Best Hawaiian - 2007
There are so many Hawaiian restaurants popping up all over the Bay Area that a full-time hobby could consist of checking them out. We do so with pleasure since becoming enamored of the classic plate lunch (protein, plus a scoop of mayonnaisey macaroni salad and "two scoops rice") on our first visit to the Hawaiian Islands. (We have even learned to like spam. In its place.) But we return frequently to L&L, a chain that started in Hawaii in 1976, currently expanding rapidly across the U.S., for its dependably good and shockingly inexpensive fare. We love the smoky, shredded kalua pork; laulau pork, steamed inside a folded taro leaf; and the marinated barbecue short ribs, all of which survive takeout superbly. But if we're in the mood for loco moco (two hamburger patties smothered in brown gravy with two fried eggs on top), we perch at one of the slender counters. The yolks have to be broken while still warm to contribute their best to the dish.