Our Picks


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008


Willie K, Raiatea Helm sing for Kahuku athletics

The Turtle Bay Resort will give back to the Kahuku community in the spirit of the season with a special concert Friday at the Kuilima Ballroom, featuring Willie K and Raiatea Helm. The performance will benefit the Kahuku High School Athletic Department, Ko'olauloa Children's Choir and Na Kamalei Early Childhood Education.

“;A Musical Christmas Gift”; has also garnered the assistance of personality Emme Tomimbang and community organizer Junior AhYou.

The concert will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 at the door.

Call 293-6000.



Church holds free family festival

Come celebrate Alii Sunday at Kawaiaha'o Church this weekend.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the free family festival will include activities for the keiki, arts and crafts, entertainment, a silent auction and “;make 'n' takes”; that include personalized cookies, bead and pearl bracelets, Christmas stockings, terra cotta pots and starfish Santas.

The festival will be hosted by the Alii Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club.

Call 227-6461 or 594-1921.



Twist at Hanohano

Sheraton Waikiki Hotel / 921-4600

Life is complicated, and the act of pigeonholing people and brands is a shortcut that frees us from processing multidimensional facets in our daily encounters. In this social shorthand, I've always regarded the Sheraton Waikiki as a place for banquets and meetings, never a foodie destination.

The Starwood team has been innovative in recognizing the sophistication of diners and set out to break out of the Sheraton's bland, middle-of-the-road shell and break into the vaunted lists of kamaaina and visitor musts. Anyone who has ever tried to manage a brand image knows that public perception is difficult to alter, but, starting with Rum Fire and now Twist at Hanohano, I think they're off to a good start.

Part of the restaurant's appeal is its focus on organic ingredients whenever possible, working with local farmers to grow a wish list of ingredients. Diet watchers will note use of healthful ingredients throughout, like minted lemon pesto accompanying pine nut-crusted Colorado rack of lamb, and gingered cranberries, baby arugula and honey pumpkin puree served with the seven-spice duck breast. I had heard that this was one of the restaurant's best dishes but was reluctant to make it my first choice because so many venues fail the duck test. But here it was great: tender, moist and flavorful.

A la carte choices combined with prix fixe pricing means you won't have to wonder about the final bill. For $80 per person, you can choose appetizer, entree and dessert. For $90, choose two appetizers, an entree and dessert. For $110 you can get two appetizers, two entrees and a dessert (per person). Add $25 for wine pairings.

There is a core menu of about five appetizer choices and five entrees. And each week, there are selections that take you to islands around the world, from the Seychelles to Sicily. There is a lot to explore even before you start island hopping. In the core appetizer group, the creamy roasted cauliflower and Kona lobster bisque is a pleaser. I visited during the week inspired by the Greek isle of Santorini. Destinations change every other Thursday, so today, you can sample flavors of Phuket, Thailand. Other islands are Porquerolles, France; Mallorca, Spain; and Key West, Fla. Globe-trotting has never been more delicious.

Open 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily. Costs about $200 for two.



Hard Rock hosts party for charity album

On Friday, Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu will host the release party for “;SERVE3,”; the charity benefit album for the company's worldwide “;Imagine There's No Hunger”; campaign.

Including a special performance by Johnny Helm, the 9 p.m. event will also feature a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit WHY, fighting hunger and poverty around the world, and the Hawaii Foodbank. (Hard Rock's international campaign will help seven children's charities in Kenya, Haiti, Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa, Venezuela and New Orleans.)

“;SERVE3”; is filled with rare and previously unreleased tracks from such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Joss Stone, My Morning Jacket and Avril Lavigne.

Admission is a $5 suggested donation and a canned good for the food bank. Call 955-7383 or visit



Jazz ensemble celebrates release of its first CD

The talented, straight-ahead jazz ensemble Bop Tribal will celebrate the release of its debut CD with a concert and signing Dec. 18 at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

Starting at 7 p.m., the band proper will play the opening set, with the core of pianist Satomi Yarimizo, trumpeter DeShannon Higa and tenor saxist Reggie Padilla being joined by the hot-shot rhythm section of Shawn Conley and Abe Lagrimas Jr. Later sets in the evening will include guest vocalists Rocky Brown, Joseph “;Seph 1”; Rosales and Maria Remos.

Selections from the new album, some standards and Christmas songs will be featured.

No cover will be charged. Call 295-1199 or visit