Ono Seafood expands to Mānoa
By: Carina Nocon
26 September 2019
“She broke the code. She created the system. She concocted all of our saucing. That’s the difference in our poke,” said Brug. “My wife and I, it was a no-brainer to say continue the legacy of her mom. that’s where we come from...So we’re carrying it forward.”
The sauces include shoyu, wasabi, miso, spicy, miso, and Hawaiian style ahi or tako. These flavors are similar to other poke shops around the islands.
Brug had the idea to bring Ono Seafood to Mānoa when he noticed the large UH following at the other locations. Now, Ono Seafood has three locations in total, including the newest food truck.
Brug’s children, at ages 19, 16, 12, and 11 are also involved with the family business.
“We’re third generation, carrying grandma’s legacy,” Brug said.
Serving in its 25th year as a mom and pop restaurant in Oʻahu, Ono Seafood is becoming convenient for the UH Mānoa community.
Ono Seafood truck owner and UH West Oʻahu alumnus Lance Brug is taking on the newest branch of this poke shop by bringing it to Mānoa on wheels. Brug plans to potentially make Ono Seafood the “official poke of UH.”
It all started 25 years ago with his mother-in-law starting her family business in Kapahulu. Brug says that what separates their poke from others is the special sauces, all made by his mother-in-law.
UH Mānoa senior Megan Le says having this food truck on campus is convenient because students do not have to deal with driving or the small parking lot in Kapahulu to get their favorite poke.
“I just feel like students are happy that there’s actually good quality food now. I think it’s like a cute aesthetic on campus,” said Le. “The poke at the Food Court sucks.”
This is the first semester that Brug’s hand-painted truck is on the UH Mānoa campus. By the end of Friday last week, brug sold out of seven of his eight seafood flavors. He is hoping to bring his truck to more UH related events.
Brug said, “I'm proud to say that we are people carrying on the mom and pop. We’re going to do another 25 years.”
On the right side of the truck, there are signs of the organizations and businesses that helped build this truck, striving for an “automotive cool” look. Brug tells us that he hopes to have the UH rainbow warrior sticker in the same place one day.
Ono Seafood Truck owner Lance Brug tells us about the flavors his mother-in-law created.
Ono Seafood's spicy salmon poke bowl. Courtesy of Lea Strange.
Side view of the hand-painted and poke-look-alike Ono Seafood Truck. Courtesy of Lea Strange.