L & L Hawaiian Barbeque
19709 Hwy 99
Lynnwood WA 98036
Are you loco for a Loco Moco?
By: Steve G
"There can be only one" dominant food franchise in Hawaii. L&L is one of the great fast food standbys in Hawaii and has vastly expanded since 2004, opening over 200 locations throughout Hawaii and the continental United States. For those who have never had the pleasure of eating Hawaiian barbeque, here's a simple introduction: Your typical dish contains a large portion of rice, a side salad (usually macaroni salad), and a large portion of meat. Usually most people go for the Chicken Cutlet with gravy or this reviewer's personal favorite, the Loco Moco-a famous Hawaiian dish containing a large portion of rice, two hamburger patties covered in gravy and two eggs on top for good measure. While it is far from what you would classify as "healthy", it sure hits the spot.
The L&L Hawaiian Barbeque extols the spirit of Hawaii with its bright colors and easy going yet lively feel to it. Upon entering the restaurant, we were bombarded with scenic images of Hawaii and high walls painted red, giving the restaurant a vibrant and festive feel. Considering that Grant and I were coming from a long, difficult morning, a lunch break and a hearty meal from L&L was a very deserved change of pace.
Grant ordered the Chicken cutlet, which consisted of thin cutlets of breaded and deep fried chicken. The gravy on top of the chicken was rich in flavor and texture, but not overly thick. If there is one thing that L&L never fails to do, it is to deliver on large portions. Unless you have an especially hearty appetite, you are pretty much guaranteed to be taking home leftovers. Some people gripe about the food being served in Styrofoam containers but honestly, you're going to need one eventually. Why not have it served when you first get it so there's no time wasted when you can't finish your meal.
The Loco Moco is one of the tried and true staples of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. Its two thick hamburger patties, two eggs, and two large helpings of rice covered in gravy with a side of macaroni salad is enough to make your heart go into overdrive. The hamburger steak was decently thick but the gravy was somewhat bland. Usually the gravy with Loco Moco is pretty thick and has a strong meaty taste to it, but unfortunately here it came up just a tad bit short. The macaroni salad is always top notch, today being no exception, but then one has to wonder how hard it is to make a really bad mac salad.
There's not too much to talk about on the service end, since L&L is pretty much a fast food joint. As in many such places, servers at a counter take your order, then you simply pick it up at the counter when your name is called.
L&L scores high marks for the decent flavor and great value. Compared to other Hawaiian joints in the area, the prices here are a little higher than at the locally owned places. I attribute this to the brand name. The L&L name has a bit of a reputation especially amongst the Hawaiian community and it shows in the price. Anybody who orders the Spam Musabi knows what I'm talking about, it's good, but priced a little on the high side. But weighing the positives against the negatives, L&L comes out on top considering you're sure to walk away extremely satisfied.