Best of Honolulu 2012: Entertainment
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Best Beer Garden
Traditionally, beer gardens are found outdoors, not hidden on the top floors of Japanese department stores. The Yataimura Beer Garden in Ala Moana’s Shirokiya department store makes up for this by being embedded among the 20-some “shop stands” of Shirokiya’s bustling food court. The idea of surrounding super cheap beer ($4 pitchers of Bud, $8 pitchers of Kirin, $12 pitchers of Asahi) with meat sticks, octopus balls and all the other food that cries for beer is so simple and perfect that the artificial vines hanging from the garden trellises actually look kind of beautiful. 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 973-9111, ext. 249, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
Best Way to Channel Dirty Harry
“You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” OK, so you won’t be hunting down bad guys, but, if getting the chance to shoot hundreds of firearms sounds like a blast (literally), you’re in luck. The Hawaii Rifle Association Shooting Sports Fair is two gun-firing days at the Koko Head Shooting Complex. “You get a flavor of what’s going on in the shooting sports without having to buy a single gun or bullet,” says president Harvey Gerwig II. You buy scrips and then hand them over to NRA-licensed instructors, who help you fire everything from single-action revolvers to .308 military sniper rifles to semiautomatic machine guns. June 16 and 17. hawaiirifleassociation.org.
Unlike the webcams mounted to the telescopes atop Mauna Kea or pointed at famous surf breaks on the North Shore, KailuaCam—located at the west end of Kailua Beach Park—does not have a particularly spectacular view. What makes it exceptional is that you can seize the controls. It’s surprisingly fun to pan, tilt and zoom around the park in order to, say, see what’s happening in the kite-board rigging area, or spy on tourists riding Segways on the bike path. It’s not as good as an actual visit to Kailua Beach Park, but it’s better than no visit at all. kailuacam.com.
Best Surf Contest to See Live
Unlike The Eddie at Waimea Bay or the World Cup at Sunset Beach, where the huge waves break so far offshore they actually look small, the Pipeline Masters takes place right in your face. The Bonzai Pipeline’s terrifyingly hollow wave shoals up and explodes on a shallow reef so close to shore that you feel the blast in your guts. Sitting on Ehukai beach and watching the world’s top competitive surfers battle at Pipe is like catching the Superbowl from the 50-yard line. Only the Pipe Masters is free. triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters.
Best Store for Getting Your Kink On
Sensually Yours is the most improbable of sex shops. The sleaze factor is low, replaced by the sense that sex is healthy, hilarious and, perhaps, even weirder than you knew. The layered floor plan helps. It’s all feather boas, wigs and dangerously high-heeled shoes up front. The hands-on stuff is in the back. 1130 N. Nimitz Highway, #A112, 599-1655.