Our Picks


POSTED: Friday, January 09, 2009


Author-illustrator Goto to hold book signing

Honolulu resident and author-illustrator Scott Goto will be signing his latest book, “;The Perfect Sword,”; at Barnes & Noble in Ala Moana Center starting at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Known primarily as a children's book illustrator, this is Goto's first book that he wrote as well. His art tries to capture the spirit of the Tokugawa period in ancient Japan, as a master swordsman and his young apprentice forge a special samurai sword. Goto has included a history of Japanese samurai swords and a glossary of Japanese terms in his book.

The hardcover book is recommended for ages 7 to 10 and retails for $15.95. Call 949-7307.



Augie T. and guests do stand-up in Kapolei

Favorite local stand-up comic Augie T. does his first show of the new year Friday night at the T Spot Hideaway in the Kapolei Shopping Center.

Calling his comedy “;safe and clean for the entire ohana,”; Augie Tulba is a two-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner and recently awarded five scholarships from his “;Speak the Dream Foundation,”; providing financial assistance to a select group of graduating high school students.

Tulba is currently promoting his new DVD, “;Augie T.: The Blasidell Arena Show.”;

Also appearing with Tulba are guest comedians Jose Dynamite and Timmy Mattos, with music provided by One Night Stand.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $10. Call 479-0576.

(Tulba's next show will be Jan. 16 at Therapy Sports Grill in the Koko Marina Shopping Center.)



The Loft

510 Piikoi St., #202 / 591-LOFT (5638)

Having been disappointed by some new restaurants, I've fled over the past few weeks to takeout spots, and this week to the new dining lounge, The Loft.

It was easy enough for the owners of Ichiriki, the nabe restaurant on Piikoi Street, to expand to second quarters upstairs and open The Loft. The decor is trendy with a mix of comfortable low couches, high tables and bar seats, with paper orb lanterns and the warmth of light bouncing off an orange wall. House music is set low enough to allow for conversation, rather than shouting matches. Show up any day and you'll find the dreaded “;Reserved”; sign on many tables. It's a problem that so early on, the place is already too small.

During happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m., you'll find beer at $3.50 per bottle; it's $5 otherwise. The house red by the glass is $5, while bottles range from $30 to $100. Specialty drinks range from a shochu-based shiso mojito ($8) to a luscious Drunken Monkey ($10) of Kahlua and Bailey's blended and thickened with apple banana. Yum.

For nibblers, there is silky ahi poke ($6) made with a light, though spicy, kim chee sauce and strings of thin-sliced onions, pipikaula ($7) and mini pizzas on French bread toast, such as mushroom and sausage, and your basic Margherita ($8).

Diet watchers will be delighted by fresh crudite ($5), caprese doused with fine balsamic vinegar ($6) and a Caesar salad ($7) finished with a handful of diced shrimp. Nothing is overworked, including tempura-style garlic shrimp dredged in the potato starch katakuriko.

Those requiring more substantial fare might opt for the USDA Prime rib-eye steak ($24) and be thoroughly happy. Simply grilled with onions and mushrooms, it was better than any steak I've had in a traditional restaurant lately.

Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.



Get fill of improv comedy at Laughtrack Theater

For more laughs, check out Hawaii's self-proclaimed homegrown improv comedy theater, the Laughtrack Theater Company, downtown this weekend.

Friday night features IYFI (In Your Face Improv), Aftermath (the duo of Shawn Thomsen and artistic director Shannon Winpenny) and a mysterious “;special guest,”; and Saturday's bill has Aftermath again, plus Casual Threat (the threesome of Winpenny, Robb Bonnell and R. Kevin Garcia Doyle) and Second Class Citizens (Jennifer Waihe'e, Jon Wong, Kehau Rezentes, John Waihe'e and Fernando Pacheco).

Show times at 8 and 10 p.m. each day at the venue located at 1123 Bethel St., across from Hawaii Theatre. Admission is $10 general and $8 military and students with ID (BYOB for those 21 and over). Call 384-3362 or visit



Catch new episodes of 'Monk' and 'Psych'

Television's fall season starts this month, and Friday on the USA Network starts a new run of episodes from comic-mystery favorites “;Monk”; and “;Psych.”;

Emmy award winner Tony Shalhoub returns as the phobic obsessive-compulsive San Francisco detective Adrian Monk. In “;Mr. Monk's Other Brother,”; Steve Zahn guest stars as Monk's delinquent half brother who escapes from prison and breaks into Monk's apartment in hopes of getting help in finding the person he claims framed him for murder.

“;Six Feet Under the Sea”; is the season premiere for “;Psych,”; as so-called psychic consultant Shawn Spencer (James Roday) sets out to prove that the death of a sea lion released into the wild was a murder, and then stumbles onto a bigger conspiracy. Dule Hill co-stars as Spencer's patient investigative partner Burton “;Gus”; Guster.

You can see these new episodes of “;Monk”; and “;Psych”; back-to-back, starting at 9 p.m. on Oceanic Time Warner Cable.