Saturday, January 23, 2010

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Acting on a hot tip from ADN, and also as part of a generally Hawaiian-themed day, we went to the Dimond Mall today to check out L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.  A relatively recent addition to the food court next to the skating rink, L&L is one of several interesting stands at the mall.  Apparently this is part of a fast food chain that originated in (surprise!) Hawaii and has since spread to many Western States, American Samoa, New Zealand, and now Anchorage. 
The focus of the menu are the plate lunches.  For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, a plate lunch is your entree of choice, two scoops of rice, and a scoop of macaroni salad.  I don't know why that's the standard combo, but it sure is tasty.  Entrees are some form of beef, pork, chicken or fish - no vegetarian options are available that I could see.  It was hard to choose - so many delicious looking options shone out at us from the menu board!  However, Mr EA wound up with a chicken katsua lunch plate and a spam musubi, and I got a loco moco lunch plate.  I had been reading about loco moco for years, and wanted to try it - it was worth the wait!
plates are available in two sizes, mini and regular.  We got the regular, since mini sounds...well, tiny.  However, we will probably go to mini next time, because regular is a humongous pile of food. Despite valiant efforts, neither of us could finish - the food was so tasty we didn't want to stop eating, but eventually you have to.  Or you'll explode. 
     Mr EA's chicken consisted of planks (strip is too timid a word for these pieces) of boneless chicken, breaded and fried.  It tasted to me like there was skin still on there, but maybe that's just because it was so flavorful.  The breading was crunchy and lightly spiced, the chicken was moist.  He also got a small portion of barbecue sauce for dipping that was also delicious - kind of ketchup-y with some soy sauce flavor as well.  The spam musubi was also very good, but a big portion.  You get a big brick of sushi rice with a thin layer of sauce on top and then a slab of Spam on top of that, and the whole thing wrapped in a sheet of nori.  It was even better than the same appetizer at Hula Hands, because it was warm, and the sauce really added a bit of kick.  I know it sounds kind of icky, especially if you are not a Spam fan (and if not, why not?) but it really is extremely tasty.
    In ordering loco moco, you need to specify how you want the egg done - I got it scrambled, so I didn't get any good yolk action.  However, I'm kind of squirrely about eating eggs out, so scrambled was the safer bet for me.  Loco moco is a hamburger patty topped with an egg and covered with gravy, all on top of rice.  It is really pretty tasty!  If you were a fan of salisbury steak day at your school cafeteria, you will like loco moco, as it tastes very much like that, but with an egg on it.  Also, the hamburger and gravy are probably better than what they had at your school cafeteria.  I even tried dipping a few bites in Mr EA's barbecue sauce, and that was pretty good too, but it was re tasty on its own.  The macaroni salad (mayonnaise based mix with not a lot of vegetation in there) was also delicious.
     As for the ambiance, well, it's a food court.  The beverage options include a variety of Hawaiian fruit juices and (really) Hawaiian Punch.  If you do want a delicious taste of the islands, and aren't too concerned about ambiance, check out L&L.  You'll be glad you did!

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