LJ's & The Kat Lounge
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LJ's & The Kat Lounge are two sides of the same building, one half serving delicious seasonal cuisine and the other offering up craft cocktails, cold beer and fine wine. The interiors of the two spaces are quite distinct from one another. LJ's features a slick, modern look with plenty of chandeliers and light-up decor to create a look of contemporary style. The Kat Lounge, however, goes for a cozy and homey atmosphere with a roaring fireplace, stone walls and several overstuffed leather chairs.
The food takes most of its inspiration from the Maryland region, with the area's famous crab cakes making several appearances throughout the menu. LJ's also dabbles with Asian flavors, like the tuna with sticky rice, ginger, garlic, scallions and citrus soy sauce. There are several dessert options, including a creme brûlée and flourless chocolate and coffee torte.
We are frequent diners at LJs and find it to be a refreshing exception to the dismal restaurant selection in Hagerstown. This past New Year's Eve, however, we found that the meal wasn't up to their standard. We had the six course tasting with wine pairing, which is normally the highlight of the menu. The; beverage pairings were not harmonious, clashing and overworked. The courses were also an odd combination of taste profiles that really didn't go together. To LJs credit, the service was top-notch despite a capacity crowd. Will we return? Of course! We hope, however, that this was just a hiccup.
We went to LJ's for New Year's Eve dinner. Everything was absolutely wonderful. The staff was personable and the owner even came to talk with us and ensure we were satisfied. The food was delicious, service impeccable, we will be back for certain.
LJ's is always amazing, this time we took the whole family and everyone loved it. The seafood is delicious and the desserts are a great ending to the meal. Highly recommended.
The finest restaurant experience in the area. Thank you to Alex and all his staff. We are very lucky to have this incredible restaurant..can't wait to experience the next one.
We came for our anniversary (a Tuesday evening). We were treated exceptionally well, even though we requested a table change TWICE! Service and staff were wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, we brought our entire family here for dinner this week (9 of us). We LOVE LJ's!!!!! (I am a vegan, and was given multiple vegan options for dinner, which I appreciated).
Always a great environment, good service and tasty food.
This place is our favorite spot for celebrating special events. It isn't cheap, but it is absolutely worth every penny. There are little touches that turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one, like the fudge brownie that comes with the cappucino, or getting new flatware with each course. Our favorite thing to do is get the tasting menu - six courses of very different and very original treats, a small portion of each, just enough to enjoy a taste without getting too full to be comfortable. The menu changes all the time, and there is always something unique and fun to try!
Found this restaurant while browsing the Open Table app on my phone. Been visiting friends in Hagerstown and was interested in finding some unique places. I'm from down South, lived in New Orleans for 5 years, and have eaten in many good restaurants all over the country.
LJ's and the Kat is a rare find in Hagerstown. They are on par with many finer dining establishments I've visited. I was highly impressed with my overall experience. The ambiance was quite modern with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The hostess was very hospitable and told me a little about the place. Bar area looked nice. I ate in main dining area. I really liked the lighting, with nice stone fireplace and cool chandeliers.
My server Joan was appropriately attentive and knowledgeable of the menu. She made good suggestions and answered my questions well. The dining room was not fill but did have a good many tables occupied. The only real critique I'd like to made in terms of service is that at least three people came to my table offering items (drink, menus, silverware) before I realized who my server actually was.
The food and drinks were very yummy. I had a delicious rye cider cocktail. The house made beer bread was so delicious with amazing butter topped with honey. I ordered one of their specials called the Nachitoches (basically a Louisiana meat pie similar to an empanada)...two 6x3 inch pastries filled with ground beef, chicken livers, celery, carrots, cheese. I found this a little comical since I've been living in Louisiana. I also had creme brûlée for dessert. Everything tasted house made, was delicious, and was decently priced.
I was really excited to find this restaurant here in western Maryland. I'll defiantly be back to try some of the other wonderful sounding menu items. My only disappointment was that I wanted to speak to the owner to talk about the restaurant, give some feedback, and discuss the menu a little further. Oh well, maybe next time.
Alex and his crew at LJ's did everything possible to make my wife's birthday celebration one to remember. To begin, the cocktails were great, the menus were personalized with my wife's name and the table was even decorated. The food was incredible and the service was top notch. Thanks LJ's for a great dinner, we will be back soon.
We have eaten at LJ'S several times the years and it's been phenomenal every time. The food and drinks are amazing. It is quite a gem. Believe it or not LJ'S burger is the best I have ever had.
The tuna and the filet with crab were both amazing. Great food for a very reasonable price.
Great menu, mainly the classic dishes. And very good service. Noise level could be improved.
Appetizer, duck confit, was great, dinners we had were creative and had a great asian flare. We were very pleased with the service and wine choices presented.
We attend just about every Sunday Brunch. I would like to see the menu changed occasionally. The same choices get old after awhile.
I dine out 2-3 times a week. This night was one of (if not the) best! The company, the food, our host, our servers .... all outstanding. A completely enjoyable experience!
Contemporary but warm, delectable food (interesting, flavorful, beautifully presented), LOVE the wine pairings which the staff is very helpful with. The bar is inviting and hip. Artisan cocktails with top notch ingredients. The music is sometimes a bit loud in the bar. The staff is friendly, professional and the owner, Alex is gracious and helpful, looking out for your comfort and making sure you have a good experience at LJ's. The portrait of his parents LJ and Kat in formal attire (circa, the 70's I think) that looms large on the wall at the entrance is priceless!
The NY Strip on the "specials" menu was superb. The wine selection was very good; the service was great! I believe this restaurant is one of the best in the Hagerstown area.
The good and bad is that the menu changes, however it doesn't appear their website keeps up enough with the menu changes or lack of a menu on their website.
The butcher block wasn't explained when brought out to us, but not the worst thing in the world. It was more of guessing what I was eating from it during the time that we ordered.
The wine list is very long and quite a selection to choose from. The moscato is fantastic, ordered a bottle and well worth it.
The menu changes often with each season with LJ's so there's always something different on the menu every time I go here, which is exciting. I do miss the table side dessert they had offered one time, that's definitely something special. :)
An evening at LJ's is always a very fine experience. The ambience is just wonderful! The service is very attentive and friendly. A lovely evening for a special occasion.
Mothers Day Brunch - the food was simply wonderful. Selection was outstanding - all four of us are different eaters and all of us were completely stuffed and sated at the end. The service is flawless. The set-up was all over the restaurant because of the layout - nothing they could do to change. We were seated exactly on-time too.
The prime rib special was very good. We didn't care for the salad house dressing. It was very noisy but most restaurants are like that. Will probably return on special occasions.
I absolutely love the atmosphere, food, wait staff, wine list. The service is impeccable and the best in town. Have been to LJs several times over the years and keep coming back.
Fantastic menu, excellent service... Ambiance was ok... Highly impressed
The food, service, and atmosphere were all impeccable. The crabcake dinner and the truffle infused scalloped potatoes were undoubtedly both the best that I have ever enjoyed. My guest enjoyed the tuna and sticky rice which were also both very well prepared. We will certainly enjoy this restaurant again in the future.
MY STORY: I mentioned after making a reservation online that I would like a secluded area because I'm coming after my wedding. I was FLOORED by the service that was given to us the moment we got there. Myself, my wife, and our two friends were seated away from other reserved seating to ensure our first request. Upon getting there my wife noticed a comfortable booth like couch seating and they immediately accommodated and switched our seating arrangement. They had made us special menus that we were able to take home that said "congratulations on the wedding!" With our date.
STAFF: The entire staff were quick to respond to all requests as well as VERY on top of beverage refills (a rare find I've noticed).
SCENE: The atmosphere was very fancy and sophisticated yet laid back with a sense of modern style and "lounge" type scene. I was nervous at first with the choice given of the special occasion but I could not be more satisfied with the decision! Excellent :)
FOOD QUALITY: The food was about a 3.5 out of 5, but any issues we had or less than satisfied notions of our order were happily taken care of by the staff.
We went to LJ's for my birthday and, as always, the food was delicious! They have a great seasonal menu, but Sea Bass was the special fish and it was outstanding. Great service, great food ...I can't wait to return.
meh. Loved going here for the past ten years or so as the only fine dining in Hagerstown, but it's all just sort of meh now. It's good, just not as exciting as it used to be.
We love going to LJs it is one of our favorites! The servers are very polite and attentive. The food is different and absolutely incredible, the truffled potatoes are my absolute favorite! They also had an avocado and lime cheesecake with passion fruit drizzle, it scared me with the description but decided to try bc I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, oh my it was incredible!!! Also had the best Bloody Mary in my life! This place is just incredible!
We are regulars at this restaurant and have always been completely satisfied with the food and service and this visit was no exception. We did not order from the tasting menu this time but I do recommend doing this at least once and paired with the wine tasting it is an experience to remember! We ordered from the daily menu and the meal was fabulous from beginning to end. Highly recommend to everyone!
I am spending time in VA, while my girlfriend is in OH. We met half way for the weekend. We discovered LJ's through Opentable's app. It was awesome, from the moment we walked in until we left 2.5 hours later. Jim was our server and he did an excellent job. Being a Culinary Institute of America Alumni, this place was fantastic. Thanks.
My boyfriend and I were looking for a nice restaurant for our Christmas dinner and this was perfect. The waiters were very cordial and friendly, and ours was very helpful since this was our first time there. The service was top notch. The atmosphere was nice, the decor was beautiful. It had a nice private feel to it. I would most certainly come back.
From the time one is greeted at the door until the host tells your party "Good Night!", the experience of LJ's and the Kat continues to grow more positively and more remarkably. This level of ambiance, coupled with the delights coming from a "no secrets" kitchen, and generous libations, make for an unparalleled experience in Washington Co, MD, and/or Franklin Co, PA. Our experience here started some years ago, and we recommend this one frequently and sincerely.
I understand that the kitchen sometimes gets things wrong - like serving cold food. The mark of great service is that they take the steps to correct it and make things right.
5 of us ate at LJ's one evening. It was a weekend, but the place was not packed. We all ordered the New York Strip, smoked, garlic spinach, with béarnaise sauce.
It took quite a long time for our plates to arrive, and when they did, we found both the spinach and the bernaise were cold. The bernaise was drizzled onto the plate rather than served atop the meat or in a little cup. It seems that our plates must have been sitting out for a while before being brought to the table which allowed the temperature to fall.
We brought it to our servers attention and he quickly replaced the spinach with hot greens. But, the bernaise? That came back cold a second time.
When I asked if I could have it warmer, he said that the chef said that serving it any warmer would be impossible because the sauce would break.
Yes, I DO KNOW about sauces breaking - but I also know that 66 degrees is not the breaking point. And I have had many a bernaise that wasn't served cold.
The steak was good, the replaced spinach was good - but I think that they need to rethink the bernaise unless they can figure out a better way to hold it at temperature.
LJs recently overhauled it's menu, look, feel. It was always our special occasion treat, which I suppose limited its business if many other diners viewed it that way as well. A couple full menu items remain, but it seems to want to be the place you'll now go to for a sandwich or burger. Wine list still limited with few reasonably priced, decent wines. Better off getting wine by the glass (which I next to never do or recommend). We were the only ones seated at 6:30, and my request to lower the thumping (disco?!?) music was met with almost a sneer. They did lower it but I felt so awkward afterwards. Food good but husband's burger was saltier than the (delicious ) dill pickle served with it.
Another stellar meal and service. The Market Menu changes frequently so that every visit is a new experience. Highly recommend to anyone that wants a gourmet experience in a casual atmosphere.
We still love this place always great food always great service! I like the old menu better seem like they Hagerstownized it some but it's still great.
Discovering LJ's and the Kat Lounge in Hagerstown was like finding a haven of gourmet quality and service in our neighborhood. We moved to the area from Philadelphia where we often frequented quality dining establishments. LJ's can hold its own with the best of them.
The menu is creative, and the portions just right. They change the menu enough to keep it interesting. The presentation is attractive and the staff is excellent. The cocktails are also unique and change frequently. The wine list is worth a detailed review, and I encourage you to do a wine pairing with the tasting menu if offered.
The decor is pleasing and modern, featuring nice stonework and earth tones, unique lighting, and an attractive gas fireplace. They do have some outdoor seating for the warmer season. Due to the unique design of the main dining room, the chef and the kitchen are very much in view, and you can witness first hand the care that goes into preparing your meal. If you have any food allergies, they will move heaven and earth to ensure your comfort and satisfaction.
And despite this high class fare, dress code is casual and comfortable. Dress up if you must, but you won't feel out if place in jeans.
Although we have not patronized the Kat Lounge portion of the establishment yet, we have peered in and found it to be warm and inviting. And this is where the creative cocktails come from, so I am sure we would find it to our satisfaction.
Go. Enjoy. Hagerstown needs to support this high quality level of dining.
We arrived a little early for our reservation and were escorted to the lounge. We ordered a drink and sat in front of the fire place. The waiter/bartender was polite and checked on us twice in a brief time. When our table was ready the owner escorted us to our table calling us by name. The service was great. The food came out hot and perfectly cooked. We wanted to make a small change and the waiter accommodated our request, no questions asked. This was the best steak I have had in a long time. Would recommend LJ's and the Kat Lounge to everyone. warm
The food was awesome. I had the best steak I ever had in my life. Beer bread was excellent! And even the salad was excellent! I can't wait to go back!
Had a girl's day out which ended at LJ's. The food was inventive and fabulous. The waiter had some great recommendations, as well. A must - the truffled scalloped potatoes - mouth watering!