Our Picks for the Weekend
Kento shows his eclectic, electric sense of humor
Kento calls himself a "stand-up comic provocateur," and he's been provoking audiences since 1990.
"No. 1 influence has been my own demented self," Kento says on his MySpace page. "But I grew up loving Monty Python, Andy Kaufman, Looney tunes, Mel Brooks, Penn & Teller, and the comedy art and writings of Berke Breathed. ... Maybe one day my comedy will make sense. ..."
He plans a CD release soon, billed as "local humor going where no moke has gone before. I don't mean college, but to where the truths start to hurt." Sample tracks: "Samoan Tree Trimmers Union Party" and "Kailua High Beauty Contest."
You gotta like a guy with that kind of take on himself. See Kento in person at 8 p.m. Thursday at Sharkey's Comedy Club, hosting a comedy competition; at 7 p.m. Friday at the O Lounge or at next month's BayFest Hawaii -- he's on at 1 p.m. July 1.
Admission is $8 at Sharkeys; $15 advance ($20 at the door) at O Lounge.
International dancers come for hula contest
The color and artistry of hula fill the Blaisdell Arena Friday and Saturday for the 34th Annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition.
About 500 dancers are expected to compete in kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) styles, performing in male and female groups, combined groups, as well as individual chanters and kupuna wahine. They will come from the mainland, Japan and, of course, Hawaii.
The competition is produced by the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage, a nonprofit educational organization that works to preserve Hawaiian culture.
The dancing commences at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $8.50 to $20 per day, available at the Blaisdell box office and Ticketmaster outlets. For online purchases visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.hulacomp.com. For general information about the festival call 536-6540.
Rankin's fan-friendly tunes on Mamiya stage
"If you were restricted to play one and only one song for the remainder of your life, which would it be?" a fan asked of Kenny Rankin via his Web site. "What song defines you best, in both your career and personal style?"
"Without question, it's 'Like a Seed,' " Rankin responded. "Thanks for reminding me."
The 1996 recording is likely to be among the soft stylings Rankin will bring to the stage in a 7 p.m. performance Friday at Mamiya Theatre, St. Louis campus.
In a 35-year career, Rankin has built a reputation as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, but a good way to find out more about him is simply to post a question at www.kennyrankin.com. He actually answers.
Tickets are $35, available at the Blaisdell box office and Ticketmaster outlets. Call (877) 750-4400 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
KFVE to rebroadcast recent sumo tourney
If you didn't make it to the 2007 Grand Sumo Tournament earlier this month, you can still catch the battles of the behemoths. Highlights of the tournament will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday on KFVE.
The two-day bracket-buster, single-elimination-style tournament gathered the world's 38 top-ranked sumotori from Japan, Eastern Europe, Korea and Mongolia. Their series of matches at the Blaisdell Arena determined the winner of the Mayor's Cup one day; the Governor's Cup on the next.
It came down to (spoiler alert!) champions Asashoryu vs. Hakuho for the ultimate showdowns.
KFVE will break the many hours of action down to two hours for the broadcast. It marks a rare event in Hawaii -- the last sumo tournament here was in 1993.
Waikiki Parc Hotel, across from Halekulani, 2233 Helumoa Road / 237-6999
Nobu is one of those restaurants I always wanted to visit when I was in New York, but it never worked out. In a city with thousands of restaurants, something newer always beckoned, offering cuisine more exotic than Japanese fusion fare. What I knew of Nobu Matsuhisa's restaurants is what I've read, and the article that stood out most was a feature on celebs' favorite foods. Something like four out of six, including Leonardo DiCaprio, said their favorite dish is Nobu's black cod with miso.
That was amusing. Their idea of novelty and luxury is one of our izakaya and diner basics, only we call it miso butterfish. I wondered how Nobu could possibly wow an audience already well acquainted with Japanese cuisine.
The raw fish at Nobu is exceptional, however, and Nobu's black cod, baked in white miso with a touch of mirin for sweetness, is delicious. If you've got the money, the Nobu experience is worthwhile. What it lacks in novelty it makes up for in spare, dignified elegance.
Newbies might start with a few dishes that put Nobu on the map, including yellowtail sashimi ($16) splashed with yuzu and topped with the fire of a small slice of jalapeno pepper. Simple and fabulous. Follow this with a healthful sashimi salad ($21) with field greens topped with Matsuhisa dressing, a combination of familiar ingredients: soy sauce, mustard, rice vinegar, a touch of sugar and sesame oil, enhanced by finely chopped sweet Maui onions, slightly coarser than grated daikon.
Nobu is also noted for turning seafood into "pasta." Here, calamari ($19) is cut into noodle-thin strips to form tassels tossed with a light garlic sauce. Interesting, but not something I'd order again.
Rock shrimp tempura with a butter ponzu sauce ($18) is another Nobu signature, an upgrade from shrimp dynamite. And, borrowing from a Chinese method of preparing fish, Nobu douses sweet scallops with warm olive and sesame oils for a sensuous experience.
If all you want is plain sushi, take your pick of fish at $4 for tuna, unagi and yellowtail to $5 for tai and king crab, and $6 for uni. Note that the price is per piece, instead of per duo, as is usual on local menus.
If making decisions is not your forte, try the chef's omakase, geared toward capturing the essence of the Nobu experience. The meals are priced at $75 and $95, close to what you'd pay going the a la carte route if you could eat everything you wanted.
Hours: Dinner from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays to Sundays, bar lounge open to midnight. Prices are about $80 to $120 for two without drinks.
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