Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-10:30pm; Sun, noon-10pm
6 at 116th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
96th St. to 128th St., FDR Dr. to Lenox Ave.
Spam is underrated on this side of the States, but homesick Hawaiians can get their fix up in East Harlem. Makana's Spam musubis, shoyu-slicked ahi poke, and sushi fill the void and make this Hawaiian barbecue hole-in-the-wall stand out from neighboring taco joints. Orange murals of Hokusai's wave and raffia fringe on the walls usher in some aloha, albeit of an endearingly tacky sort. The staple fare is traditional island plate-lunch favorites, like kalua pork laced with crunchy strips of cabbage and loco moco, which is beef patty with rice doused in thick gravy and topped with a fried egg. These homey dishes aren't quite like Auntie's, however—the pork is dry, the poke is too salty, and the beef patty is well past well done. But where Makana falls short, it makes up with its beef short ribs, which are tangy, tender, and charred in the right places.Recommended Dishes
Spam musubi, $4.95; Hawaiian BBQ beef, $8.95