This Hawaiian Eatery in Oregon Will Whisk You Away to the Islands

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Food & Drink, Restaurants

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First things first: the name of this Portland restaurant—GrindWitTryz—causes a lot of people to stumble, so let’s break it down. The owner and head chef is Tryzen Patricio who’s nickname is “Tryz,” (pronounced like the word tries), and in Hawaiian, grind is slang for “food.” Put them together and you get “Food with Tryz,” or GrindWitTryz.

Lechon Kawali
Lechon Kawali, Pete Fritsch Google Local

Patricio originally moved from Hawaii to Portland to go to school and play baseball at Concordia University, but injuries made him fall back to his other love—food. Then, in the fall of 2019 along with his now wife Candace Lacuesta, he opened a food cart making the kind of food he grew up with in Hawaii and from his family who’s originally from the Philippines. Portland foodies and other Hawaiian transplants quickly took notice and the cart became an overnight success, regularly seeing a line snaking down the block with people waiting over an hour to try Patricio’s food.

Ono chicken
Ono chicken, Jameszuka Google Local

Over the past five years, they’ve seen unprecedented success which led them to open their first brick and mortar location on popular Alberta Street only one year later. But even this location ultimately wasn’t big enough for the business to grow how it needed to, and just last month they moved again into the Cully neighborhood to a much bigger location (the former home of the Nico’s Cantina) at 4318 Northeast Cully Boulevard. The new digs come with a bigger dining room, a huge outside seating area, and plenty of on street parking which was always a problem at the old Alberta location.

Hawaiian nachos
Hawaiian nachos, Kimmie Google Local

The first thing you should know about ordering at GrindWitTryz is that they serve up simply massive portions, like you could really get two to three meals out of every plate. And, all their plates come with two scoops of rice and two scoops of homemade mac salad. Remember that when you’re looking at the prices—no one will leave here hungry!

One of the longtime standouts on the menu is the Ono Chicken, a family recipe made of deep fried chicken tossed in sweet & garlic shoyu sauce. However, everything on the menu is great like the Spicy Ahi Poke made with fresh seasoned ahi mixed with creamy sriracha aioli, then drizzled with unagi and topped with furikake, or the Lechon Kawali, a Filipino dish that Patricio learned from his family and is made with crispy roasted pork belly tossed and chopped in shoyu vinegar sauce with onions and tomatoes.

Kalbi short ribs
Kalbi short ribs, Mona Tong Google Local

Other popular choices are the Garlic Shrimp made with shell-on shrimp tossed in a seasoned batter then pan-fried in butter and garlic, the Kalua Pig made with pork roasted eight hours, or the Kalbi Short ribs—bone-in beef short ribs marinated in a sweet and savory shoyu sauce. Lastly, the one must-try item is the Hawaiian Nachos (hands down, one the most-loved items on the menu) that are made on a bed of crispy won ton chips, and topped with poke and kalua pig then drizzled with sriracha aioli, unagi and furikake. 

pork adobo fried rice omelet
Pork adobo fried rice omelette, GWT facebook

Check them out at their new location in Cully to get some authentic Ono food and feel those aloha vibes!


  • Wednesday and Thursday, 12:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Friday and Saturday, 12:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Sunday, 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Closed Monday and Tuesday

Address: 4318 Northeast Cully Boulevard, Portland

Phone: 971-865-5160

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Written By Diana Flowers

Diana is a writer living in Portland with her delightful son and crotchety cat. Growing up in the area, family vacations were often to nearby destinations reachable by car. She has since expanded that love of local road trips and has been all over the great state of Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest, frequently pairing backpacking trips with exploring new towns and regions.

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