Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY

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Prof
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2012/11/18 11:38:52 (permalink)

Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY

 
L & L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY,
 
We stopped at L & L, in a strip mall just outside the main gate of Ft. Drum, for a quick lunch on Saturday, Nov 17, and wished we hadn't by the time it was over. We like Polynesian food so thought we would give this one a try. From the fine print on the menu, L&L is a chain. A sign claimed the food is brought in “fresh from Hawaii”. I believe it.
 
The place was a former small Dunkin Donuts and then a pizza take-out place so you have some idea of the layout. Large glass windows face Highway 11. There is a scattering of tables and chairs. Behind and above the counter were the numerous offerings and descriptions and the helpful attendant who actually looked like she could be Hawaiian. Made me think we might be on to a good thing. We asked for help with the unfamiliar food (lau lau, kalua pork, loco moco ) and she suggested the mixed BBQ which I ordered. Lisa ordered the chicken BBQ but the attendant suggested the beef instead. I should have asked why. Lisa was wise to take the suggestion. The soft drinks were from a cooler, no hot tea or beer was available.
 
We found seats and were soon called to the counter for pick up. The food was served in styrofoam take-out containers even though we said we were eating in. There were paper plates, plastic tableware, napkins and condiments at the end of the counter, self-serve. I guess this is to save on washing dishes. Both containers had a lower layer of shredded savoy cabbage on one side and a ball of hot, tasteless, white rice snug against ice cold, equally tasteless macaroni and cheese on the other with the meat draped over the top of it all. My mixed BBQ contained a thin sheet, 2”x6”, of teryakki flavored beef, with a consistency half way toward beef jerky. I like jerky and it tasted pretty good but the quite flimsy plastic fork and knife were no match for cutting it and I ended up eating it with my fingers. Lisa had the same beef. I also had thin sliced beef ribs with the same teryakki sauce. This was mostly inedible for me since it was about half fat and a lot of bone. I managed to pick out some morsels of solid meat with my fingers. I also had the strangest presentation of BBQ chicken I have ever encountered. It, too, was a thin sheet of chicken meat with a layer of skin adhering to one side. It had been grilled but the skin was soft and gelatinous, yuck. I scrapped it off and ate the meat. Lisa ate some and left most of it. I can prove my foodie credentials by relating that in order to get some taste from the rice, I went out to the car to get my little jar of nuoc mam (fish sauce) which I carry for emergencies. There was a young family, two kids, sitting across from us. I could not see what the adults were eating but the kids had what looked exactly like fish sticks. Fresh from Hawaii no doubt.
 
This was a terrible meal and I don't recommend you try it. There are some intriguing items on the menu which I would love to try but maybe at Trader Vic's. I predict this L&L will go the way of the previous enterprises in this mall.
 
Dave
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14 Replies Related Threads

    Mosca
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 12:36:00 (permalink)
    I believe that what you had was a "plate lunch". That is the serving: scoop of rice, another carb (macaroni or potato salad), the meat, and cole slaw, in a styrofoam container. That doesn't account for the quality, of course, but the serving style is authentic Hawaiian.
    #2
    David_NYC
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 12:52:28 (permalink)
    I remember seeing a long list of locations for L & L Hawaiian Barbeque in the Los Angeles area phone books, so this would definitely qualify as a chain. There is one on Fulton Street in lower Manhattan, and I would classify this as a takeout fast food joint, similar to Chinese takeout joints. It is what it is.
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    Prof
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 14:10:44 (permalink)
    Hey Mosca and David NYC,
    I think we could have allieved some of the frustration if we could have taken it home and used plates and silverware, but nothing could have rescued that chicken.  I spent some time in SE Asia and am aware that some cultures don't mind a lot of fat on their meat but not me.  We were passing thru so could not take it home.  If I lived close by I might even try some of the other stuff.  I guess I don't learn lessons easily.
    dave
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    kozel
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 14:47:59 (permalink)
    David_NYC There is one on Fulton Street in lower Manhattan, and I would classify this as a takeout fast food joint, similar to Chinese takeout joints. It is what it is.

    I had been of the impression that the Fulton Street location closed but I guess I am wrong; I found their menu online.
     
    http://llhawaiianbarbecue...VJrJVTOoLQPaExXUsQjQ==
     
    I'm not downtown as much as I used to be but  for 20+ years I parked at the 'elevator' garage just east of there.  That garage was used in the movie 'Anger Management' and they have a great staff. The Hawaiian place never had the appeal to get me to try it. Having been in the 187th Artillery NYARNG 40 years ago maybe after 2 weeks at Camp Drum I would have given it a try.
    #5
    Mosca
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 15:23:52 (permalink)
    DG, plate lunches can be almost anything, from terrible to awesome. I had a few when we were in the islands, and generally they were OK but very starchy.

    Here's a page with pictures and descriptions of lots of plate luches, I'm working from a tablet so I hope it links properly.
    #6
    Prof
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 15:31:25 (permalink)
    All you ARTY guys from the City had a big rep, especially among the MP's  :-)
    dave
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    mar52
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 16:47:16 (permalink)
    L & L is good in Los Angeles if you look past the way the food is served.  I go to the Santa Monica location.
     
    Great choice if you want something different in Fast Food.
     
     
    #8
    pnwchef
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 19:28:20 (permalink)
    A plate lunch in Hawaii always comes with 2 scoops rice, 1 scoop mac salad and entree...............this is Shoyu Chicken from the Rainbow Drive inn just outside Waikiki Beach. Its a tradition to stop their for a plate lunch and then up the road for some hot Malasadas..................
     

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    Prof
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/18 21:46:18 (permalink)
    There are some interesting items on the menu.  I have a friend who is planning on going there.  He has read my report and will probably order other food.  I will be interested in what he finds out.
    dave
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    mar52
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/19 01:47:52 (permalink)
    The last time I was there I ordered the Saimin.  Not knowing what to expect it wasn't my favorite.
     
    But I was grouping it with ramen and pho which was not fair.  It might have been outstanding for saimin.
    #11
    Jennifer_4
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/19 08:21:13 (permalink)
    Hauli boy not used to da kine?  and "polynesian food" really?     and who carries fish sauce?  I'm a foodie too and at least I know a decent plate lunch when I see one.  Sounds like you need to stick to upscale joints instead.
    #12
    brisketboy
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/19 09:32:18 (permalink)
    Fortunately for me, business is taking me to Oahu next month where I intend to promptly drive to the North Shore and have a plate lunch of kahlua pork and two scoops rice at Keneke's. If there ever was a roadfood place this is probably it. And stop for a spam musubi on the way back to the hotel.
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    kozel
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2012/11/19 10:01:25 (permalink)
    David Guccione All you ARTY guys from the City had a big rep, especially among the MP's  :-)
    dave

    Moi?  Not me!
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    Jwong808
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    Re:Where NOT to eat: L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Evans Mills, NY 2013/06/16 19:35:49 (permalink)
    L&L isn't the first choice by most locals in Hawaii. Back in the day they were a popular but have since become a last resort. Also it's typical chain Hawaii style plate lunch not to be confused with actual Hawaiian food.
    There are tons of great places in Hawaii that have very good versions of plate lunch. L&L isn't one of them. I consider myself a foodie and eat up and down the scale and I cook the same way. My advice like someone else posted if you visit Hawaii check out Rainbows Drive in or the mom and pop places.
    And if your ever looking for great sushi stay away from the chain places. I post pictures of all the food places I love in Hawaii on my Instagram so you can check it out if you ever need a look see. My IG is jwong808.
    #15
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