Our Picks for the Weekend
Uke master Bill Tapia stars at Royal Hawaiian
Another of the many celebrations of centenarian Bill Tapia heads to the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel Friday night.
The world's oldest professional ukulele player makes an appearance in Waikiki with special guests Makana, Mihana Souza and Owana Salazar, with backup provided by Jeff Peterson and Ernie Provencher.
In fact, Tapia performed with Johnny Noble and his band for the grand opening of the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" way the heck back in 1927. The veteran entertainer has already celebrated the 75th and 80th anniversaries of the hotel for staff and guests, but this will be the first time he's presenting a full-evening concert for the general public there. It's part of a send-off before the Royal Hawaiian closes for restoration on Sunday, reopening sometime in December.
Tickets for the 7:30 concert are priced at $48. Call 550-8457 or visit honoluluboxoffice.com.
Honolulu Chorale premieres local work
The 50-member Honolulu Chorale, one of Hawaii's oldest community choruses, will be presenting its 42nd annual spring concert.
The program will not only feature the music of Broadway, but the Chorale will premiere "God So Loved" by local composer Chris Suzuki. Chorale alto and past president Sharon Yamanaka has also written arrangements of Hawaiian songs for the Chorale to present in this concert.
Other affiliated groups to sing will be the Chorale Madrigal Ensemble, Just Us! (the barbershop ensemble) and the women's quartet Smooth Harmony. Guest artists include baritone Thomas Omuro and accompanist Sangeet Gellhorn.
Admission is $10, with children under 10 free, for the 4 p.m. concert at the Pearl City Cultural Center.
Dancers raising fundsfor trip to New York
Na 'Olapa O Mililani will present an evening of dance, music, food and fun at Pipeline Cafe Sunday beginning at 5 p.m.
The event will feature Halau Na 'Olapa O Mililani, under the direction of kumu Shayna Noelani Dabis. The halau is made up of girls from Mililani Middle and High Schools who are raising funds to offset their trip to the Macy's 150th Anniversary Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.
Also featured will be Hawaiian music by Ku Kamaha'o and dance music by Pacific Jam.
Tickets are available for $20 from halau members or by calling 554-8751. (It'll be $25 at the door.)
Millicent Cummings performs in Waikiki
Singer-songwriter Millicent Cummings kicks off June's Sunday Showcase at the Waikiki Beach Walk's Plaza Stage.
Her diverse music includes influences from folk, blues, rock 'n' roll and a bit of local slack key. Cummings is currently working on a new album, to follow up 2005's debut "Island Rose," called "Altar Native."
She'll be on stage from 4 to 5 p.m., and admission is free. Valet parking for up to four hours is available for $6 at the nearby Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk and the Wyndham Vacation Ownership-Waikiki, with any same-day purchase from any Beach Walk merchant.
Upcoming showcase concerts include those by the Nikki Hines Trio (June 8), Moon Kahele (the 15th), Pali (the 22nd) and a special two-hour hula ho'olaule'a with Kekaniwai and Halau Ka Waikahe Lani Maile.
Kapolei Shopping Center, 590 Farrington Highway / 674-9777
You don't see many Japanese restaurants on the Leeward side of Oahu as ambitious as Hana Sushi, where the menu numbers 275 items, a figure more frequently associated with Chinese restaurants that can do so by offering variations on a few basic meat and vegetable selections.
Nevertheless, Hana Sushi has stepped up to bring many Japanese restaurant favorites to diners in Kapolei in an upscale setting, even if at prices that can limit visits to special occasions.
It's most affordable when opting for a couple of maki rolls, with five to eight smallish pieces per order. There's more rice than fish with these rolls. Spicy tuna ($6.95) for example, is offered in a little mound on top of the maki, rather than rolled within it.
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Baked Hollywood roll, left, and shrimp tempura are among the 275 offerings at Hana Sushi.
I got the feeling that some do not like it hot here, as many dishes that would be spicy in town run sweet at this locale. If you see a sauce here, it's likely to be sugary, whether it's coating the salmon "Dynamite" with avocado ($14.95) or the bay scallop sauce that tops the Hollywood maki of salmon and avocado. I prefer the unadulterated nigiri sushi such as two pieces of hamachi running $6.25; maguro, $5.50; freshwater eel, $5.25; and ama ebi, $8.95.
It's easy to make a meal of appetizers like age tofu ($5.95), edamame ($4.25) or chawan mushi ($4.95), then graduating to golden shrimp tempura with a perfect crunch ($12.95 for five piece of shrimp or a combination of three pieces of shrimp with vegetables). I enjoyed a pair of oysters ($8.95) baked with thin yet potent garlic sauce.
Chicken karaage ($14.95) also gets the garlicky treatment, offered as one of 18 teishoku selections served with tsukemono, miso soup, salad and rice. Other entree selections include chicken katsu ($14.95), teriyaki chicken ($14.95), three styles of saba ($14.95), tonkatsu ($15.95) and miso or shoyu butterfish ($16.95).
Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m. daily. Meals from about $40 for two.
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