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POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2009

ART

Art academy's family day promotes idea of unity

The design principle of unity is this month's theme at Family Sunday at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Families can learn about this concept with the help of architects from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who will show how to create landmark buildings out of cardboard for a scale model of our nation's Capitol District in Washington, D.C.

Other activities will include a scavenger hunt and a performance by the gospel trio Faith and Praise, and the academy's various exhibitions will be open for viewing.

The academy's cafe will offer take-out lunches that can be enjoyed in one of the tranquil courtyards. Meadow Gold and its mascot, Lani Moo, also will be on hand to pass out free ice cream and juice.

Family day is held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 532-8700 or visit www.honoluluacademy.org.

FAMILY

Aquarium puts spotlight on marine conservation

In celebration of Earth Day, the Waikiki Aquarium is hosting the 2nd Annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo, showcasing the efforts of more than 20 city, state and federal agencies working to preserve and protect Hawaii's unique water resources.

Family-friendly and hands-on educational displays will include photo-taking with Apoha the o'opu, water pollution prevention games and activity books, natural resource arts and crafts, storytelling about the islands' environment and a recycling sculpture competition for school-age children.

The public is also invited to cheer on the release of hatchery-raised moi (Pacific threadfin fish) in the waters behind the aquarium within the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District.

The event runs 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Call 923-9741 or visit www.waquarium.org.

Best teen poets in isles compete for Chicago trip

Youth Speaks Hawaii will be a busy group this weekend.

Besides participating in the Hawaii State Art Museum's Second Saturday event (see Do It! on Page 8), their main event will take place later that evening at YSH's Grand Slam Final at Kaimuki High School Auditorium.

The top six teenage poets will represent the state at Brave New Voices 2009 in Chicago in July and defend its national title won last year in the Washington, D.C. contest.

Program director Lyz Soto says that the Hawaii final “;looks to be the biggest and best show we've had so far.”;

Doors open at 6 p.m., with the final starting at 7. Admission is $10, $5 youth and $3 students. Call 753-4661 or visit www.youthspeakshawaii.org.

FESTIVALS

Annual science festival concentrates on climate

Mad about science? Well, you should be when you go to the fifth-annual festival of the same name all day Saturday on the Great Lawn of the Bishop Museum.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy a variety of hands-on activities, backhouse tours of the museum's natural science collections and climate change programs. For the keiki, there will be rides and a petting zoo.

In keeping with the festival's theme of climate change, there will be lessons on “;What You Can Do to Lower Your Carbon Footprint,”; where visitors will walk a carbon footprint trail, plus uncover myths about climate change in a “;mythbusters”; station.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with admission at $15.95, $12.95 youth and seniors and free to children 3 and under and museum members. (A discounted rate of $3 applies to all kamaaina and military.)

Call 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.

FOOD

Kani Ka Pila Grille

Outrigger Reef on the Beach / 924-4992

The sour economy is giving people time to reflect on things important in life, beyond the material. For many, that means taking time to appreciate the company of friends and family.

I feel that this is the spirit behind Outrigger Reef on the Beach's new poolside restaurant and bar, Kani Ka Pila Grille. It's built around friendship, family and escape to the comfort of Hawaiian music brought back to Waikiki nightly on an “;ain't no beeg thing”; basis. Musicians range from slack-key greats Cyril and Martin Pahinui to newcomers invited to participate in a “;Pau Hana Monday”; talent search.

It's relaxing to sit under umbrella-covered tables with a drink and ample pupus, and prices are reasonable by Waikiki standards.

The menu is simple, befitting Kani Ka Pila's casual role. There are nice touches, such as poke nachos ($13), the ahi tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of wasabi, served in a crisp won ton cup. I liked the chicken skewers ($10), four pieces of chicken marinated in a light curry sauce, grilled and served with chutney and macadamia nut sauce.

Other standards to share include Tutu's spinach-artichoke dip ($12.50), pork and cabbage pot stickers ($9), pork quesadillas ($10) and chicken wings ($10.50). Kalia's calamari ($10) seemed tempting with its five-spice coating, but had freezer breading with very little squid inside.

If pupus don't fill you up, there are salads, burgers and sandwiches as well. An ahi steak sandwich ($14.50) can get messy with drippy Hawaiian cole slaw with pineapple and paprika, but the combination of slaw, ginger-wasabi mayo and generous slices of seared rare ahi is delicious. Next best thing, or near equal to the ahi sandwich, were Reef Ahi Tacos ($12.50), two hard-shell tacos also featuring a generous, large dice of avocado.

Draft and bottle beer runs $5 to $6, and a short list of wine by the glass runs $7 to $12.50 ($22 to $48 for a bottle).

Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with live entertainment from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Costs about $25 to $35 for two without drinks; valet parking $6 for up to four hours.