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.