Our Picks for the Weekend
Museum hosts tasty event for small eateries
Honolulu's "Little Kitchens" are not the ones normally on culinary glory lists. Honolulu Weekly pays tribute to them in its third "Little Kitchens: Big Flavors from Honolulu's Best Little Kitchens," from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Hawaii State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St.
Featured will be the restaurants Downtown, Town, Green Door Cafe, India Cafe, Licious Dishes, Olive Tree, BluWater Grill, Grand Café & Bakery, 12th Avenue Grill and Mi Casa Taqueria. Also contributing: Honolulu Chocolate Company, La Gelateria, Marine AgriFuture and Mercado de la Raza, as well as the farms Big Wave Tomatoes and Ma'o Organic Farms.
Beer, wine and a martini bar will provide liquid refreshment. Museum galleries will be open, the NewJass Quartet will perform and a silent auction will benefit Slow Food O'ahu.
Tickets are $55 in advance, available at Liquor Collection, Fujioka's, Oliver in Kahala Mall and at the Weekly's office downtown at 1111 Fort Street Mall. This is a 21-and-over event. Tickets at the door will be $70. Call 528-1475, ext. 10.
Oktoberfest almost pau at Ala Moana Hotel
Ala Moana Hotel's Oktoberfest celebration wraps up Sunday, so now's the time if you're in search of your annual overdose of brats and beer. Or a chicken dance.
On the menu: bratwurst, sauerbraten, giant knackwurst, pig knuckles, sauerkraut, potato salad, apple strudel and Black Forest Layer Cake. German beers to be poured: Ayinger Dunkel, Paulaner, Bitburger, Isenbeck, Becks, Spaten, St. Pauli Girl and Lowenbrau. German schnapps will also be available.
Hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday.
If you're up for a little education with your celebrating, the history of the traditional German celebration is told in exhibits around the Hibiscus Ballroom, which is decorated as a mini-Munich. Polka music is by the Edelweiss Band.
Admission is $5 Thursday and Sunday; $10 on Friday and Saturday. Call 955-4811.
New venue focuses on rich African culture
Africa is always in the forefront of international news, but we here in Hawaii don't experience much of its rich culture. The nonprofit Badenyaa African Diaspora Dance Theater hopes to take care of that with its launch party Friday night. The theater hopes to cultivate respect and awareness of African and black cultures everywhere by helping set up educational programs for the youth. The party will feature African dancing, drumming and singing, plus kut and skratch turntablism, slam poetry, some Brazilian Capoeira, and an African fusion dance party propelled by Badenyaa and guest artists. Featured guests will include Kutmaster Spaz, Capoeira Senzala Hawaii, Kealoha and other slam poets, and West African rapper Moussa Bangoura.
The party kicks off Friday, starting at 9 p.m. and keeps going until 1 a.m., at the Hawaiian Hut, fronting the Ala Moana Hotel. There's a $10 cover, 18 and over only.
Maori Song and Dance show set for Saturday
Proud, passionate chanting and stomping will fill the Polynesian Cultural Center's Pacific Theater for the eighth annual Maori Song and Dance Competition on Saturday. Keiki groups from across the state will showcase song and dances from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the event will also feature two new competitions, as well as a special performance by Adeaze, the popular R&B group from New Zealand.
Formerly known as the Whakataetae Festival, this year, a new format for the competition will be implemented. The competition starts at 9 a.m., with Te Whanaketanga, the keiki competition. The new Haka Hard and Poi E! competitions will follow, and are open to adult groups of as many as five members who are at least 18 years old.
Admission is $10 and keiki younger than 3 get in free. Purchase of a competition ticket allows for admittance to the cultural center for the rest of the day, excluding meals and the Horizons night show.
For more information or reservations, call 293-3333 or visit www.polynesia.com.
Waikiki Beach Walk, second floor / 924-1555
There are familiar faces behind Kaiwa at Waikiki Beach Walk, as chefs Isamu Kubota and Daisuke Miyakawa have taken their Okonomi Cuisine Kai concept a few notches up.
Kaiwa provides a more upscale setting -- with fiber optic curtains and sleek zashiki room -- for their dishes, with prices to match. At the top of the scale, an order of wafu sirloin is $35, and teppan-grilled Pacific lobster is $45.
On the lower end are vegetable selections. My favorite was HokuHoku kabocha ($12), Japanese pumpkin and asparagus tossed on the teppan with garlic, olive oil, a touch of soy sauce and bits of bacon.
If you're starting with sushi, be aware that prices of $8 for uni, $4 for maguro and $9 for ebi, etc., are per piece, not per duo.
What is most interesting is that as Japanese food continues to fuse with that of the West and as the chefs' comfort levels with Western ingredients and tastes increase, the selections are becoming increasingly decadent. Butterfish (gindara shioyaki, $32) is broiled and topped with truffle slices as big as a slice of garlic.
And I had to see the foie gras hamburger steak ($34), which is described as a "ground beef patty with a foie gras center." Whoa!
It turns out the foie gras was not in the burger, but centered on top of it. Otherwise it was as big, beefy and American as they come. It's a little scary.
Open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. daily; cocktails to 1:30 a.m. About $70 to $90 for two without drinks.
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