Our Picks for the Weekend
Imperial Chinese Restaurant
Westridge Center, 98-150 Kaonohi St. C-115 484-0188
Chinese restaurants are still the places where diners can feast on a budget, and Imperial Chinese Restaurant brings banquet-quality food to the West side.
For those who like their meals quick and cheap, there's a daily lunch buffet priced at $8.95 on weekdays and $10.95 on weekends. About the only difference between the two prices is the offering of steamed fish on weekends. Otherwise, you can pig out on salt-pepper shrimp, roast duck, kau yuk, beef broccoli, fried chicken, garlic stir-fried long beans, crispy gau gee and won ton -- about 14 to 15 dishes -- some subject to change. None of it had the twice-cooked aura of being yesterday's leftovers.
With high-end dishes of roast duck and salt-pepper shrimp priced at $11 (half order) and $10.95, respectively, it seemed that the restaurant stands to make more by having customers dine a la carte, and picky people might want to do that anyway. Unless you're at the buffet when it opens or when they're adding dishes, you can't be sure how long the food has been out drying or wilting. The kau yuk, for instance, was bouncier than that ordered straight off the menu.
A la carte dishes prepared by Hong Kong-trained chefs average $7.95 to $8.95. On the high end there's one of the house's best dishes, Volcano Beef Tenderloin, for $12.90. The black pepper-covered slices of beef arrive encased in foil and ready for flamb presentation. Parents with impressionable young children might need to find a baby sitter and enjoy this dish on their own because it makes playing with fire look like fun.
Other popular offerings here are sweet dishes such as orange chicken ($7.95) and honey-walnut shrimp ($12.95).
Lunch buffet offered daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; regular menu available 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Costs about $20 to $30 for two a la carte.
Hawaiian art gallery opens
The Bishop Museum becomes an art gallery as well this weekend, as its own premiere collection gets a new home.
For more than 60 years, the collection has been unseen because of lack of space, but the newly renovated picture gallery and glass-walled atrium lobby will be the permanent homes for the museum's collection of oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper.
Independent consultant Michael Horikawa states that the museum's Hawaiian art collection "is simply the finest 19th-century collection of Hawaiian art that exists in the world today. Period."
The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15.95 adult, $12.95 seniors 65 and over and children 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and under. Kamaaina and military rates are $7.95 general and $6.95 seniors and children. Call 847-3511.
Olivia the Band returns
Christian rockers Olivia the Band are back in town to celebrate the release of their latest album, "Where We Come From it Never Snows." After visiting the neighbor islands last week, the now San Diego-based quartet plays Pipeline Cafe Friday with opening acts ARKEO, White Rose and Safe Haven.
Originally based on Oahu's North Shore, Olivia formed in 1995 while its members were still in high school. The band is named after guitarist Justin Abilla's younger sister, who died before their mother could give birth to her. Abilla is joined by bassist Reed Cromwell, guitarist David Hashimoto and newest member, drummer Josh Tamaoka.
Doors for the all-ages show open at 6:30 p.m. Friday; tickets are $15 at the door, with $12 presale tickets available at all Ticketmaster outlets and the Blaisdell Center box office.s
Special 'Sunset' Sunday
This weekend's Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki will include something special on Sunday.
"Shrek the Third" will be the featured film on Saturday, with live music by FreeSound preceding the screening, and all starting at 4 p.m.
On Sunday, it's the Parade of Champions, starting at 4 p.m. at Fort DeRussy and going down Kalakaua Avenue to Queen's Beach. Those definitely participating will be the University of Hawaii 2007 Western Athletic Conference champions in women's soccer, women' volleyball and, of course, the Warrior football team.
Street closings will start at 2 p.m. Also invited to participate are high school and intermediate football championship teams from Leilehua, 'Iolani, Kaimuki, Waianae, Waipahu, St. Louis, and Word of Life. The parade will be televised live on KHNL from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Live entertainment starts at 5:15 p.m. with Imua (who, coincidentally, will be doing the CD release party for "Putumayo Kids Presents Hawaiian Playground" at the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center on Saturday -- see story on Page 4), followed by Augie T., Danny Kaleikini, mascot Vili the Warrior, Nalani Choy of Na Leo, Nephi Hannemann, Willie K and other guests.
Highlights of the Warrior's undefeated 2007 season will then be shown on the 30-foot screen.
"Parade of Champions" T-shirts, licensed UH football T-shirts and official Sugar Bowl programs will be sold at the Sunday event. The first 300 buyers will receive a UH Warriors hand-held fan, which were originally given out in New Orleans.
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