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Looking for eats near LAX

Will be staying at a hotel near LAX and will have a rental car. Any good eats nearby? Thanks.

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  1. China Grill in Manhattan Beach (it's in the Manhattan Village Mall parking lot) for a casual lunch - there are other threads on that here - I have fallen in love with their fish in parchment. You'll be pretty close to Playa del Rey (just south of Marina del Rey) where The Minotaure is a great cozy tapas place for dinner (and open very late) - there are also threads about that around here. And you'll be close to El Segundo, where in the little downtown there's Second City Bistro, which can be good - not five star but good. Might want to search Chowhound for Manhattan Beach as there's a whole scene there and I'm sure someone has favorites to suggest.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cinnamon

      Cinnamon, thanks for the suggestion. I had heard that there are good eats to be had in El Segundo. I think there is a shuttle that runs to MB from Sepulveda. Don't know how difficult it would be to find parking there but will give it a go. Thanks for the suggestions. The tapas place sounds great.

    2. live there, born and raised.
      do you have preferences such as price, food type, chinese, mexican, steak etc? I tell people for a good/great seafood meal and lot's of celeb sightings, on the beach [at sunset and pch] (pacific coast highway) is Gladstones 4 Fish. wonderful food <<very much of it, great atmostphere and the beach. if you want an incredible meal for dinner and want to impress yourself and a guest, Crustaseans is the place. a bit pricey but you'll never have food like that anywhere else.

      8 Replies
      1. re: iL Divo

        I love seafood; travelling on a tight per diem budget so I don't want to break the bank but like the suggestions. Thank you!

        1. re: iL Divo

          Crustaceans is widely despised on this board for overpriced, badly executed "Asian" fusion food.

            1. re: wilafur

              I third this. Went once - never again, food was awful!!!

                1. re: kel

                  Fifth. And frankly, Gladstones does not fare much better. In my opinion, these are two restaurants with less than average food.

                  1. re: scrappydog

                    Sixth it. Neither Crustacean or Gladstones are places I would recommend.

                    1. re: Faulkner99

                      Seventh it - Crustacean sucks - plus they have the rudest staff anywhere in LA from the host to the valets.

        2. I like Richmond Street Bar and Grill for a schooner of beer and a great great burger.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            I hope their restrooms are not as incredibly gross as in the past.

          2. The most interesting things I can think of near the airport are the great Pakistani restaurant Al Watan
            (13619 Inglewood Ave Hawthorne, CA 90250-5610)
            and the classic Googie style coffee shop Pann's.
            (6710 LaTijera Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045)

            5 Replies
            1. re: oro3030

              Yeah, Pann's is a definite for Breakfast...not too far from LAX and its a very interesting experience.

              Seafood near LAX? Good luck. There's a McCormick's and Schmicks, which is a sucky chain. HOUSTON's is there too, good food...ribs and burgers and stuff like that....

              If you like Indian Food, Bilal Indian cusine on Manchester Blvd has great homestyle Pakistani/Indian food for cheap. Zero ambiance in a sort of sketchy area.

              how far are you willing to drive? I mean there are some decent options a 10-15 minute drive on the 405 (Japanese centers in Gardena and Sawtelle Blvd...PINKBERRY too).

              1. re: Xericx

                if you do go to pann's,
                i recommend that you do NOT get their shake, nor their grilled cheese, nor their waffle. those were the items i ordered my first visit there, and they were so uniformly poor that i never went back. the architecture and the mid-century decor was the best thing about the place.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  My experience of the waffle is absolutely the opposite. The best I've had outside of Belgium.

              2. re: oro3030

                Followed the many supporters of Pann's (nearly every request for eats near LAX received Pann's in response)and had dinner there last month before a flight. The portions are quite large, but the food is excellent and made with care. The service is friendly, though a little slow as expected when business really picks up.

                I did have the worst time getting into Pann's little "island" in the middle of a confusing intersection. Little did I know that missing a turn would put me on the neverending stretch of La Cienega. Drove for many miles and minutes before finally finding the entrance.

                1. re: gsmoose

                  You can only get there going N.E. on La Tijera or South on La Cienega

                  If North on La Cienaga turn Left onto Centinela and a quick Right on La Tijera.

                  (please excuse the "foreign" spelling.

                  ==>> The Chicken Fries Steak is great.

              3. Dinahs for apple pancakes or dutch baby pancakes. It's at the corner of Centinela and Sepulveda. Dinahs is an old-fashioned coffee shop with wacky 1950's decor. Their apple pancakes are legendary - - more like apple fritters than pancakes - - oh so yummy with a crust of sugar and caramelized apples. mmmmm.

                1 Reply
                1. re: purplescout

                  i also like the swedish pancakes and the chile relleno omlette at dinah's.

                2. El Segundo has some very attractive choices, of which I've personally sampled only Second City Bistro. It was excellent on my two visits - good food, good service, good prices, and a pleasant place to be.

                  It took me a long time to get to Second City just because when I'm in that neighborhood I almost always head to Pann's...so, needless to say, I second the Pann's rec.

                  1. I always recommend the same place when this question gets asked because I discovered it through this Board: Chef Hannes on Main St. in El Segundo. I haven't been there in over a year but we've had some good inexpensive meals there. There've also been some nice posts on a new place, The Farm, right across the street in the same area. Downtown El Segundo is a little hidden neighborhood gem right behind, or in front of, LAX.

                    1. my fave restaruant in all of LA is in venice, not so far from LAX. it's called AXE on abbot kinney. delicious lunch, rice bowl to die for with sticky rice and all kinds of veg and either sliced chicken or salmon on top with a rice vinaigrette. LOVE. also dinner, delicious seasonal sort of farmers mkt cooking. they're not afraid of meat but also have lots of veg. best place.
                      oh and the sunday brunch...really good and GREAT COFFEE!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: susannahowe

                        I'll agree that the food at AXE is good. I've worked in that area for like a month, and ate there quite often for lunch. BUT they're totally overpriced. and i would not recommend to hit it up as a "close to the airport" eatery.

                      2. How about Mercedes Grill at 14 Washington Blvd. in Venice for breakfast. It's right near the Venice Beach pier, so you can take a stroll out into the ocean afterwards.

                        1. hum, well, I'm sorry Crustaseans is disliked on this board, I didn't know that. I also know that I love it and would not recommend it if I didn't. Gladstones 4 Fish that I mentioned is about 12/15 w/o drinks for lunch. Did anyone mention Roscoes Chicken and Waffles for breakfast yet?

                          1. Just wanted to say that I've always enjoyed the food at McCormick & Schmick's. In fact, I've enjoyed it ar several of their locations and the one in El Segundo is one of the best.

                            1. I used to like the McCormick and Schmick's location in beverly hills, but the last time I went, it seemed to have gone down in terms of value. The prices were high and the portions were small.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jlq3d3

                                I'll second this for El Segundo. This restaurant has always made me feel like I am being processed--get 'em in, give 'em as little as you can get away with, charge 'em as much as you can get away with, and get them out the door fast. There is a sameness and lack of character in their preparation, like you're on an assembly line.

                                1. re: Lee by the Sea

                                  Actually, I found the food at El Segundo to be equivalent to the Red Lobster chain. They do have a great interior of wood, seemingly a great bar scene for after work, and areas for private events, but other than that ... processed is a great way to put it Lee!

                              2. If you'd like a bargain, the McCormick & Schmick's in Beverly Hills offers a 1-pound lobster dinner on Monday nights for around $18. They may have it at others, as well. It's as good as any lobster I've ever had anywhere.

                                1. Ayara, a Thai place, is in Westchester just a few minutes north of the airport. Previous threads give more details, but it was something I found through Chowhound--and I am quite grateful to this board for the pick.

                                  For seafood, hmmm... some may not like Houston's, but it is pretty much consistent. You get what you get which is what you got last time (I guess that is a good chain???) and I am pretty happy with their fish sandwiches. Pricey though for what you get.

                                  1. Another choice for seafood (but ultra casual) is Captain Kidds Fish Market in Redondo Beach (at the end of Harbor Blvd near the pier). You can pick out your seafood from the counter, and have it cooked (grilled, blackened, fried, etc.) and pick two side dishes for an additional $3.

                                    They also have ceviche, fish stew, garlic bread, etc. available. And beer/wine there as well.

                                    Seating is on picnic tables in a room in back, with a view of the Redondo Beach breakwall.

                                    1. Also check out "Licha's" on El Segundo Blvd just east of Hawthorne Blvd in Hawthorne. Its a tiny 5 table Mexican place w really good authentic (Not Americanized) Mexican food that is made by a family.

                                      1. Thanks to all for your suggestions and comments. I only wish I had more days so I could eat at every place you recommended. And I hadn't thought about driving out a ways but I would be happy to drive 15 mins to a half an hour for good chow.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dimsumgirl

                                          Half an hour will get you a splendid range of choices, especially if that half hour is northbound after 7 p.m. or before 4:30 p.m.

                                        2. I second Ayara... can't go wrong there.

                                          1. El Segundo is probably one's best bet for lots of choices and and lots of choice eating when starting out at LAX.

                                            Although I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest Whole Foods fan, I will say that their somewhat new megastore on Sepulveda just north of Rosecrans in El Segundo is quite impressive, especially when it comes to the prepared foods. The choices that are offered will satisfy most people. Their food court takes up probably at least 1/3 of the floorspace, and checking out the counters and steam tables for the first time will probably set one back for at least 30 minutes.

                                            Although many eateries along Rosecrans have opened up over the past decade, most are relatively chain-like, kind of big-box and don't really inspire many oohs and ahhs from many Chowhoundish folks. Il Fornaio (actually on the Manhattan Beach side of the Blvd), McCormick & Schmicks, and the Daily Grill are decent choices along that stretch.

                                            Downtown El Segundo is kind of quirky but in a good way. If you've never been, it's like taking a step back in time when "mayberry," was the rule and not of the past. It's as small-town in feel as one can get in the Westside/South Bay areas and along with its charm comes some pretty decent eateries. Most are on or around Main Street and some have been around for ions feeding the once-enormous crowds from the now downsized aerospace and defense industry as well as the Chevron oil refinery folks. Seeing pocket-protector carrying propellor heads from TRW and Hughes sitting side-by-side with big lugs from the refinery (you could tell they were from the refinery because they still had the imprint of their helmet pads on their foreheads) was common.

                                            The oldest bakery in town (and probably one of the longest running businesses) is El Segundo Bakery on Grand. I believe the family that first started the bakery (whose siblings still run it) were originally from Germany, and their baked goods are very popular in town. It's nothing cutting edge or mind-blowing - just good old-fashioned cakes, pies, and cookies.

                                            Two bars stand out in my mind. Stick & Stein on Sepulveda and Richmond Bar & Grill on Richmond. The two are somewhat diametrically opposed in atmosphere and offerings. The Stick is kind of typical bar with pool tables (the "Stick") and lots of beer (the "Stein") and the bar food is somewhat basic. For those who worked in the area back in the 70's through the early 90's, this was a regular stop for the more blue-collar types. It is somewhat of an institution for nostalgic reasons for most, but while the Raiders were in LA, their training camp was in downtown. On any given night, one could easily find at least a few Raiders hanging out here, and the Stick became somewhat of a place to be to watch the Raider games. The Richmond Bar & Grill is more white-collar, cozy and stylish, and offers better quality food and a much more varied menu. It's definitely much more Chowish in its offerings.

                                            Probably my favorite place in El Segundo is (the Original) Rinaldi's on Main Street. They are the South Bay rival to the Westside's Bay Cities in that their Italian sandwiches have no equal within a reasonable distance. Bay Cities may have "the Godmother," but Rinaldi's has "the Godfather." While the Godmother is a cold sandwich, the Godfather is a hot sandwich. To me, they both are great sandwiches, and both places have a great lineup of sandwiches - you just have to try Rinaldi's for yourself to decide which suits you better. I've been partial to Bay Cities since that is what I first grew up with, but you will find fiercely loyal Rinaldi patrons who feel at least as strong for their sandwiches for the same reasons. Rinaldi uses Boar's Head products in alot of their sandwiches and their bread rolls are probably equal to Bay Cities.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              I like the Italian Combo. Add a little spicy mustard.

                                              When in a cholesterol be damned mood I have the "Stiky", Braunswager and Turkey.

                                            2. There was a place right by the airport - with a view of the runways - with an aeronautical theme and fabulous burgers. An old boyfriend's dad used to go there with his fellow tech-heads who all worked in El Segundo. Does anyone remember this place? Is it still there? I think it may have had an Irish name? Help!

                                              2 Replies
                                                1. re: clairelouise

                                                  Servorg is right. The Proud Bird is very much still there. The lunch buffet is about $20. It is fairly extensive and a little bit of a throwback, rather like a mini-Las Vegas/Reno buffet, the old Mr. H buffet in Beverly Hills, or (if you must) a Hometown Buffet with quality ingredients. Medium-size salad bar with three or four standard dressings and a few rather ordinary deli-type and pasta salads; good solid meat, chicken, and salmon choices in one kind of sauce or another; a vegetable or two; potatoes and rice. A separate do-it-yourself taco bar, a station where a pasta will be cooked to order for you, and a lavish-looking but monotonous-tasting selection of cakes and similar desserts. The line is not too long unless you happen to arrive at when a big group does, which does happen a lot since this place handles groups well, with service much better than many restaurants provide to 10 or more persons. If you choose well you can have a pleasant though uninspiring meal. Oh, and parking is free and ample with no varlets.