Our Picks for the Weekend
Hawaii's own decathlete takes Olympic stage
This year's Summer Olympics in Beijing has been an exciting one, and it winds down this weekend with the much-anticipated men's decathlon, as Hawaii's own Bryan Clay is in good position to bring home the gold for the United States.
Clay will be part of a field that includes American rivals Trey Hardee and Tom Pappas, reigning world and Olympic champion Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic and Athens Olympics third-place finisher Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan.
The grueling competition started Thursday at the national stadium (aka the "Bird's Nest") with the 100- and 400-meter runs, long jump, shot put and high jump, and concludes Friday with the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run. NBC will, of course, offer primetime coverage of this defining Olympic event, seen here on local affiliate KHNL.
Good luck, Bryan!
Waimea Valley hosting Hawaii healing festival
The Hawaii Healing Garden Statewide Festival comes to Oahu this weekend at the Waimea Valley cultural center and botanical garden (formerly the Waimea Valley Audubon Center), with a health festival and concert Saturday and workshops Sunday.
Presentations begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on such topics as Filipino healing herbs, noni fruit, local organic farms and gardens, the traditional Hawaiian diet, plant medicine and preparation and Chinese tea. That evening, at 5 p.m., guitarist Makana and friends will perform.
On Sunday, starting again at 10 a.m., workshops and classes continue throughout the day, teaching organic farming, "how to communicate with nature spirits," healthy cooking and traditional healing techniques of the Philippines.
For specifics, visit www.oahuhealthguide.com.
Canstruction event will benefit isle food bank
They're building it one can at a time ...
For the third year in a row, Pearlridge Center will host the Canstruction competition, beginning 9 a.m. Saturday.
In the shopping center's Uptown mall, teams from the Honolulu Chapter of the American Institute of Architects will build what they hope will be award-winning sculptures made entirely out of canned goods, all for the benefit of the Hawaii Food Bank.
Creations will be judged by their AIA peers, with "People's Choice" and other awards given out Sept. 7 at the Decanstruction awards ceremony.
To cast your vote, just donate a can of food, with one can equaling one vote. And unlike real elections, there is no limit on the number of votes -- or cans -- submitted, so vote often to help the food bank. Call 488-0981.
Washington Place event hosts floral designer
Internationally recognized floral designer Rene van Rems will be the guest of a benefit next Thursday to help restore the historic gardens at Washington Place.
Van Rems will demonstrate the use of authentic period vessels with island flora and fauna. Fittingly, the governor's home is known for its unique fusion of Victoriana and tropical florals.
The benefit will take place at Washington Place 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 28. Cost is $125, which includes a special lauhala box dinner provided by Kakaako Kitchen.
Call 275-3075 or visit www.washingtonplacefoundation.org.
Banana Leaf Italian Bistro
Market City Shopping Center, 2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
There have been national restaurant chains that have expanded rapidly here, but it's rare for a homegrown company to open two restaurants back-to-back. There's a lot to lose if the first one doesn't catch on.
Luckily for the partners behind Banana Leaf Cafe at the McCully Shopping Center, and the newer Banana Leaf Italian Bistro, a sinking economy won't stop people from dining out entirely, and the pastas and pizzas served at both might represent an affordable splurge.
Banana Leaf Cafe introduced the concept in March, offering quick, casual dishes. The newer restaurant adds heavier entrees to the mix for those with more voracious appetites.
Just as at the cafe, the deep, narrow interior is done up in comfortable, modern style. It's quite sedate on early weeknights, but fills up on weekends.
It took willpower to avoid reordering the same dishes I like at the cafe. One of my favorite dishes there, however, the eggplant Parmesan, didn't make the move.
What's new here are the addition of heavier entrees: steaks, osso bucco in a mild red wine-tomato sauce ($25.95) and veal chops ($29.95). Pollo alla marsala ($15.25) was tender for breast meat, and the mushroom marsala wine demi-glace was perfection. It seemed really dry when I was cutting into it, but the problem here lay in the cutlery. The flatware consists of a butter knife when a sharper blade is called for.
I had the same problem with a dish of strip loin steak served with king crab legs ($28.95). I was happy to discover it was cooked to a perfectly tender medium rare. The king crab legs were unfortunate, baked crispy and flavorless to boot. The crab also tops other pasta dishes, but I wouldn't order it again.
Open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. daily except Sunday, when closing is at 9 p.m. Costs about $30 to $60 for two; B.Y.O.B.; no corkage fee.
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