We started our first full day in San Diego driving around and battling in some gyms in Pokemon Go. After getting our gym coins and an iced coffee for A, we were really hungry. We had initially thought about getting some ceviche for lunch but we were way too hungry for that. After doing some research, we came across Ono Grinds Island Grill, which seemed like the perfect choice since we were on vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we got married in Hawaii.
M got the volcano bowl (spicy teriyaki chicken, pineapple salsa, shredded cheddar, sliced jalapeños, ginger-garlic aioli, and lava sauce). With a name like lava sauce, we were initially concerned that it might be really, really spicy, but after trying it, it wasn't too bad. There was a nice heat to it, but it was bearable. Overall, the bowl was good but felt a little heavy. It could have used some more vegetables to it, as there wasn't that much salsa (especially compared to A's).
A got the guava BBQ bowl (kalua pork, bacon, pineapple salsa, shredded cheese, guava BBQ sauce, and ginger garlic aioli). The pork wasn't as flavorful as the options we'd had in Hawaii previously, but the flavors were, on the whole, spot on. It was rich and seasoned really well. The pineapple salsa added sweetness and freshness to the dish as well as a small touch of heat, and the guava BBQ sauce added an interesting sweetness as well. Overall we liked both mains, but we thought the pork was better.
All the plates were served with white rice and a choice of mac salad, coleslaw, sweet potato medallions, chips, or soup on the side. We both, of course, went with the mac salad for a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch. The mac salad was creamy but not too laden with mayonnaise. The carrots and celery added crunch to the dish, and it felt and tasted like so many of the mac salads we had on the islands.