Hawaiian performer Chief Sielu is on a lifelong quest to educate and entertain the world about Polynesian traditions, a passion that has taken him to appearances on the BBC, MTV, and the Late Show with David Letterman. Dubbed the "coconut man," the chief immerses all comers in island culture at spectacular luaus. On stage, he and his tribe balance revelry and education with high-energy ritual and knife-dancing performances, participatory dances and art making, and a large supper of Hawaiian staples such as poi and braised surfboard fillets. If you can catch his ear, Sielu might have a lot of stories to share: in the course of his ambassadorial travels, he's lit the Olympic torch in Salt Lake City by throwing a flaming spear and been the subject of the documentary film Chief, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
The culinary sorcerers at The Shack conjure up a menu of Hawaiian-inspired pub grub to occupy vacant plates and empty stomachs. Oil rusty jaw-hinges and distract mouths from shouting out social security numbers with five varieties of poke, a traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad ($10.95), or with pub snacks such as jalapeño poppers full of cream cheese ($8.25). The Shack Monster cheeseburger bridges the gap between bun halves with a quarter-pound hot link and allows diners to choose from a trio of cheeses including american, swiss, and jack-cheddar ($8). Meanwhile, the 14-ounce grilled rib eye, glazed with garlic, soy, and ginger, then topped with smoked shiitake mushrooms ($23.50) is great for sating carnivorous cravings and warming up throats for draft beers, microbrews, and long conversations about renaming the moon.
Once a month at Formaggio Grill, guests indulge in four-course meals paired with fine wines. It sounds like a typical dinner party, save one difference: no one can see a thing. The monthly event is called Dining in the Dark, and Formaggio Grill hopes that it will encourage guests to slow down, savor their dinners, and even reconsider their approaches to fine dining.
Even without the blindfolds, Formaggio Grill touts that mission with careful preparation of Mediterranean-style cuisine in a warm, welcoming space. Chefs smoke prime rib over kiawe wood and toss pastas with housemade sausage. Servers are happy to help pair entrees with selections from a list of more than 50 wines from around the world.
The restaurant envelops diners in warm reds and golds, and low light casts plush red stools and a wooden bar in a warm glow. The artwork of Ron Genta adds splashes of color to the walls, and local musicians take to the stage on the weekends to entertain patrons with smooth guitar sounds or the dulcet tones of a whale’s song.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partner-less will be paired up with instructors to help assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout group lessons, instructors teach the foundations of dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow. These lessons are then used as a foundation for clients to learn more intermediate and advanced moves.
Featured in Pacific Edge and Go Kailua Magazine for their trailblazing approach to crafting wine, Oeno Winemaking owners Marshall Zeigler and Bryon Crowther offer an eclectic variety of wines made with European techniques, and have recently added beers to their repertoire. The winery hosts wine-sampling sessions, which educate sippers on the nuances of aroma and body while imparting the skills of proper swirling, sniffing, and tasting. Patrons choose their favorite wine or beer, which is handmade and aged for six to eight weeks in a temperature-controlled cellar-type crypt. Customers purchasing barrels return with friends and family for a two-hour bottling event. Amidst their cache of bottles and corks, Oeno also stocks beer-making kits, which include materials for up to five gallons of homebrews.
The Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation, a registered charitable organization, harnesses chuckles and world-class entertainers to benefit its scholarship fund for the Sacred Hearts Academy, the La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls, and Kalani High School Leo Clubs Community Service Programs, as well as other statewide community-service projects.