Arguably, one of the best vacation spots in America would have to be the islands of Hawaii. Cool breezes, swaying palms, and a cup of sweet shaved ice in hand sounds like the perfect vacation. But, not everyone can afford the luxury of heading down to the islands whenever the craving for shaved ice surfaces, especially when a cheaper and more available option is just a few minutes away.
A couple of turns here and there can land you at the best shaved ice joint in town, Wahini Kai Shaved Ice. This shop has over thirty flavors and freshly shaven ice as soft as white sand, proving it to be no carnival quality hard packed shaved ice, but rather an authentic Hawaiian treat.
The first thing you notice when entering the store is the setting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Hilton, but it definitely fits the profile of Hawaiian authenticity with its surfboards and decorations reminiscent of a tiki hut that banks on cheesiness. On the weekends, you can find children and families abound at this little store in Scripps Ranch, which I personally find really comforting.
But, now to the make it or break it part, the shaved ice. If you’re like me, a choice between two options, let alone thirty flavors, is not an easy one. Therefore, the lack of a chance to try and buy, like most ice cream shops, is a little disappointing. However, my advice is to just go with your gut. If you prefer something on the sweeter side, I recommend Tiger’s Blood, strawberry with a hint of coconut. But, if you’re in the mood for something with a kick of tanginess, I recommend pink lemonade, the flavor needing no further explanation.
When ordering, I usually prefer to stick to the classics, shaved ice with one or maybe two flavors. Furthermore, the price is definitely affordable, under four dollars for both the Kahuna, 8oz, and the Big Kahuna, 16oz, the sizes differing in cost by a mere 46 cents.
But, if you’re a little more adventurous, and have a little extra cash, there are options such as the Hui Hui (Double) combos or Triple Crown Combos that offer toppings ranging from ice cream to condensed milk.
In the end, if you’re looking for a genuine “Hawaii” experience, minus the packing and the airplane ticket, I definitely would recommend checking out Wahini Kai Shaved Ice on Scripps Ranch Parkway. But be warned, you’ll be hooked after the first bite.