Labor Day Weekend: 09.02.12 @ 1:30 PM
Enrique travelled to Hawaii every year for 8 years. He is in constant search for delicious Hawaiian food in the Bay Area. After hearing and reading about the hype about Ono Grindz, I wanted to see if Ono Grindz would end Enrique's search for delicious island food in SF.
Ono Grindz serves Hawaiian fusion cuisine. I was expecting a bigger space but it is really small, newly painted, minimalist and typical of square business spaces on Clement.
We were expecting a long wait for a table. However, at past 1:30 PM on Sunday, the place was full but the diners were finishing up their meal. We got seated as soon as we arrived. By 2:20 PM, the place was almost empty.
OG serves many interesting fusion dishes such as Kalua Ranchero, Spam and Cheddar Waffle, etc, -- combinations that you will mostly likely not find somewhere else.
1. THE BIG ISLAND $11: 2 eggs, plantation potatoes, apple banana pancakes, choice of Portuguese sausage, Spam, bacon or house made sausage
2. LOCO MOCO $9.5: white or brown rice, fresh ground steak patties, 2 eggs, saute ed onions, house made mushroom gravy
3. APPLE BANANA PANCAKES $6: apple bananas, coconut creme, macadamia nut
4. SIDE OF KALUA PORK
Enrique thought that the food tasted but did not pass the "island test." He was not happy with the smallish portion either which was not characteristic of the traditional and messy Hawaiian meals.
My Loco Moco tasted good. The brown rice was nutty and perfect with the flavorful thick gravy. The beef patties were dry. My whole plate was below room temperature including the eggs.
The Apple Pancakes were sweet and delicious. You get 4 pancakes for $6 which is a good value. Worth the carbs that I am constantly trying to avoid. The texture resembled "Bibingka" which is a fluffly but slightly dense Filpino coconut pancakes if you have ever tried one.
TOTAL: $38 before tip including 1 Coke in a bottle, coffee and leftover pancakes.
The temperature of our food was what ruined everything for us. Everything was either at room temperature or luke warm. I was not expecting sizzling Loco Moco but mine was cold. My coffee was lukewarm. Enrique's Big Island was also below room temperature.
Ono Grindz did not pass the island food test for Enrique but we both said we do not mind returning for more if we are in the area. And next time I will just get something to go and heat it up at home!