Our Picks for the Weekend
Blaisdell show features flavors of the Pacific
We love food. We love shopping. Bring the two together and you've got the 33rd Annual Spring New Products Show, Friday through Sunday at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.
Last year's "Taste of the Pacific" returns this year, featuring a melting pot of dishes and confections, including the best in local favorites from such places as Tanioka's, the Wedding Cafe, the O Lounge Gourmet Kitchen, No Ka Oi Crepes, Marian's Catering, Kakaako Kitchen, Family Foods and more.
Plus the ABC Design Center will be giving away a $100,000 extreme home interior makeover package.
The show will also unveil the city's new blue HI-5 recycling bins, which allow local schools to raise funds through community support. You can drop off your opala at the bins there to benefit the Lex Brodie Foundation and McKinley High School.
On Sunday, there will be a special meet-and-greet with new University of Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin and his team.
The show runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There's a $5 general admission; $4 for seniors, military and children 7 to 12; and free for children under 7 coming in with a paying adult.
Go to pacificexpos.com.
'Lei of Stars' to honor Hawaiian music greats
The latest inductees into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame will be honored with a "Lei of Stars" concert Saturday night at Hawaii Theatre.
Some of the inductees - Bill Ka'iwa, Jesse Kalima, Eddie Kamae, Don McDiarmid Sr., Peter Moon, Marlene Sai and John Pi'ilani Watkins - will also join in the concert, including Kamae himself, and Ka'iwa with Ken Makuakane. Cyril and Martin Pahinui will honor Moon, plus the Kalima 'Ohana, Na Palapalai, Owana Salazar and Ku'uipo Kumukahi will be part of the lineup. Co-emcees will be Karen Keawehawai'i and Harry B. Soria Jr.
The mission of the hall of fame and its museum is to promote, preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian music by celebrating the achievements of its composers, singers and performers, sponsoring exhibits and performances, and providing educational opportunities.
The concert starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $35 and $40. Call 528-0506 or visit hawaiitheatre.com.
Kualoa Ranch hosting Ho'okupu Aloha event
Kumu hula Mary Kupau Mikaele will present the ninth annual Ho'okupu Aloha from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kualoa Ranch.
This free community event offers food and arts-and-crafts booths, and features entertainment from Hoku Zuttermeister and hula and Polynesian dancing from Halau O Keaunui, Na 'Opio O Ko'olau and Mikaele's own Kuhai Halau O Kahealani Pa 'Olapa Kahiko.
Call 239-4852 or 292-9465.
Unique jazz trio performs Saturday in Aina Haina
The Ko'olau Wings jazz trio will do a free gig at the Aina Haina Public Library.
The trio - an unusual combination of saxophonists Tony Yee and Benjamin Peters, and trombonist Matt Snow - performs standards dating back to the 1930s.
Sponsored by the Friends of Aina Haina Library, this one-hour program is suitable for all ages.
It all starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in front of the library's meeting room. Call 377-2456.
Free family fun day at Dole Plantation
Dole Plantation hosts its second annual free Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, located in Wahiawa at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway.
Entertainment throughout the day includes performances by Kamele, Hula O Puana'ala, the Wahiawa Hula Studio, the Te Lumanaki O Tokelau I Amelika dance troupe, and Helemano Elementary School's Ukulele Club. There will also be food and arts-and-crafts booths, plus games for the keiki (which requires purchase of scrip).
And for one day only, Hawaii residents can take advantage of a 2-for-1 admission into the Pineapple Maze and the Plantation Garden Tour, reduced admission for the Pineapple Express Train, and 15 percent off most retail merchandise at the plantation store.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to local area schools.
Call 621-8408 or visit
2255 Kalakaua Ave. / 866-952-FIRE
Starwood has brought a bit of swagger to the Sheraton Waikiki via Rum Fire, where the Esprit Lounge used to be. What a transformation it has been. The enclosed box of a room is gone, replaced by openness and sparkling glass that reveal the million-dollar view of Diamond Head beyond the glow of the room's fire pot. Sit in this room at sunset and all trauma will drain away, with or without the assistance of Rum Fire's signature rum cocktails. They don't skimp on the rum here, whether you're ordering a daiquiri, pina colada or mai tai.
When you get hungry, the food will leave you pleasantly surprised. Although basic barbecue, hoisin and sambal sauces accompany many dishes to accommodate the drinking crowd, there are enough flavors and textures within the food to thrill a foodie. It's a remarkable balancing act for two distinct groups of people. Executive chef Colin Hazama is definitely someone to watch.
Start with fire-grilled mahi tacos ($15) presented in a build-it-yourself format with flour tortillas served in a glass, alongside small helpings of ginger-mango relish, and guacamole spiked with corn and cilantro, with the fish sitting atop shaved won bok slaw. Ahi poke Rum Fire style ($15) featured a small dice of ahi loaded into small taco-shaped tortilla shells, layered with Maui onion and tobiko sour cream, with a helping of gingered avocado guacamole on the side, all sitting on a crunchy bed of Maui onion sauerkraut with shaved fennel. There always seemed to be a lot of stuff on the plates, but none of it was an afterthought.
Cast-iron-seared scallops are pricey at $18 for a trio but served with crunchy slivers of Asian pear and hearts of palm, and perfectly seared without the water bloat of scallops served at other restaurants both high and low. It doesn't get much better than this. Same with crab cakes ($16), actually comprising crab, not fillers.
Open 11:30 to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4 to 11 p.m. daily, with happy hour 4 to 6 p.m. daily and late-night cocktails to 2 a.m. Dinner for two costs about $40 to $50 without drinks.
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