Our Picks


POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009


Bangkok Chef

2955 E. Manoa Road / 988-0212

Bangkok Chef, one of the pride and joys of lower Nuuanu, has found a second residence in Manoa and appears to be an instant hit, a different kind of start for Patrick Chang and crew, whose first venture on Nuuanu Avenue was a small garage-y grocery store that grew into a restaurant. The hot meal service, beginning in 2002, presented a good opportunity to showcase the curries and produce sold there. Over time, three tables doubled to six, and now most of the space once taken up by shelving and bins has been surrendered to tables.

The newest Bangkok Chef has been able to spring full-fledged into a bustling casual restaurant with the same order-at-the-counter service as at Nuuanu. I think the food in Manoa is even better than at Nuuanu, but the Manoa restaurant lacks Nuuanu's charm. It's just a box. But if you live in the neighborhood, it must be exciting to enjoy adult fast food at relatively low cost.

Where many Thai restaurants have entrees that start at $7.95, Bangkok Chef offerings start at $5.70. The $2-plus difference adds up when spread across three or four dishes. And now that budgetary constraints are forcing some to eat less, many of the plates are self-contained, served complete with jasmine rice (it's 50 cents extra for sticky or brown rice).

There are an equal number of a la carte selections, though you still have to maneuver around all those Styrofoam boxes.

The fast-food format might not appeal to those who love the Thai restaurant experience of enjoying many varied dishes. The plate meals require that you stick to one entree, whether red chicken curry or basil chicken.

Curries here are child-friendly, smoothed with coconut milk, with none overly spicy. Even the panang pork curry of pork loin, potato and basil, described as “;medium spicy,”; is no spicier than an all-American beef stew.

Open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Costs start at $15 to $25 for two.



Mission Houses host interactive film showing

Join the Mission Houses Museum for a special interactive showing of the 1966 film “;Hawaii,”; starring Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow.

Based on the controversial best-selling 1959 book by James Michener, the movie follows the experiences of the early missionaries who came to the islands in the 1820s.

After a short introduction by local historian Nanette Napoleon, the screening will become an interactive experience, where the audience becomes a part of the action, complete with provided props.

Admission is free and the screening, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., will be at Windward Community College's Paliku Theatre, 47-720 Kea'ahala Road, in Kaneohe. Call 531-0481, ext. 707.



IYFI improv troupe highlights family benefit

It will be laughter for a good cause when the In Yo Face Improv group performs for the family of the late Eric Sawchuk.

Sawchuk was killed last month after falling off a Makua cliff. He leaves behind two young children and his wife Theresa, who herself is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer that has since spread to other parts of her body. Theresa's co-workers at Queen's Medical Center have organized this “;Celebration of Love”; fundraiser to help the family cover their bills.

IYFI will be showcasing a few of their fan-favorite short-form games, similar to the ones that have been seen on the TV show “;Whose Line Is It Anyway?”; Audience participation is greatly encouraged.

Admission is $20 for the fundraiser at Oceans 808 in Restaurant Row. Call 386-6975.



Celebrate Bach's birthday at recital and luncheon

“;BACHanalia”; will be a celebration of the classical composer's music on the day after his birthday (his 324th, should you be keeping count).

A veritable organ marathon of J.S. Bach's works begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Lutheran Church of Honolulu (1730 Punahou St.), all played on the church's keyboard instrument, built back in 1975 and the largest mechanical action pipe organ in the islands. Organists will include Karl Bachman, Laura Bleakley, Carl Crosier, Katherine Crosier, Jordan McCreary, Nyle Hallman, Samuel Lam, Thomas Rhoads, Marie Wang, Miki Yamamoto and Ina Young.

A catered lunch will be made available for $10 after the recital.

At 5:15 p.m., Bach Vespers for Lent will be presented by the church's choir, soloists and the Bach Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Carl Crosier.

Admission is free. Call 941-2566.



Korean star performs at “;Countdown”; show

Korean actor fans have already been aflutter over Rain's appearance in Honolulu (thanks to a civil trial involving the cancellation of his scheduled 2007 concert at Aloha Stadium), so they must be ecstatic over Saturday's appearance of Song Il-kook at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Song will be the featured guest at the “;Saturday Night Countdown”; variety show to be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

Other Korean guests will include actor Yeo Ho-min, and K-pop stars Ko Hyun-wook and Park Sun-joo.

General admission tickets to the show are only being distributed through a promotional giveaway—one ticket for every $50 purchase at any Beauty Touch locations, or for every $35 purchase at Rainbow Crack Seed (45-480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Unit B5, 235-5553).

Beauty Touch stores are located at 801 Kaheka (943-1183 or 946-8609), 745 Keeaumoku St., Suite C103 (943-8720) and 99-084 Kauhale St., Suite A3 (486-4867).

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