Our Picks for the Weekend
Film chronicles fight for equality during war
Veteran local documentary filmmaker Tom Coffman brings his latest film to the University of Hawaii's Outreach College Sakamaki Lecture Series.
"The First Battle" chronicles the formation and actions of the Council for Inter-racial Unity that was organized in Honolulu in 1939 in support of the islands' large Japanese community. Where 120,000 Japanese Americans were relocated from the West Coast and interned in remote camps, a behind-the-scenes battle for justice and equality set Hawaii on a different course, reaching as far as the White House.
Coffman will be on hand with his film, which screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Yukiyoshi Room, Krauss Hall 012, near Dole Street. Admission is free. Call 956-8246.
Event marks Bastille Day at Waikiki Yacht Club
It's a long way from the beginnings of the French Revolution waaay back in 1789, but darned if it's still a good excuse to party. Saturday commemorates the start of the revolution against Louis XVI with the storming of the Bastille prison. The national holiday of Bastille Day will also be celebrated here locally, thanks to the French Honorary Consulate in Hawaii and the Alliance Française of Hawaii, in conjunction with the American Association of Teachers of French and Iaorana Tahiti.
From 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Waikiki Yacht Club, pupus -- excuse me, hors d'oeuvres -- wine and other beverages will be served, with entertainment provided by Pierre Grill and L'Escargot.
Advance tickets are $15. To purchase, call 547-5852 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Liberté, égalité et fraternité!
Cultural workshops usher in hula festival
The long-running Prince Lot Hula Festival at Moanalua Gardens celebrates its 30th anniversary with a series of cultural workshops starting Monday and running through Wednesday.
Noted kupuna, artists and craftspeople will be conducting two workshops each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gardens. "Genealogies of Moanalua" will kick off the workshops on Monday at the Chinese Hall (limited to 16), along with "The Art of the Hawaiian Saddle" on the Kamehameha Cottage Lawn. The lawn area will also have kapa and Hawaiian dye workshops Tuesday, 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m., respectively. Wednesday will have a featherwork workshop at Chinese Hall (limited to 16 again) and another on lei making on the lawn, both going from 9 to 3.
All this leads to the popular hula festival next Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 839-5334.
Korean stars to sing at Kapiolani Park
Korean recording artists Lee Ki Chan and Wax Lee Ki Chan will be showcased at the sixth annual Korean Festival on Saturday at Kapiolani Park.
Chan has a No. 1 single, "A Beauty," but is also known for his roles in the KBS serial "Drama City" and the movie "Father, Mari, and Me." Wax is known for her hits "Mother's Diary," "Fixing My Makeup" and "Money." Both singers perform at 5 p.m. at the bandstand.
The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and also will include Korean music and dance, cultural displays, cooking demonstrations, a kim-chee-eating contest and Korean song contest, and sale of Korean foods and products.
Admission is free.
A free shuttle will run from the parking lot at Kapiolani Community College from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 792-9321 or visit www.koreanfestivalhawaii.com.
Roy's Waikiki Beach Walk
226 Lewers St. (facing Halekulani) / 923-7697
Roy's new Waikiki Beach Walk would appear to be a can't-miss proposition for the most obvious reason: location, location, location. It's in a primo spot within eyeshot of visitors to the Halekulani, Waikiki Parc Hotel, Outrigger Reef and new Embassy Suites, plus, it's within walking distance for vacationers staying at the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian hotels. But if you look around the dining room, more often than not, you'll see a predominantly local crowd, and why not? It's an audience he created from the ground up.
For those born within the last 20 years, Roy's will look no different than any other fusion restaurant in town, but in Honolulu of 1988 a revolution was taking place. Yes, kids, before Roy Yamaguchi and like-minded compadres of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, your parents didn't know what arugula was, and diners never saw wasabi and beurre blanc on the same menu.
Today, such cuisine is so entrenched as to be pretty ordinary. Except for special chef-hosted dinners, what you get at a Roy's Restaurant by now seems safe and familiar. Palates have become more sophisticated thanks to Roy's, but he's also responded by giving people what they crave: strong flavors, more fat, more sugar, more salt. Leave delicacy to other hands.
For lunch, choose from such local-style grinds as a meatloaf loco moco ($19.50) featuring bacon-and-egg fried rice and shiitake sauce, or a Portuguese sausage and wild mushroom omelet ($10.50) served with kim chee fried rice.
As at his other restaurants, menus and prices are subject to change daily, though you'll always find some combination of sushi, appetizers, prix fixe menus and Roy's Classic dishes -- like grilled Szechuan spiced baby back pork ribs ($11.50) and Roy's original blackened island ahi ($14.50 appetizer/ $30.50 entree) -- mixed in with market selections at night.
It all comes across as very local, very chop suey with everything going into the pot without the finesse of the old days, when all eyes were on a few chefs.
A recent spate of restaurant closures is demonstrating how tough it is to capture the public's imagination in an enduring way. Even with Nobu snaring volumes of business down the street, and lots of competition from Waikiki Beach Walk newcomers, Roy's can hold its own. Not bad for the granddaddy of restaurants.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. daily, with cocktails available in between. Dinner for two is about $80 to $90 without drinks.
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