Bringing Hawaiian Food to Milwaukee
And Hawaiian culture. Ono Kine Grindz in Wauwatosa is simple yet delicious.
If “eat dessert first” is your mantra, then when you visit Ono Kine Grindz, the triple chocolate cake is a good first choice. This moist rich cake is frosted with chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate ganache. It landed in front of me because our server said, “It just came out of the oven this morning.” How could I resist?
Owners Guy Roeseler and David Lau came to Milwaukee via Hawaii and Seattle. Roeseler told my friend and I that when they decided to bring Hawaiian culture to Milwaukee, they wanted to open more than just a restaurant. This explained the diverse selection of groceries and gift items packed into the front of the restaurant. Beyond the shirts and sauces and up several steps are three communal tables with seating for a couple dozen customers.
Grilled Tofu was topped with ginger-garlic sauce that featured more garlic than ginger along with another side, Carrot-Pineapple Slaw seasoned with li hing, a sweet/sour/spicy blend. The dish included a serving of Purple Sticky Rice, which made for a hearty vegetarian meal. An unexpected bonus, Kim Chee, added very spicy heat and more flavor to the tofu which tends to absorb the flavors of its neighbors.
A Daily Special, Teriyaki Chicken, was impossibly tender and served on a bed of Purple Sticky Rice. Sesame seeds and chopped scallions topped this large portion of white meat. The flavor of my companion’s Kalua Pig, smoked pulled pork done in traditional Hawaiian style, hinted of smoke and like the Teriyaki Chicken, was served on a bed of Sticky Rice. The pork was juicy and there was a lot of it.
As we left, we mentioned to our server how much we enjoyed the food. When we said we thought everything was not only delicious but presented with care, each plate an aesthetic celebration of Hawaiian cuisine, she paused a moment and said, “The chef cooks with a lot of love.”
On The Menu
- Location: 7215 W. North Ave.
- Phone: 414-778-0727
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tue-Thu, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fri-Sat
- Website: https://www.okgrindz.com
- UM Rating: stars (average of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Zomato)
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