HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Hawaiian Food

Hi, this is my first post here, and the soul reason I made an account on this was to find this out!

My moms side of the family is from hawaii and I lived there for a bit so I have a real taste for the food. I've been living in the city for about 2 years, and the only place I found with hawaiian food is the L & L diner in the financial district. And it's fine an dandy for fast food style hawaiian grubs, but I would really like to find somewhere a bit better if possible.

Where can I find kalua pig, musubi, terriyaki burgers, served with rice and mac salad out here? I've been able to find manapua of char sui bao, but damn it, we bake our buns and don't steam them in hawaii, and it makes a difference!

So where do I go in china town for hawaiian style char sui like my grandpa would get at the fishermans market in hawaii? My stomach is home sick, and the musubi maker my friend got me only helps so much!

Thanks in advance guys!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Ooh, tough one! I am guessing there aren't enough ex-Hawaiians here to sustain a lot of Hawaiian cuisine based restaurants in NYC.

    I've taken to making my own kalua pork in a slow cooker, but I know it's not the same.

    If you want something a little more gourmet, Lani Kai does a pricey but delicious poke. They also have malasadas on the menu. They used to have poi but I guess nobody ordered it!

    Oh, and you might want to go out to Brooklyn to try the shave ice at Eton.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      how do you make the kalua pork in a slow cooker? i have one myself and im sure its worth it!

      I'll have to look into lani kai, the prices are a bit steep, but it does sound amazing, maybe ill have to go there for my birthday or a special night out. it would be great to find some poi!

      And THANK YOU for the tip off on eton! I have been telling my gf about hawaiian style shave ice, and went into about 5 different places over the summer trying to find it, but totally failed. We will be making a trip to eton in the next week or two, which eton is open because im having a little trouble finding out which one to go to.

      1. re: RikiRude

        One fatty, boneless pork shoulder roast, maybe 6-7 lbs, rub about 1/4 c. Hawaiian red sea salt (I like my food salty), a few dashes of liquid smoke. Cook on low for 16 hours. There's lots of recipes online. It's super easy!

        No poi any more at Lani Kai. But the cocktails are delicious. Try one of the ones where they use macadamia nut orgeat syrup, divine!

        I think the Gowanus Eton Too is the only Eton currently open. I'd call to confirm.

      1. re: thegforceny

        There are L&L's all over Oahu! Is the one here any good?
        Believe it or not, Macao Trading has amazing malasadas w/ a guava dipping sauce...

        1. re: LeahBaila

          I personally think the one over here is borderline vomitous (but I keep going back because I WANT to like it).

          I have no experience with other branches to compare it with.

      2. L&L? Living on the west coast, we have some OK Hawaiian food. Still not the same as being on the islands. You might have to fly home. Hawaiin food, back east. Who's serving it? Could be on to something.

        1. No spam, but Oms-b has a lot of different types of musubi.

          http://www.riceball-omsb.com/omsb-ric...

          There's definitely a lot of baked char siu manapua out there. They're called baked roast pork buns in NYC. In NYC, char siu is referred to as roast pork and siu yuk is referred to as roast pig. Mei Li Wah in Chinatown is famous for the roast pork buns.

          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/Mauzee...

          And more New Orleans sno-ball style instead of Hawaiian shave ice, Imperial Woodpecker is very good.

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/imperial-wood...

          Don't miss the malasada at Chikalicious. A bit dear at $5 but really delicious. They're filled with vanilla custard.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathyylc...

          And I've never been but there's Hawaiian Island Grill in midtown.

          http://hawaiianislandgrillnyc.com/foo...

          1. There is a Hawaiian restaurant in East Harlem called Makana that has pretty much everything you're looking for. If Hawiian baked char siu bao resembled the Filipino baked buns called siopao asado, you can get those at Mei Li Wah.