A Feast For The 4thCover Story Features
July 3, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Missy Romero
It’s time to throw on your swimsuit, pack the tent and head to the beach for your best Fourth of July celebration yet. One of Oahu’s most coveted destinations to enjoy a fun-filled holiday in the sun is Ala Moana Beach Park, and it’s not only because of the family-friendly shoreline and stunning views. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, conveniently located in two concession stands across the grounds, is another prime perk at the park, standing by to add some essential island flavors to your outdoor bash.
The beloved local dining chain, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, first acquired the kiosk near the Magic Island parking lot a year ago, bringing all-time favorites such as crispy Chicken Katsu and savory Garlic Shrimp served with rice and mac salad to both hungry kamaaina beach-goers and tourists looking to try authentic local cuisine. Just a few months ago, L&L also opened a second concession stand in the park near the tennis courts, offering even easier access to its local comfort food.
According to president and CEO Eddie Flores Jr., the hard work put in by franchise owner Wesley Wu and his family has turned the previously unoccupied snack bars into a thriving business. And thanks to a slew of menu items that cater to sun-kissed customers, such as refreshing shave ice and soft-serve ice cream, these L&L outposts are sure to come in handy this Independence Day.
“Anything relating to a picnic, they have it here,” says Flores, who notes that patrons may even purchase ice to refill their coolers.
Due to the success of an exclusive bento special offered at the beachside L&L during the recent Lantern Floating Hawaii event, the family-run operation will once again offer its $9 combo for Fourth of July, presenting a pack of mahi mahi, barbecue chicken, chicken katsu, Spam and rice, along with a can of soda.
“It’s a really good deal and it’s really easy to grab and go so you can enjoy the rest of the day,” says Elisia Flores, CFO for L&L.
Wu, who runs the oceanfront dining spots with his wife and brother, adds that in addition to the expansive regular menu of plate lunch favorites, L&L’s party platters are perfect for holiday potlucks. The business’ go-to menu items — including Kalua Pork Cabbage, Teriyaki Steak and Barbecue Short Ribs, among many others — are available in small, medium and large tray sizes, with varying prices starting at $24.99, $39.99 and $69.99, respectively. While the company will do its best to accommodate all requests during the Fourth, Wu asks customers to place catering-platter orders at least a day in advance.
As one of the company’s most unique operations, the Ala Moana Beach Park L&L offers shaded lanais with unobstructed views of the park’s palm tree-lined pond, green fields and turquoise ocean. “It’s very iconic for L&L to have a location right on the beach. We’re all over Hawaii, but this is one of the most unique places that we could be and we thought it was a great opportunity,” says Elisia, when commenting on the most recent L&L addition in the 808 State.
The personalized touches brought to the menu by the Wu family also go a long way in making the beach-park kiosks feel more akin to a mom-and-pop shop than a restaurant chain. The kitchen crew supplements its freshly made L&L classics with a host of customized dishes such as Honey Walnut Shrimp and Oxtail Soup (not available Fourth of July), the latter of which is homemade by Wu’s wife and has become a best-seller. The Wu family says they’re delighted to offer islanders L&L’s comforting fare in an unbeatable and picturesque outdoor setting.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
Ala Moana Beach Park (and various locations)
1201 Ala Moana Blvd., in the kiosks across from the Magic Island parking lot and near the tennis courts.
941-8882 or 596-8882
Daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Prices may vary by location