Sold on These Saimin Burgers

Columns Surf and Turf

February 9, 2014

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Leah Friel

Who knew lunch could be dangerous? The typical midday repast remains relatively calm unless one enters the dining hall with saimin burgers … then everything goes out the window and the chaos begins. It’s true. I’ve witnessed this myself.

For whatever reason, meat sandwiched between crispy patties of Asian noodles creates sudden popularity and the risk of getting knocked over in the rush to have a taste.

Hopefully, that will no longer be the case since L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has taken this rare commodity and turned it into an every day dining option.

Hawaii’s favorite spot for local comfort food, L&L recently began serving saimin burgers — a response driven by immense customer requests. L&L founder Eddie Flores tasked corporate chef Raymond Cheng to create the establishment’s own version of this renowned burger. And Cheng did a good job.

One day last week, the Keeaumoku Street L&L establishment sold 50 saimin burgers before noon. They are that good.

L&L offers four saimin burger options — Teriyaki Beef, Salmon, Barbecue Chicken and Loco Moco. All burgers are priced at $5.95, except Loco Moco Saimin Burger, which costs $6.95.

The saimin burger takes shape, as Cheng begins with seasoned saimin that’s cooked and pressed into bowls, which are then frozen to create the perfect bun form. Next, the saimin buns are fried to a crisp and topped with lettuce, L&L’s special shoyu barbecue sauce and the protein of your choice.

Making your selection from the four patty options is rather difficult, but determining which burger creates the need for the most napkins is easy — Loco Moco Saimin Burger, of course.

“That’s the fun part of it,” Cheng says, noting the runny yolk that turns on the burger fountain of moist flavor. “As long as it tastes good, it doesn’t matter.”

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has 48 Oahu locations. Hours vary, so log onto Hawaiianbarbecue.com for more information.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

The Gateway at Mililani Mauka
95-1057 Ainamakua Drive, #F8
(and various locations)
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Mililani, HI 96789

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