A Hidden Gem…Off the Wall Restaurant in Aiea

Local food with an eclectic twist…that truly describes Off the Wall (OTW).  Located in the Pearl Kai Shopping Center (across of Pearlridge Shopping Center), Off the Wall is hard to find but it’s worth it.  You need to drive in and look for the sign since the restaurant does not front Kamehameha Highway.

Open for about 5 months, Off the Wall is still in transition and is growing and changing their business and adjusting to the market. New menus begin in December and there will be a Holiday Buffet.

Nic and I went to Off the Wall on Wednesday night. There were 16 square tables with a faux bamboo top that could be quickly configured to fit different number parties plus 4 bar stools. There is a flat screen television and a Sake Bar. The decor is simple with a rug on the wall.

Owner Kyle Matsumoto came out to talk to us and lo and behold he knew Nic. We live in a small place. Kyle lives on the Leeward side and chose to open OTW because he was “tired of eating mediocre food and paying a premium price for it.”

OTW is neat, clean, and simple. It’s not fancy but the food is good. Nic and I like to eat and try different foods so we decided to order the pupu (appetizers in Hawaiian) portions so we could try more food.  : )

The first pupu we tried was the crab & artichoke won tons ($6 for 4) which is twist on the crab and artichoke dip, normally served with bread, or a crab rangoon. The won tons were hot, not greasy, and the filling tasty. The won tons are a definite must try.

We also had the arare karaage chicken which is chicken pieces marinated in a special sauce, lightly battered in cornstarch and Bubu arare. This was also very good. The karaage can be ordered as an entree ($12) or a pupu ($7). All entrees are served with a choice of white or brown rice and tossed salad. Since everything is made to order, the food is hot and cooked just right. The chicken was crispy, tender, flavorful, seasoned just right and not rubbery.

Another item we tried was the Shoyu Pork Soba ($15) which had pieces of the Okinawan shoyu pork, choy sum, and a shoyu butter sauce. The soba was fresh and cooked perfectly and the shoyu pork was tender and not salty. This was one of my favorite dishes at OTW.

Nic & I also got to try the Fukuoka Style Tonkatsu. The twist was choy sum wrapped in apple smoked bacon is rolled in thin sliced pork and then breaded and fried. Nic liked this dish. I thought it okay and a bit salty.

Kyle also brought out a shoyu pork andagi ($3) which is a dish that will debut in the new menu. Crispy andagi batter surrounds the shoyu pork filling. It’s like a crispy manapua. Not bad. I’m a purist and like plain andagi.

The food at Off the Wall is reasonable, tasty, and good. The staff is small but the service is attentive. Nic said she’ll be back. I live in town and I’d like to try the sweet garlic prawns or the kal bi short ribs on the menu. Off the Wall is also available for catering and private parties. Lunch is available only Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is available Tuesday through Sunday from 5 – 9 p.m. with a dinner buffet ($21.95) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Seating is limited so call (808) 486-9255 for reservations.

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