Our Picks


POSTED: Friday, January 02, 2009


Down To Earth Deli

2525 S. King St. / 947-7678

Many resolutions revolve around diet, and the trouble most people have with vegetables is they take a lot of work to prepare compared to the ease of the carnivore lifestyle. Burgers are cheap and plentiful at any fast-food restaurant, or, you can sprinkle salt and pepper on a steak, toss it onto a grill and call it delicious and done in a few minutes. Vegetables require washing, peeling, slicing and dicing before they ever get to the table.

So, what if I told you there is an easy route? It's as simple as making a detour to Down to Earth Deli, which not only does all the hard work for you, but also is out to make vegetarianism sexy for straight worlders, with a new global appeal through dishes like red Thai soup, polenta pizzas, spanakopita and eggplant Parmesan.

For most, this kind of diet is acceptable only if mainstream diners can be convinced that the food is palatable. I think we've all had experiences with cardboardy seitan or tempeh. There's no such problem at Down to Earth. The food is satisfying and full of flavor, though sometimes due to real fat from coconut milk.

Regulars are most enthusiastic about an expanded selection of pizzas, and the menu of smoothies and shakes has also increased from 10 to 60 selections. There are milk shakes made with 1 percent milk and ice cream that, though organic, also contains fat. For those who don't care to ingest animal products, there are nonfat and vegan milk shakes made with soy milk, but you just need to read the menu and be aware of the distinctions.

Items off the salad bar and hot table sell for $8.99 per pound and the most inexpensive route is to pile on the fresh greens and abundant toppings, from red onion and olives, to peas, sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms and sliced cucumbers, and the antioxidant boost of shredded beets. The more processed the food, the higher the cost.

Open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. About $10 per person per meal.



Cinema series highlights Latin music and culture

Local film professional Don Brown comes back to the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus with a brand-new cinema series, this time focusing on Latin music and culture.

With the help of the local Latin community, the Sunday series will also include dancers, musicians and speakers at various screenings.

The first film, “;Tango Bar”; from Argentina, will include a discussion of the film's depiction of tango, led by Brown, as well as a special post-screening performance by the Isla Tango dancers, under the direction of George Garcia.

The film series at Spalding Hall Auditorium will run through May 10, and its schedule will be found every week in our HiLife section movie listings.

Admission is $5, $3 for UH faculty and students. Call 223-0130 or 638-3098.



Bartlett concert features songs from new album

Former Miss Hawaii Cheryl Bartlett will welcome the new year in international style, as she features selections from her most recent album, “;Like Ocean, Like Lace,”; at Hawaii Public Radio's Atherton Performing Arts Studio.

Also included will be songs from the jazz and bossa nova repertoire, as well as contemporary arrangements of classical works by composers including Ravel, Mozart and Villa-Lobos. Bartlett will be accompanied by Bobby Nishida, David Yamasaki and Rogerio Araujo.

Bartlett is a classically trained vocalist who's performed with the Honolulu Symphony, the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble.

Tickets for her concert, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, are $25, $20 HPR members and $15 students with ID. Call 955-8821.


Young music winners to perform fundraiser

The winners of the recent state piano and string competitions, sponsored by the Hawaii Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association, will perform in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday in 'Iolani School's Seto Hall.

It's a fundraiser to help send the state's winners to the University of Arizona in Tucson to compete in the Southwest Division with winners from Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah on Jan. 10 and 11.

Those competing this year who were previous division winners include Punahou School student Mary Elizabeth Keller (Senior High String), Chandra Susilo from the University of Hawaii-Manoa (Young Artist String) and Moanalua High School student Andrew Ramos (Senior High Piano).

Other featured winners are Iris Kuo from 'Iolani (Junior High String) and Punahou's Evan Lin (Junior High Piano).

Admission is $10. Call 398-0565.



'Aloha Shorts' focuses on economic downturn

Hawaii Public Radio and Bamboo Ridge Press continue their collaboration with the latest taping of “;Aloha Shorts,”; featuring local literature read by local actors.

In hopes of better economic news in 2009, the show's producers dedicate this show to all those struggling financially. The pieces to be read include stories about a gambler considering leaving the islands for better prospects on the mainland, a neighborhood facing looming evictions and its own prejudices, and the economic downturn as seen from a child's point of view.

It all starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at HPR's Atherton Performing Arts Studio. It's free to the public, but reservations are strongly recommended due to limited seating. Call 955-8821.