Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Musubi Mondays at L&L Hawaiian - Irvine

As one of Hawaii’s most iconic foodstuffs, Spam musubi may be simple, but it’s history is complicated. It’s derived from the Japanese rice ball snack called omusubi. The first person to add Spam to the mix was a Japanese woman named Barbara Funamura more than 30 years ago at her restaurant in Kauai. The idea quickly spread to the other islands.

But the protein its centered on, Spam, came to Hawaii around the time of Second World War via the U.S. Military. Point is, nothing about the Spam musubi is actually indigenous. Few things usually are.

What is has become, however, is arguably the gateway drug that introduces the rest of the 49 states to Hawaii’s culture and history. And if you live in Irvine, there’s no better day to indulge on Spam musubis than Monday, when L&L sells it for a buck each.

I bought ten (as that is the limit they’ve instituted per person) and when I ate it, it didn’t so much remind me of my last Hawaiian vacation as it did the lesson of how food continues to evolve.

Perhaps a food writer living 80 years in the future will wax nostalgic on the humble and unlikely origins of the San Frangeles’ most popular dish: spaghetti tacos.

L&L Hawaiian BBQ
14310 Culver Dr Unit A
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 262-9088

Kyung Bok Kung - Buena Park


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