I’m Chris. I was born in Hilo but spent most of my youth on Oahu and Kaua’i. After moving to the mainland I eventually started selling kalua pork and huli huli chicken with my now wife, Alexis, at local farmer’s markets. Shortly after, catering requests started coming in and we realized it was time to open a restaurant; which we did in 2011.
Standing in line at the County Office, paying for my business license, it was spontaneous, but the obvious name for my new business was ONO GRINDS – slang for yummy food. Since the beginning, my goal has been to replicate the ono grinds I grew up eating in Hawaii, from plate lunch spots to home cooked food at luaus. Hawaiian food is my comfort food.
I was stoked when we found our spot on 30th St. in North Park in 2014 because it had always been one of my favorite San Diego neighborhoods: eclectic, colorful, and a foodie destination. It’s been a good fit for us, nestled between breweries, shops, and other great restaurants.
My goal is to offer a laid back, down-to-earth, fun experience – we do that with great food and devoted staff. 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. We also take our time hiring genuine and friendly people with aloha spirit. Spreading good vibes, respect, and love – ALOHA – is essential, and I hope it shows when you come to visit us.
Special Shout Out to my dad Jim Wriston who passed on to me his entrepreneurial spirit and love of the land and ocean. ALSO to Damien Divine (of Torpasta) who from day one has given me invaluable advice and endless moral support.