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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Juice Cane has fresh flavors but heavy prices

FRESH FLAVORS Juice Cane is a drinks place focusing mainly on Mexican drinks like aguas frescas, or fresh fruit juices, and Mexican appetizers.

By Kaylee Chan | Editor-in-Chief

  Gabrielino High School has no shortage of nearby shops for students to walk to, and recently, a new drinks place has entered its ranks. Juice Cane is a drinks place focusing mainly on aguas frescas, also known as fresh fruit juices, and Mexican appetizers.

   The menu includes a variety of juice flavors, including sugarcane, passionfruit, watermelon, and pineapple. Other drinks such as horchata, chamango, and iced tea are also available. Sides include ceviche and tostadas, Mexican torta con ham, and esquite, along with classic desserts such as ice cream and root beer floats.

   On my visit, I got raw sugarcane juice and esquite, a type of Mexican street food that consists of corn with various toppings.

   The flavor of sugarcane was new to me. It was subtly sweet and refreshing, but the slight plainness of the taste kept me wishing I had gotten the sugarcane drink with coconut or kumquat instead of the raw version.

   The esquite, which had corn drenched in mayo and cheese in a small cup, was surprisingly savory and the flavors of the corn and sauces complemented each other well. However, while a delectable snack, the small portion and lack of significant toppings made it seem like a dish one could cobble together at home.

   I also got a sample of their passion fruit drink. It contained fresh passionfruit cubes and the juice itself carried a hint of tangy chamoy spice that added dimension to the classic fruity taste.

   Overall, the drinks and food are not exceptional, but will appease those who enjoy the flavors available.

   A glaring issue, however, are the prices. Drinks are $6.99 for a regular size and $7.99 for a large. The use of fresh fruits is likely the factor driving up the price, but it feels hefty for a plain juice with no toppings, especially when other drinks places in the area are priced lower.

   The sides are also not cheap, with the small cup of esquite being $4.50 and fuller sides such as the ceviche and tostadas priced at $11.99.

   Despite the price, other factors make Juice Cane worth a visit. Firstly, its close walking distance to Gabrielino makes it a convenient place to stop by.

   Juice Cane also has a unique and inviting atmosphere. Chill music is always playing in the background and pop culture artwork adorns the walls. Those details, along with a hand-painted landscape mural above the table booths, gives the place an  artsy character.

   The tables have Connect 4 and Tic Tac Toe to enjoy with friends, and the couch and coffee table at the back also contribute to the casual feel of the place. It can easily become a trendy hangout spot for students to spend some time after school.

   Additionally, service is both quick and considerate. On one of my visits, the cashiers gave out a free Pokémon card with every order, on the other they gave out a small candy with an orca-shaped eraser. These small freebies gave the impression that every order was valued by the business.

   For those just looking for cheap drinks and snacks nearby, there are plenty of shops next door to Gabrielino that offer more affordable options. However, for those specifically seeking Mexican-inspired flavors and fruity juices that boba shops cannot provide, or simply want to support a small business that gives away freebies, then it might be worth stopping by after school for a cup of agua fresca.

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