In Honolulu, Robert and Ida Lee founded L&L Dairy in 1952, which evolved from a dairy to a soda fountain and finally a drive-in. In 1976, Eddie Flores, Jr. bought the L&L Drive-In at 1711 Liliha St., Oahu, Hawaiʻi and partnered with Johnson Kam in 1978 to create the L&L Hawaiian Barbeque we know today.
In those early years, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was a successful chain of drive-in restaurants with a reputation for serving fresh plate lunches throughout the Hawaiian islands. Plate lunch, also known as “the state food of Hawaii”, dates back to wage laborers in 19th century sugar plantations and pineapple fields who brought rice and other leftovers to work in compartmentalized tins. Lunches were often shared, resulting in a harmonious mix of home recipes from Japan, China, the Philippines, Portugal, Korea, and even New England.
In late 1999, our founders introduced their signature, Asian and American fusion take on the classic plate lunch to the residents of California. Since then, the concept has found fans around the world and there are over 200 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants in Hawaii, California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Japan.
In 2014, Sarah Yee opened the first L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in south central Texas. She felt the restaurant chain represented the food of the islands and she herself has roots in Hawaii and Guam. After graduating from the University of Guam with a degree in Business Administration, she moved to Washington state. There she started a 25-year journey with the McDonald's Corporation. Sarah retired from McDonald's as Vice President of a nine-state region overseeing 720 restaurants. While she valued her career, upon retirement she swore to never go back to the restaurant industry. That promise lasted until she recognized a void of Hawaiian cuisine during her travels to San Antonio. With a great business partner, Laurie Hatfield and their talented team, they now own five restaurants: SATX-Central, SATX-West, Killeen, New Braunfels, and South Austin.
Needless to say, in addition to the fresh, culturally-commingling flavors of Hawaii, every L&L meal is infused with the warmth of aloha – the legendary spirit of welcome that makes every guest feel at home.
Robert and Ida Lee
Eddie Flores Jr &