What to Try at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Annandale


Chains can carry one thing to the desk that native eating places don’t. Take, for instance, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. The nationally distributed fast-casual restaurant affords what it feels like — plate lunches, spam musubi, and good vibes — in a area the place Hawaiian choices are few and much between. Off the highest of my head, there’s simply Momo & Poke in Alexandria and HawaU in Manassas.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue ordering counter
Photo by Alice Levitt

Not surprisingly, adventurous NoVA diners have waited with bated breath for the long-delayed opening of the Annandale L&L franchise. It opened final month inside a food-court-like set-up on the far proper nook of the Okay Market plaza, the most effective strip facilities in Northern Virginia. A location of Taiwanese boba model Tiger Sugar is the very first thing visitors see as they enter. A bar, labeled Garden Social VA, is the place diners order their L&L and cocktails. They decide up their meals at a window beneath the restaurant’s brand.

An inconvenient fact: I’ve by no means been a lot of a fan of plate lunches, together with these at different L&Ls. The model’s pasta salad is laden with mayonnaise and tastes of uncooked onions, the rice is mushy, and the costs are comparatively excessive. This all holds true at this location, however darn if I didn’t get pleasure from my proteins.

bbq mix at L&L Hawaiian
BBQ Mix (Photo by Alice Levitt)

This is paramount, in fact, at a restaurant with “barbecue” in its title. To maximize the meat, I ordered the BBQ Mix. At $26.95, it may possibly feed two. The BBQ beef was a standout, tender slices of bulgogi-style marinated meat. If I have been to return, I might think about simply ordering that. But then I might miss the galbi, as adiposely flavorful because the quick ribs must be, if barely powerful, and the fork-tender hen thighs. They’re served with pasta salad, rice, and uncooked cabbage, all of which alluringly take up the barbecue drippings.

chicken katsu plate at L&L Hawaiian
Chicken Katsu Curry Plate (Photo by Tyson Bateman)

I additionally tried L&L Hawaiian Barbecue’s hen katsu curry plate ($16.75). In Annandale, I favor Miso Donkatsu and its many choices if I’m available in the market for panko-coated, fried flesh. But I didn’t flip my nostril up on the pile of fried thighs at L&L. The crispy hen is likable, even lovable, with a facet of zingy katsu sauce. The gloppy curry, nonetheless, is surprisingly bland and eminently skippable.

For a candy end, I like to recommend a cease at Tiger Sugar. I attempted the No. 3. It options malted chocolate milk with cream mousse and two sizes of black-sugar tapioca balls. It jogged my memory of an amped-up model of childhood bottles of Yoo-hoo. I contemplated a cease at Glam Karaoke subsequent door on the best way out, however a future go to there offers me a purpose to return to L&L for a beef bowl and boba tea.

4363 John Marr Dr., Annandale

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