HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Will drive for Hawaiian food!

Craving some Hawaiian food in Massachusetts/ N.E. or New York.
Would kill for some poke, laulau, malasadas etc.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You're gonna have a LONG drive.

    1. There's an L&L on Fulton Street in Manhattan.

      And also one in Evans Mills near Watertown.

      1 Reply
      1. re: denish

        Please note: that's Watertown NEW YORK (just east of the northeast corner of Lake Ontario), not Watertown MA.

      2. Having no idea what malasadas are, I looked them up. The wikipedia article indicated that they are popular in the Fall River area. As to poke and laulau, you are on your own.

        I do have a question about poke: just about every time I had it, the flavor was overwhelmingly that of toasted sesame oil. Is that how people like it, or is that a sign of poor quality fish?

        2 Replies
        1. re: jira

          Poke is the whole dish its marinated ahi. usually with sea salt, sesame and other things. I dont like to use WIkipedia as a reference but here it is:


          1. re: jira

            There are many many types of poke. Sesame poke is pretty popular, but shouldn't drown out the fresh fish.

          2. I would kill for some haupia pie!

            1. Malasadas are Portugese, so any area with a large Portugese population will have them.

              1. No Hawaiian, but you might enjoy JnJ Turo Turo in Quincy for pinoy food, many of the flavors are similar

                1. You may be able to find poke at a sushi place? I saw another post saying Uni and Fugakyu had it, but I'm not sure how long ago that was.

                  1. Ohana in Gloucester is Hawaiian-influenced, but unfortunately they don't have any of those classic dishes listed. Maybe give them a call to see if they ever do specials.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bear

                      Ohana was excellent though pricey.

                    2. I make my own poke (and I can't cook worth a darn, so you know it's easy), but they do make a decent one at Blue on Highland in Needham.

                      1. The Lowell Portuguese Bakery and Central Bakery in Peabody usually have malassadas (Portuguese spelling) on Saturdays. The Cambridge Central Bakery (unrelated) has them on a few occasions and nearby St Anthony has sold them as a fundraiser. The Woburn Portuguese club's Nossa Senhora do Monte festival which is coming up has offered them in the past too:


                        And they are readily had on the south coast (including at this weekends feast), as well as certain places to the west. At Brazilian bakeries you can get sweets made with a similar dough, but not exactly the same thing (mentiras or sonhos).

                        There are a number of non-traditional versions of poke which have popped up on certain menus such as at Gargoyle's (closed), Blue Ginger, and I can bring up a few more with a current search. That said if you are looking for a more traditional version, buy the fish from New Deal, Captain Boston, Whole Foods, or sakanaya to make your own which maybe better.

                        1. There's actually more Hawaiian food around here than you might think at first blush.

                          Moko in South Boston has spam musubi, and a few other Hawaiian fish dishes on their menu. And there is a place in Rockport, Massachusetts called the Hula Moon Café. Call first; I think they're only open for lunch and they have mostly sandwiches, with Hawaiian flavors, but that might satisfy your craving because I think some of them involve Hawaiian style BBQ pork. There is apparently a Hawaiian catering company in East Boston called Kahlua, although I've only seen a listing for them --- I don't know if they actually exist or what they do.

                          Many restaurants have ahi tuna poke on their menus --- both sushi restaurants and Asian fusion restaurnats.

                          Other than going to Lowell or Fall River, you might try asking about malasadas at Great Taste Bakery in Chinatown --- it's not normally there, but could be in their repertoire.

                          There are some old-school American-Chinese "Polynesian" restaurants, especially around the North Shore. Probably not what you are looking for, but maybe it helps.

                          You might also have some luck over at the Boston Global Pau Hana internet forum.

                          As you might imagine, Boston is not exactly over-flowing with Hawaiian food (although I did once attend a luau at a private home in Wellesley, replete with whole pig!) but I don't think you'll have to drive even to New York to satiate your craving.

                          1. Can't help you, but I have been saying for years that a Hawaiian plate lunch and shaved ice place would make money hand over fist at a place like the HKM food court. Not least because since they would need to make hamburger patties to make loco moco, they could also sell hamburgers, for the one completely-unadventurous eater in every group that's trying to make lunch plans.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              I would love a shaved ice place. I would even settle for snow cones (not from a truck or fair).

                              But it seems fun food snackery in allston didn't last that long. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/498390

                              1. re: LStaff

                                Nothing has ever lasted long in that space, though. And I'm talking about a full-on plate lunch place, not just a shave ice stand.

                                1. re: LStaff

                                  Is Hawaiian shave ice that different from Taiwanese or Korean shaved ice? Blue Asia Cafe has 8+ varieties of shaved ice, Jo Jo Taipei has at least two (eight treasure and mango), Color has Korean shaved ice, and Lolicup in the Super 88/Hong Kong Market food court has mango shaved ice (although their mango was very bad the one time I tried it). Frio Rico in East Boston also has excellent fruit shaved ice, Peruvian-style. And obviously the Boston area has a lot of Italian water ice/slush.

                                  1. re: lipoff

                                    Yeah, I think we have some good shaved ice options, what we really need is SNOPO

                                    1. re: lipoff

                                      I discovered a Hawaiian shave ice stand at one of the outlet malls in Kittery Maine this past weekend. He proudly told me that he imported all of his syrups from Hawaii and offered flavors like pineapple, guava, mango, and tiger's blood. He even had li hing mui powder to sprinkle over it. He had condensed milk on the menu to add-on, but sadly said that he'd given up on it since none of the Kittery tourists understood the idea of putting it on shave ice. "They think I make sno- cones...."

                                2. I love the poke at AKA Bistro. No idea if its anything close to traditional but it tastes awesome.

                                  1. Thanks for all the suggestions! The closest thing to laulau, plate lunch etc, guess will have to be a trip to Connecticut and New York. Can't wait try out the local suggestions. I bough Sam Choys Poke cookbook and will make my own poke. :)

                                    1. Rather than drive, hop on a plane to San Fran and go to the Tonga Room. Have a Mai Tai for me!


                                      1. Open a can of Spam, slice a pineapple and put on a Don Ho CD. You'll be there.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: CocoDan

                                          I'm reminded of the guy, on another food-oriented website, who every time that Boston was mentioned talked about how the city's signature dish, available at every diner on every corner, was fishcakes, baked beans and brown bread. And who, whenever challenged on this notion, would claim that anyone who said otherwise was just ashamed of their city's culture and foodstuffs.

                                          It eventually came out that he had been to Boston once, for three days, in 1963.

                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                            OK. I take it all back. Never been there. Can't imagine where I heard about the spam, pineapple and Don Ho.

                                        2. Go to New Deal Fish Market and pick up some sushi grade tuna and other fish and make your own poke!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                            SRSLY, it's not like it's anything tricky.