Our Picks for the Weekend
Aquarium summer shows scheduled for Thursdays
The summer concert series Ke Kani o Ke Kai Waikiki Aquarium continues every other Thursday on the aquarium's lawn. If you get your HILife section as part of your Thursday afternoon home subscriber edition, you probably have just enough time to see and hear Kaukahi, starting at 5:30 p.m. If not, future concerts include HAPA (June 26), Jerry Santos and Jay Larrin (July 10), Eddie Kamae (July 24) and Willie K (Aug. 7).
Aquarium exhibits remain open during the concerts until 8:30 p.m. Food from the likes of Hula Grill Waikiki, Yama's Fish Market and Big City Diner will be on sale.
Admission is $25, $10 for children and free for those 6 years of age and under. The series supports the aquarium's plans for a new Hawaiian Streams exhibit.
Call 440-0915 or visit www.waquarium.org.
Get sharp on the uke with virtuosic strummers
With summer approaching, it might be a good time to spruce up your ukulele technique. Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho, who play on the newly released "2 to 3 Feet" on Ho's label, will be doing workshops at the Outrigger Waikiki Saturday and Sunday. From 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, the two of them will take students from morning beginning ukulele sessions, learning how basic strumming, scales and chords relate to each other, through afternoon group sessions, with more on strumming, arpeggios and soloing.
Fees are $20 per class. Call 921-9721.
Visiting Army Strings play at Atherton Sunday
Members of the U.S. Army Strings, a visiting elite corps of musicians, will perform a program including chamber works by Martinu and Ravel, plus a pops medley played by a larger ensemble, at 4 p.m. Sunday at Hawaii Public Radio's Atherton Performing Arts Studio.
Violinists Marlisa Moody and Matt Evans, violist Beth Dunkel and cellist Sam Swift will be the featured players on Martinu's "3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola" and Ravel's String Quartet in F Major. The seven-member Strolling Strings will then play a variety of works including pop, folk and Broadway tunes.
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call 955-8821.
Pipe and drum band booked at O'Toole's Pub
Scottish music is alive and well in the islands, thanks to Hilo's Lobo Del Mar Pipe & Drum Band.
The group started off as a duo that played on their namesake's cruise ship on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. Piper Brady Buntin and drummer Benton Little were later joined by Buntin's 9-year-old nephew Grady on the Highland Bagpipes, and the band has grown in number to become a unique Celtic ensemble of 11, consisting of more uncles, brothers and nephews.
Listen to the band pay tribute to its Scots-Irish roots in two performances next week, Tuesday at O'Toole's Pub on Nuuanu Avenue and Wednesday at Kelley O'Neill's in Waikiki on Lewers Street. Both shows run from 5 to 8 p.m.
No cover charge for these special performances. Call 223-3997.
1718 Kapiolani Blvd. / 942-3838
Ojiya, an izakaya-style restaurant that defines itself simply as "kuidokoro," a "casual place to eat," is just that. But when the presentation is sincere, there's no reason "casual" can't also be "wonderful."
From the outside, the restaurant, across the street from the Hawai'i Convention Center and next door to Quiksilver, can look dark and intimidating. Inside they've gone for laid-back Hawaiian ambience with a mix of lau hala pattern and bamboo curtains, tables of mixed sizes and shapes and aloha print room dividers and tablecloths.
Get comfortable and dig in for pau hana or late-night grazing on little dishes costing $4 to $10 each, accompanied by a variety of sake and shochu.
At $4 there's cold spicy tofu and lightly salted deep-fried gobo, or burdock chips, which I haven't seen on other menus. On the higher end, there is pork belly simmered in a sweet soy sauce ($8) and clams simmered in white wine ($10). Before ordering, check the daily appetizer specials for other specialties such as tsukune ($6), a twin-size ground chicken meatball, served with a side of raw quail egg for dipping, or thin slices of scallop ($10) drizzled with tart, citrusy yuzu and topped with a small piece of jalapeno.
If dining on my own, I would stick to the daily special menu, as it's most likely to reflect what's new, as well as the chef's inspiration for the day.
Basic sushi, sizzling steak, tempura, noodles including seaweed paste-infused soba from Niigata, Japan, and deep-fried dishes round out the menu.
Open 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Mondays to Saturdays. Meals run about $50 for two without drinks.
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