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.