Curry Katsu At L&L Hawaiian And The Case Of Mistaken Meat Identity
I will admit that despite working downtown for more than two years, I have never eaten at L&L Hawaiian BBQ on Fulton St. (btw. Gold & Cliff). I’m not quite sure why, but I feel that deep in my mind I knew that eating lunch here would make me worthless for the rest of the afternoon at work. When Daniel checked it out last year he called it the “Hawaiian McDonald’s” and while he liked the roast duck and spare ribs all right, he wanted to go back to check out the curry chicken katsu. That sounded good to me, so I headed over with an empty stomach and dreams of Japanese-style fried meat in my head. Find out if the katsu was worth the food coma after the jump.
I got there right in the midst of a lunch rush and there was quite the crowd of people that had already ordered and were waiting for food. That didn’t deter me as I was just glad to be inside on the super dreary and rainy day, and not at my desk. And I had plenty of weird posters about their Hawaiian Atkins platters and pictures of BBQ to keep me entertained.
There was also this little display, which I’m guessing used to hold sushi rolls. It looks like they no longer sell sushi at all (unless you count musubi), as the little stand near the door says with a to-the-point sign saying “Sushi closed.”
I ordered my chicken katsu curry ($8) and waited about five minutes until I was handed a giant container of food with a cup of curry on the side. It was then that I realized my mistake, which was that I should have asked for a “mini” serving, which I think is essentially the same but you get one scoop of rice instead of two and it’s $1 cheaper.
I opened the container and almost gasped at the amount of katsu in there. Shit, I mean I could have shared this with someone and still been full, and even if you’re not a light eater you can still get two meals out of it. There was also a small scoop of macaroni salad and some sad lettuce salad as well as the two scoops of white rice. The sides were just kind of there, and other than the rice didn’t really contribute anything to my lunch.
The curry is unique. It’s reminiscent of Japanese curry, but it’s yellow instead of the brown color you would find and there was no carrot or potato thrown in. Go Go Curry this was not. I dumped some over the top of the katsu and took a bite, and mostly tasted salt. I wasn’t necessarily a fan, but that’s just me. I’m sure there are people who love this stuff, because really who doesn’t like curry-flavored gravy?
And now to my main complaint with this meal (and it’s kind of a big one). I was pretty out of it that day after a long week and after a couple of bites it occurred to me that this meat was awfully hard to gnaw through.
Then I looked at it and realized my chicken was actually pork. This didn’t bother me so much as I’m an equal opportunity meat eater, but it’s still a little weird since I didn’t even see the option of pork katsu on the menu! So…if you go there and order chicken katsu you might want to make sure on the first bite that it’s actually chicken.
I would have to say that for the amount of food you get, it’s kind of a good deal if you’re in the mood for a heaping helping of fried meat. And if you’re looking for a nice nap in the afternoon, I would recommend eating this and you’ll want to curl up under your desk.
L&L Hawaiian BBQ, 64 Fulton St. (btw. Gold & Cliff), (212) 577-8888