Ono Grinds Island Grill Opens at Liberty Public Market

Ono Grinds Island Grill
Ono Grinds Island Grill

As the first followup to their flagship location in North Park, Chris Wriston’s Ono Grinds Island Grill has opened its second location at Liberty Public Market. The quick service eatery marks the first Hawaiian eatery within the diverse lineup of globally-inspired dining concepts throughout the market.

Ono Grinds’ menu highlights traditional Hawaiian ingredients and flavors, with options for plates, bowls, and poke. It also features Spam Musubia nori-wrapped portable snack reminiscent of a sushi hand roll. 

Classic proteins take center stage, including Huli Huli Chicken with sweet Hawaiian BBQ sauce, Kalua Pork  a Hawaiian-style pulled pork, and Seared Ahi with sea salt, chili flake and wasabi aioli. Sides include coleslaw, sweet potato, and mac salad, all prepared the island way. A selection of bowls feature more complex flavor combinations, like the Guava BBQ Bacon Pork Bowl served with pineapple salsa, cheddar, and a ginger-garlic aioli. For lighter options, the menu features poke (ahi, hamachi, and spicy poke), as well as an Asian Chopped Salad.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Wriston was exposed to the flavors of the islands throughout his youth. After moving to the California, he started selling kalua pork and huli huli chicken with his wife Alexis at local farmer’s markets, with the goal of bringing his favorite “ono grinds” — slang for “yummy food” — to the mainland. After receiving multiple catering requests, he launched his first restaurant concept in 2014, Ono Grinds Island Grill in North Park.

“My goal is to offer a laid back, down-to-earth, fun experience — we do that with great for and devoted staff,” says Chris. “We spend a lot of time working on recipes and focusing on quality to make sure everything tastes right, the way I remember it growing up.”