Off The Hook Poke: Honolulu’s Premier Poke Destination

Located in the picturesque Manoa Valley, Off The Hook Poke has quickly become a beloved spot for both locals and tourists seeking the freshest and most innovative poke in Hawaii. Established in 2018 by the dynamic duo Tomoki Ito and JP Lam, who bonded over their shared love for surfing, this restaurant has made a significant mark on Honolulu’s culinary landscape.
photography by Alan Chin

The Founders: Tomoki Ito and JP Lam

Tomoki Ito, affectionately known as Tomo-san, brings his exceptional culinary skills to Off The Hook Poke, having previously managed and operated the popular Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon and restaurant. His expertise and creativity in the kitchen are complemented by JP Lam’s business acumen and media presence, with JP hosting the show Itadakimasu on KIKU TV and performing with his band, The Dukes of Surf.

Here is a music video I directed and produced starring the owner of Off the Hook, JP Lam

The Journey and Success

Off The Hook Poke opened its doors in 2018 with a clear mission: to serve the freshest poke in Hawaii. The restaurant quickly gained popularity, and in 2019, it won the prestigious Ilima Award for Hawaii’s Best Seafood Restaurant. This accolade is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Tomoki, JP, and their team.

Fresh Ingredients and Unique Flavors

One of the key aspects that set Off The Hook Poke apart is their commitment to using only the freshest fish, sourced daily or every other day from local auctions. This dedication ensures that every bite is as fresh as possible, providing a genuine taste of the ocean. The menu features traditional poke favorites like Ahi Limu and Spicy Ahi, alongside creative combinations crafted by Tomo-san.

Signature Dishes

Cold Ginger Ahi: This signature dish features fresh ahi poke dressed in a famous ginger scallion sauce, offering a burst of flavor with every bite.

Spicy Ahi: A beloved classic, the Spicy Ahi at Off The Hook Poke is a crowd-pleaser, delivering just the right amount of heat.

Hawaiian Style: A traditional take on poke, this dish includes limu, inamona, onions, and a touch of crushed red pepper, paying homage to the roots of Hawaiian cuisine.

Shoyu Ahi: Made with a secret in-house shoyu sauce, this dish is a testament to the layers of flavor that can be achieved with quality ingredients and expert preparation.

Wasabi Furikake: A staff favorite, the Wasabi Furikake poke balances the spiciness of wasabi with a delightful furikake seasoning.

Japan Deluxe: This elegant poke option combines sweet miso, ginger, and shiso leaf, creating a refined Japanese flavor profile.

Kilauea Fire: For those who crave heat, the Kilauea Fire offers a fiery blend of chili miso, crushed pepper, jalapenos, and watercress.

Miso Ginger Tako: Featuring tenderized tako (octopus) marinated in miso, this dish is a must-try for seafood lovers.

Expansion and New Ventures

In addition to their Manoa Valley location, Tomoki and JP have expanded their culinary offerings with a new poke bowl and shave ice concept. This venture, located in the same green building as Starbucks and Andy’s Sandwiches across from Manoa Marketplace, aims to bring their high-quality poke to an even wider audience. The soft launch on September 25th, 2018, showcased their new menu items, including homemade syrups for their shave ice.

Community and Recognition

Off The Hook Poke has not only captured the hearts of its customers but also gained recognition within the community. The restaurant’s success can be attributed to its unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction. Winning the Ilima Award in 2019 was a proud moment for the entire team, validating their hard work and dedication.

The Dining Experience

Visitors to Off The Hook Poke can expect a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere that reflects the founders’ love for surfing and the ocean. The restaurant’s interior is designed to make guests feel at home, whether they are enjoying a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner. The friendly staff is always ready to help customers choose the perfect poke bowl to suit their tastes.

Commitment to Sustainability

Off The Hook Poke is not just about serving delicious food; the restaurant is also committed to sustainability. By sourcing fish locally and supporting responsible fishing practices, Tomoki and JP ensure that their business has a positive impact on the environment. This commitment extends to their use of eco-friendly packaging and efforts to minimize waste.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

The rave reviews from satisfied customers are a testament to the quality and consistency of Off The Hook Poke. Many patrons praise the freshness of the fish, the bold and diverse flavors, and the excellent customer service. Here are a few testimonials from delighted diners:

  • “The poke here is hands down the best I’ve ever had. The Cold Ginger Ahi is my favorite – so fresh and flavorful!”
  • “I love the creative combinations at Off The Hook Poke. Every time I visit, there’s something new and exciting to try.”
  • “The staff is so friendly and helpful. They really make you feel welcome and ensure you have a great dining experience.”

Looking Forward: The Future of Off The Hook Poke

As Off The Hook Poke continues to grow, Tomoki and JP remain focused on their mission to serve the freshest and best poke in Hawaii. They are constantly experimenting with new flavors and ingredients, ensuring that their menu stays fresh and exciting. Future plans include further expansion and exploring new ways to bring their delicious poke to more people.

Visit Off The Hook Poke

If you find yourself in Honolulu, a visit to Off The Hook Poke is a must. Located at 2908 East Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, this charming poke market is conveniently situated for both locals and tourists. Whether you’re a poke aficionado or trying it for the first time, Off The Hook Poke promises an unforgettable dining experience.

Follow Off The Hook Poke on Social Media

Stay updated with the latest news, menu additions, and promotions by following Off The Hook Poke on Instagram at @offthehookpokemarket. Their social media presence offers a glimpse into the vibrant and delicious world of poke, making it easy to stay connected with your favorite poke spot.


Off The Hook Poke in Honolulu, Hawaii, is more than just a restaurant – it’s a celebration of fresh, high-quality ingredients and culinary creativity. Founded by Tomoki Ito and JP Lam, this poke market has quickly become a staple in the community, winning awards and hearts alike. With its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and customer satisfaction, Off The Hook Poke is poised for continued success and growth. Visit today and experience the best poke Hawaii has to offer.

David Christopher Lee


David Christopher Lee launched his first online magazine in 2001. As a young publisher, he had access to the most incredible events and innovators of the world. In 2009, he started, one of the largest portals for all things luxury including 5 star properties, Michelin Star Restaurants and bespoke experiences. As a portrait photographer and producer, David has worked with many celebrities & major brands such as Richard Branson, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Cadillac, Lexus, Qatar Airways, Aman Hotels, just to name a few. David’s work has been published in major magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Instyle, People, Teen, Men’s Health, Departures & many more. He creates content with powerful seo marketing strategies.

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