Sexy Food: One-On-One with Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky

Juicy details on the new and improved eatery formally known as Spring Hill.

This week the social media universe erupted with the news that beloved West Seattle restaurant Spring Hill will change its name to Ma’ono and its menu focus to fried chicken. This is welcomed news, indeed, for the denizens who often failed to score coveted reservations to their famed Monday night fried chicken dinners of late. I caught up with Spring Hill owner Mark Fuller in order to get the skinny on the new and improved Spring Hill.

Sexy Food: Why did you decide to rename and rebrand Spring Hill?

Mark Fuller: The response we have received for fried chicken dinners have always been a little staggering.  It has become what we are known for so we decided to adapt.

SF: Can you give us the story behind the new name?

MF: The Hawaiian word “‘ono” translated means delicious or tasty; to relish or crave; deliciousness, flavor, savor. The word “ma” refers to the process of making.  Ma’ono translated is to make flavor or to make delicious.

SF: Will any old menu items still be available or will you have a completely different focus?

MF: Our burger and saimin are direct transplants to go along with the fried chicken.  Our focus in the kitchen will remain the same.

SF: I know you have a connection to Hawaiian salt- can you elaborate on that?

MF: The art of salt-making in earthen pans is practiced on Kauai in the Hanapepe salt ponds by families descending from ancient salt-makers.  Families who harvest salt in the salt ponds must be of Hawaiian decent.  Not just from Hawaii, actually Hawaiian.  ‘Makanui’ is the Hawaiian bloodline in our family.

SF: What is the secret behind your legendary fried chicken?

MF: No secret.  We soak the chickens in 8% saltwater brine.  Soak in buttermilk for 24 hours.  Dredge through a simply seasoned flour dredge, back through an egg and buttermilk batter, then through the seasoned flour and fry in peanut oil.  The chicken is twice fried for crispiness.

SF: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

MF: Thanks to everyone who supported and dined at Spring Hill the past 4 years. You have made us who we are! We are embracing the fried chicken so get your crew over to Ma’ono and have some fun!  Slurp some noodles, eat some fried chicken and drink some brown.

Ma’ono fried chicken and whisky begins Wednesday, February 8. Click here for online reservations or email

Ma’ono | 4437 California Ave SW, Seattle | (206) 935-1075