rice in the Kairos Bowl were also impressive. They were some of the best I’ve had in a long time. Perfect seasoning and great flavor. I could go for a cup of those on their own.
Our smoothies were also really yummy. The Kid’s Strawberry Smoothie was a creamy treat with strawberries, bananas, and yogurt. It was blended really well to almost a milkshake consistency. And it was definitely toddler approved…she did not want to share! The Green Caribbean Smoothie was fresh and flavorful, and fluorescent green. It was also blended really well to a perfect consistency…no big chunks of fruit or ice. It was full of healthy ingredients (mango, pineapple, banana, coconut water, spinach) and tasted perfectly tropical. I didn’t feel like I was drinking a healthy green smoothie. It was more like sipping on a fruity, frosty daiquiri. It was a refreshing mid-day treat that I really enjoyed.
What used to be just a juice bar has now grown into a nutrition destination. The Kairos menu is full of healthy options, some of which have a fun Latin flair to them. It’s a little different than your typical smoothie place…in a very good way. The food and smoothies are fresh and flavorful and leave you feeling full and satisfied, not like you just forced yourself to eat something healthy.
The word Kairos means “a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action.” The folks at Kairos have really taken the definition of the word to heart. Their menu and philosophy is aimed at encouraging people to take the time to treat their body right and make healthy choices. And they’ve managed to do that in an easy and very tasty way!
For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family: Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom. She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies. You can follow her on Instagram.