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Havana Central's shrimp mofongo, mashed plantains and garlic (Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central's shrimp mofongo, mashed plantains and garlic plated with plenty of nicely cooked shellfish in a hyper-garlicky red sauce. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Havana Central

Say hola to Havana Central in Garden City, a big, brassy blend of faux palms, vintage photos and infectious beats. It's one restaurant chain's take on Cuba before the revolution, a time when, according to its website, "life on the island paradise was a continuous party."

Havana Central at Roosevelt Field Mall. (Jan. 19,
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central at Roosevelt Field Mall. (Jan. 19, 2013)

At Havana Central, the party heats up Thursday
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

At Havana Central, the party heats up Thursday to Saturday nights. (Jan. 19, 2013)

YeraSon Trio, the house band, performs at Havana
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

YeraSon Trio, the house band, performs at Havana Central. (Jan. 19, 2013)

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Havana Central house band YeraSon Trio performs. (Jan.
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central house band YeraSon Trio performs. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Havana Central head chef Oscar Martinez. (Jan. 19,
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central head chef Oscar Martinez. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Head chef Oscar Martinez in the Havana Central
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Head chef Oscar Martinez in the Havana Central kitchen. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Havana Central serves a variety of drinks including
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central serves a variety of drinks including various flavors of mojitos. (Jan. 19, 2013)

DIners at Havana Central. (Jan. 19, 2013)
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

DIners at Havana Central. (Jan. 19, 2013)

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Inside Havana Central, the melodies collide with a
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Inside Havana Central, the melodies collide with a high-decibel cacophony of chatter and clatter. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Diners at Havana Central. (Jan. 19, 2013)
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Diners at Havana Central. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Havana Central's shrimp mofongo, mashed plantains and garlic
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central's shrimp mofongo, mashed plantains and garlic plated with plenty of nicely cooked shellfish in a hyper-garlicky red sauce. (Jan. 19, 2013)

Havana Central's refreshing shrimp seviche with citrus, avocado
(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Havana Central's refreshing shrimp seviche with citrus, avocado and red onions is served in a martini glass.

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