30 October 2009

Foodventures in Pearlridge

Church's Chicken and Charley's
Kea and I met Jamie, Dave, and their two boys at the food court in Pearlridge Uptown. Had a great time playing with the 2 1/2 year old, who was shy at first, but was soon showing us all his cars. The newborn slept the whole time.

Anyway, Kea was not really in the mood for the stuff at that food court so we ended up splitting a chicken tender meal (with mashed potatoes) from Church's Chicken and a bacon and cheese fries from Charley's. The verdict: Church's Chicken is not as good as Popeye's. Had less batter and not much taste. Charley's bacon and cheese fries, however, we both like better than Jack in the Box potato wedges. It's more crunchy.

Off the Wall
A few hours later we went for second dinner. Thought about trying Kuru Kuru Sushi but they still had a line at 8:30 pm. Ended up around the corner at Off the Wall, a place I'd read good things about in The Honolulu Advertiser. Kea especially was in the mood for sushi and I thought bar food would be a good option for a smaller meal since we had eaten a little earlier.

Anyway, we loved it and think it fulfills a great need in the Pearl City area. The Kuru Kuru overflow should seriously just make their way to Off the Wall; they serve sushi, sashimi, poke--the usual as well as more innovative stuff. We had the Naked Spicy Ahi Poke Musubi. I guess it's naked because there's no nori. It's like four rectangles of rice with poke on top and spicy sauce. So good. Real nice amount of heat. Seriously, though, we were thinking that Off the Wall should make some kind of sign in/on a car and park it right outside Kuru Kuru...

Off the Wall is great as an izakaya style restaurant: you know, drinks and pupus. Seems like there aren't that many of these kinds of places on the Leeward side. They serve entrees as well but Kea said they looked kind of small. And honestly I rather eat pupus--have my rice in sushi form and save room for the good stuff. As for drinks, they serve sake and beer. Looked like they had Budweiser, Bud Light, Kirin, and Heineken on tap. The waitress said they open late-night on Fridays--until 1 and serve a limited pupu menu from 10:00. Speaking of the waitress, she was super friendly, professional, and helpful.

I find that it's easy to spend a lot of money when eating izakaya-style and this is no different. Prices are a little on the steep side (e.g. $8 for four bite-sized pieces of ahi poke musubi) but everything is so good that it's worth it. The place is also well-decorated in contrast to its neighbors; Pearl Kai has a lot of good food but most places don't seem to pay any attention to decor.

Anyway, back to the food. In addition to the sushi and musubi, we also ordered Fukuoka style tonkatsu, which had choi sum wrapped in bacon wrapped in pork. So good. I think this was my favorite thing. We also had shrimp wrapped in bacon; I think both of us are more bacon fans than shrimp fans. It was like eating smoky shrimp. Yum...

Also had pork andagi. This was kind of weird. We were both excited to try it, but ultimately Kea liked it more than I did. The andagi was good. And the pork was ginger-y, which I liked, but I'm not sure if I liked the whole package. It wasn't a sure thing like the tonkatsu. It was interesting, though, something to try at least once if not something to go back to again and again.

Still want to try the bittermelon and the other kinds of pork. Looking forward to going back again!
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