Our Picks for the Weekend
Talib Kweli is booked at Pipeline Cafe Saturday
Just weeks after former Black Star partner Mos Def was in town, Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli arrives to play Pipeline Cafe on Saturday.
"Eardrum," released in August, is Kweli's third solo effort. It's also his most successful, selling nearly 60,000 copies in its first week of release and peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in September.
The new album, marks the rapper's advance into the next phase of his career.
"I look at the first part, as being a rapper on Rawkus and being excited to be around, and just wanting people to know I rhyme," he told MTV. "The second part was trying to take control of my career and establishing myself as a solo artist.
"And the third part is now being an executive and taking complete control of what comes out."
Doors open at 9:30 p.m. for the 18-and-over show. Presale tickets are available at Pipeline, Fitted Hawaii, Jelly's and DIG Lifestyles. Call 946-8620.
'Beowulf' is playing in RealD format at Dole
"Beowulf" is in theaters now and apparently doing all right, being the box-office champ last weekend. The film by technophile director Robert Zemeckis is fully animated by computer effects, with actors wearing "motion-capture" suits, and the effect of rendering sixth-century barbarians generally works well, even if everyone appears somewhat Botoxed.
But in about a quarter of the theaters nationwide, Beowulf is playing in 3-D. Here in Hawaii, it's playing at the Dole Cannery multiplex in the RealD format, and it'll cost you an extra $2.50 for the glasses, which are formidable and built to last. They look like ZZ Top's cheap sunglasses, and the polarizing lenses have the effect of making the dark and smoky mead halls in the movie even murkier.
Great jazz is tucked away at the Dragon Upstairs
If you consider yourself a jazz lover, the Dragon Upstairs downtown has been a swingin' little venue for several months now.
It's located above Hank's Cafe at 1038 Nuuanu Ave. and some of Honolulu's best musicians play there. Regulars include singer Ginai and pianist Pierre Grill on Fridays, the Satomi Trio Saturdays, and Quadpod with trumpeter DeShannon Higa every Monday.
It's a great place to do a hang and kick back with some good music. The Dragon Upstairs opens at 7 p.m. Call 526-1411.
Keiki will learn about money at swap meet
Despite what it sounds like, the Children's Discovery Center's Keiki Swap Meet does NOT mean that children will be traded willy-nilly between parents, torn away from their loved ones' embrace. Put that terrible thought out of your mind! But from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, kids will, in fact, be taught "the value of money, economics, and trade in a fun and educational way."
The keiki will be responsible for collecting all their items for sale, pricing each item, and for handling the cash transactions.
This special swap meet is free for buyers and open to the public, and will be located in the Kakaako Gateway Park, directly across the street of the Center, 111 Ohe St. Call 524-KIDS (5437) for more information or visit the Center's Web site at www.discoverycenterhawaii.org.
2065 S. King St. (at Wiliwili) / 944-6622
You can change the broth, you can change the noodles, but ramen is one of those reliable dishes counted on to warm bellies on cold, rainy days.
I wouldn't be surprised if Nihon Noodles sparks a couple of trends. The restaurant is a dual innovator, turning the usual solitary meal into a communal one via shared nabe pot, and has also, via an all-in-one trio, super-sized the meal.
Nihon Noodles starts by offering three styles of ramen in one place: Hakata, Tokyo and Sapporo. The made-in-Hawaii noodles are typical of every other ramen shop here, yellow, bouncy and chewy, and varying only in thickness.
The Hakata noodles ($6.45) are the thinnest, served in the area's traditional broth of pork bones boiled for hours, until the broth turns a milky white. All the noodles are garnished with bean sprouts, char siu, green onions and nori, but the Hakata style also comes with traditional red ginger.
Medium-thin Tokyo noodles ($6.45) are served in a strong soy-sauce broth, and thick Sapporo noodles ($6.75) are served in a miso broth that varies in intensity, depending on who's cooking.
Try all three of the ramen styles via the Nihon Trio ($8.95). The noodles are cooked and chilled to prevent further cooking and sticking. They're served on a bamboo tray for adding fresh to the broth when you're ready. A couple could share an order, though a skirmish over the last bowl might ensue. But If you need more toppings, 15 are available, at 30 cents to $1.50 per item. Don't get too excited about the shrimp, of the minuscule bay size.
On hot days, try tsukemen, cold noodles that can be dipped into a broth full of vegetables and char siu. Don't miss the thick white Sanuki udon ($6.95) imported from Japan. Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 to 11 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Cost is less than $10 per person.
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