Gilroy – Garlic Capital Ain’t No Lie

On friday I drove back to the south bay from crappy mariposa. On my way, I passed through Gilroy. Gilroy, don’t you know, is the garlic capital of the world! They have a famous garlic festival there every july. It’s one of my dreams to attend it one day. The strangest thing about Gilroy, and something completely unexpected that just hit me, is that the whole town smells like garlic. Seriously. Would I make this up? It’s not offensive, but it is just not normal. I mean I’ve passed plenty of places that smell like poo, like Kennett Square and what not. But garlic, that’s a new scent to be wafting.

While there, I stopped for lunch. I didn’t know my way around so I ended up at some random strip mall by the highway. And by chance, I had my first hawaiian plate lunch at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. I’d seen this plenty of times on tv, so I was excited to try. This place is a chain, but we don’t have any around Philly.

I wanted to try a bunch of stuff. But they were very limited in the menu and what combos you could get. I even asked if I could make my own combo, but he didn’t understand me. Seriously. I told him I wanted to get three things and he could charge me extra, but he just said we can’t do that. Why the hell not? Can a restaurant not be flexible? Dear L&L, allow your patrons to make their own combos. Please.

So I went with the hawaiian barbecue meat and fried shrimp combo. Basically folks, this “hawaiian barbecue meat” they speak of is korean bulgogi. Except they use a much crappier cut of meat that is full of gristle. Eek. The shrimp were good. They’re butterflied, panko’d, and fried. Yum. This was the regular size that comes with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. As you can see the two scoops of rice are huge. I don’t know what kind of scoops they use, but they must have been made for elephants. The meat itself wasn’t anything special. It was saltier than normal bulgogi, and like I said, some bites were so chewy that I had to spit it out. That’s not a good thing. But I’m very happy about having had my first hawaiian plate lunch and look forward to having my next one in hawaii!

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