Our Picks for the Weekend
Ballet Hawaii students put best foot forward
Ballet Hawaii presents its Spring Showcase this weekend at the Kaimuki High School Theatre. The performances are a finale for this year's student dancers, and the production features excerpts of classical ballets such as "Coppelia" and "Pas de Quarte," and new works choreographed by Derek Daniels and Minou Lallemand.
Four groups of student dancers will present their works developed in the Young Choreographers program.
While the 2 p.m. Sunday performance is already sold out, tickets are still available for the 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday performances. Advance tickets are $10 general and $5 students, with prices at the door going for $12 and $7, respectively.
Call 521-8600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rules lifted for contest of open mic and poetry
The most consistently entertaining event every month has got to be the First Thursdays open mic and poetry slam at Ala Moana Hotel's Hawaiian Hut. Hosted by Kealoha, a packed house is guaranteed every time for an evening mainly made up of spoken word.
With the summer comes "no rules," as in everything is allowed, where you don't have to perform solo in order to qualify for the $100 top prize. So participants can go in as a team, have musical accompaniment, props, whatevahs -- just so long as you keep it within the three-minute time rule.
The featured performer on June 6 will be frequent island visitor Bridget Gray from Los Angeles. Plus there'll be the usual live painters, masseurs back in the lounge, and DJ Oliver Twist on the turntables throughout the evening.
The price is right -- $3 at the door before 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:45) and $5 afterwards. Call 387-9664 or go to www.HawaiiSlam.com for more info.
Competition celebrates radio station's first year
Stone Groove Radio -- heard Sundays at midnight on 102.7 Da Bomb (KDDB-FM) -- celebrates its first birthday with "FLOW: The 808 Hip-Hop Showcase" Friday night at the O Lounge.
With hosts J. Blaze and Big Moxx, "FLOW" will feature performances by Jeyetik, Samoan Dynasty, E-Dub and King Ryma, plus an open-mic freestyle battle with a cash prize to boot. The winner will be invited to battle live on the radio show later in June as part of Stone Groove's one-year anniversary.
Cover at the door is $5 (not including the cost for valet parking), and it's for those 21-and-over only, please. The fun runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the O Lounge is at 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
Zoo holds special day for military families
The Honolulu Zoo will "roar" its appreciation for our armed forces and their families on Military Appreciation Day on Saturday. Besides the thousand rare and exotic animals from around the world that are usually on display, the day will include music, games and activities for the children, and free picnic lunches to the first 8,000 military patrons.
Entertainment will be provided by the singing Honolulu firemen, FireHouse, the Air Force Band of the Pacific, Hana Hou and the Royal Hawaiian Band.
Free bus service will be provided to military personnel from Schofield Barracks, Hickam and the Navy Exchange at Pearl Harbor. Military ID card holders will be able to park for free at Kapiolani Community College and use the free shuttle bus service running continuously to and from the zoo from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A special military-only entrance will be posted at the zoo's Monsarrat Avenue gate across from the Waikiki Shell parking lot.
Admission to the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. event will be free to all active-duty, retired and reserve personnel and their families with a valid military ID card. Everyone else, it's $8 general admission, $4 for youth 13 and older, and $1 for children ages 6 to 12 and accompanied by an adult.
For more info, call the USO of Hawaii at 836-3351.
Dat One Persian Restaurant
801 Alakea St. / 791-1616
The Middle East contingent in downtown Honolulu keeps growing. Along with Mediterranean Cafe's Algerian flavor and Good & Healthy's Lebanese fare on Merchant Street are Leo's Taverna's Greek menu over on Bishop, and now Dat One Persian Restaurant, Persian fare perhaps being more romantic and evocative than its alternative, Iranian.
Dat One is a play on local pidgin, noting it's Honolulu's one and only Persian restaurant. They've also got the plate-lunch thing down pat, offering about seven steam-table stews daily with basmati rice replacing standard white rice. A single-entree-choice plate is about $4.50; it's $6.50 for two choices.
The basic ingredients are the same as other Middle Eastern cuisines, such that a beef and eggplant stew is no more exotic than our own beef stew. Also dominant are chicken, eggplant, beans, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and lemon juice.
The first time I tried Persian cuisine was in Washington, D.C., or New York. It was that memorable. The one thing that stood out was the sweet, untamed flavor of pomegranate juice used to flavor beef. Here, it's used in fesenjoon, a sweet pomegranate chicken and walnut stew.
I lean more toward the savory than sweet, so my favorite was the khoresh aloo, chicken with potatoes, prunes and turmeric as a stand-in for pricier saffron. And Fridays are kebab days. More weekly specials are promised soon. For now, Dat One offers a pleasant, inexpensive introduction to a cuisine from a world away. When it comes to sharing food, we're all one big happy family. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
801 Alakea St. # 101 / 230-9941
Before Dat One, there was Kafe Europa, serving Armenian/Russian fare in the same complex. Russian beef stroganoff ($7.45) is a Wednesday and Friday special. You can pick up delicious chicken ($4.50) or lamb shaurma sandwiches ($5.99) or plates ($6.50/$7.25 respectively) any weekday, the latter made with cubed lamb instead of ground meat. Impressive.
Hummus ($4.50 with one pita) and tabbouleh ($3.50 with half pita) are top-notch, and it all serves to make me wish our offices were closer to downtown's wonderful food bazaar. Open 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
Send questions, stories or other story ideas or comments to: Features, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813 or e-mail email@example.com
Please include your phone number.