General Question

Rarebear's avatar

Any nice places to eat around LAX?

Asked by Rarebear (25172points) August 2nd, 2012

I need a decent restaurant to take some friend out to.

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14 Answers

dabbler's avatar

I think P.F.Chang’s is the place my cousins took us when we had a five hour layover at LAX.
Especially for the area (mostly industrial) this place was great. Good big drinks and good food.

Brian1946's avatar

I agree. For a chain restaurant, PFC’s is pretty good.

YARNLADY's avatar

We usually eat at The Proud Bird when we are in that area.

Rarebear's avatar

Cool, thanks.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

There is this great little place run by a former Marine that cooks up great Korean and Vietnamese food. It’s about a half hour drive from LAX, but worth it if you have the time.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Depends on the time of day, the kind of food you want, and how much time you can spare. It’s mostly chains and uninspired restaurants in the immediate vicinity (Westchester). If you’re there in the morning, the Coffee Company on La Tijera is decent. If it’s a grab and dash and your friend is okay with fast food, can’t go wrong with In-N-Out. It’s just north of the airport on Sepulveda.

If you have a few hours to spare though, I’d head north to Marina Del Rey/Venice/Santa Monica, or south to El Segundo/Manhattan Beach for food

If you could provide a little more information, you’d probably get more specific (and helpful!) answers.

jaytkay's avatar

Getting in and out of any big airport is a pain. Just stay on site.

You know the signature building at LAX, the 1960s Jetsons-like saucer? I would post a link but I suspect you can already picture it.

Go there. It’s called The Encounter. Totally worthwhile.

Here’s a write-up:

LAX Theme Building restaurant gets top honors

Frommers placed the airport restaurant on its list of top ten favorite list calling it, ”... a 1960s Star Trek set gone Technicolor, serving ‘art-food’ (American classics in oddball visual arrangements) that’s simultaneously hip and kid-friendly.”

Esquire placed Encounter on its list of Ten Best Airport Restaurants in the World. Esquire, whose list includes One Flew South at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport and Piquillo at JFK added “With its Star Trek-meets-Austin Powers decor (not to mention menu) and a lighting design by former Disney Imagineers, this recently refurbished restaurant has to be seen to be believed.”

Food and Wine has also given Encounter the nod, including it on its “Ultimate Airport Dining Survival Guide: Best Airport Restaurants noting “It’s home to this space-age restaurant, known for 360-degree views, stylings stolen from The Jetsons and California-style dishes like organic salads and mushroom ravioli with grilled asparagus”

Rarebear's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale Price isn’t an issue. I’m meeting two people I’ve never met in person before but who I communicate with all the time on Google Plus with my astronomy stuff. One of them is vegetarian. It should be reasonably close to the airport (within 20 minutes or so) because one of them has to drive back to San Bernardino which is a very long schlep.

Response moderated (Spam)
gailcalled's avatar

^^I guess having a picnic at Mt. Palomar means too long a drive?

Brian1946's avatar


I’d say that it is, but of course, that’s @Rarebear‘s call.

Griffith Observatory is about 25 miles and 30 minutes away from LAX.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Um, wow. Ok, twenty minutes limits you geographically, and vegetarian also is a limitation of sorts. But price is not a consideration…

It does sound like a great get-together though! Assuming your vegetarian friend is okay with eating chicken/fish, here’s what I suggest, off the top of my head:

The Chart House on Panay Way in Marina Del Rey. It’s a chain, and quite upscale, but the food is decent and it’s by the water, which is a lovely place to be this time of year. If you’re all okay with a chain that’s a bit cheaper, Cheesecake Factory and El Torito are in the vicinity as well. Marina Del Rey is as far north as you want to go, because after that getting to Venice/Santa Monica either means going round on the 405 or heading north on PCH/Lincoln, neither of which is under twenty minutes (especially Lincoln!).

A lot of the restaurants on/around the beach/beach cities are overpriced and overrated, but there’s several restaurants on Washington Boulevard in Marina Del Rey, the last ten blocks to the ocean; you could just drive there, park, and walk around and pick one. My favorite restaurant in Marina Del Rey is Tamara’s Tamales, but it is a hole-in-the-wall, and not a good place to linger over your meal. Good tamales, though!

Petros Greek on Manhattan Beach Boulevard in Manhattan Beach is decent, and not too far from the airport. Manhattan Beach is about as far south as you want to go on PCH, otherwise, it’s over twenty minutes sometimes. Greek is always a good choice with a vegetarian in the party, because there’s a mix of meat and veggie choices on the menu.

If you’re there in the morning, again, you can go to Coffee Company as I mentioned earlier. It’s on La Tijera, a hop, skip, and jump from the airport.

It’s a bit too expensive for my taste, but @YARNLADY‘s suggestion of The Proud Bird works too, since they have seafood and pasta along with the beef.

Finally, @jaytkay‘s suggestion of staying at LAX and going to The Encounter saves time for whoever’s flying in/out.

That’s probably the best I can do. The better quality restaurants (in terms of food!) in L.A. are not in the LAX vicinity. I’m surprised @Brian1946 hasn’t offered a suggestion; he’s been in L.A. longer than me and may have better suggestions.

Good luck picking a place, have fun!

Rarebear's avatar

Thanks everybody! Because we’re space and astronomy people, and two of us are staying at a hotel at the airport, we decided to go to Encounter, the space-aged restaurant at LAX.

Thanks again so much, you really helped!

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