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.