Recommendations for dining in the LAX area
We will be staying at the Sheraton LAX this weekend and would love to hear about any hidden (or well known!) gems in the vicinity. Though we will have a car, being a bit unfamiliar with the area, would prefer to stay within a range of few exits off the 405 in either direction. I can mapquest any places we are directed towards.
We love all types of cuisine, fine dining is good but really would love to discover some hole in the wall, mom & pop type places. Specifically would love to find jamaican. Though any sort of carribean, asian, middle eastern, mediterranean, (thai, vietnamese, japanese/sushi, lebanese, afghani, pakistani, indian, greek, etc.) and even some good bbq or soul food would be great.
Also a good breakfast place. In fact, breakfast might be the most important as my traveling companion is quite fond of pancakes and would likely eat them at least once a day ;o)
So your insight would be greatly appreciated, fellow chowhounds.
Thanks to all for the suggestions. We tried Derrick's on Saturday. It was good, not great but decent. I had a smoothie called "Lady Love" that was one of the best smoothies I've ever had.
We had Ayara and it was fabulous. The drunken noodles we great, but what got me was the beef waterfall salad and the crab fried rice. The salad had so much flavor and the kind of heat that gives you an almost out of body head rush experience. And the crab fried rice, it's evil's will surely be calling me out of my sleep. Oh and the fried bananas for dessert, which had sesame and honey in the batter... mmm mmm!
We ate at Shula's with friends, which was decent. I'm sure if I had chosen a steak instead of the pasta I might have a more accurate feel for their food. Everyone in my party enjoyed their meals.
We didn't make it to any breakfast spots, though we did notice Pann's was across from Derrick's.
I'd recommend you give KJ's a try as well; we had dinner at KJ's last night after picking up some friends who flew into LAX from Chicago and we loved it. They serve breakfast all day at KJ's--our friends loved the omelettes, and their meatball soup was very tasty. Lots to choose from on their menu. We will definitely put this restaurant on our list of places to eat nearby the airport
Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions!
We are definetely heading to Derrick's for some Jamaican, Ayara for Thai, and it's a toss up between Dinah's or Pann's for breakfast. Maybe we'll try one on Saturday, the other on Sunday, and the one we like best out of the two on Monday. Or maybe Monday it will be room service, heh. We are considering Taiko if we feel like sushi, and possibly Araya a second time if it's really great the first time around. We both love Thai and living down in San Diego, know the pain of searching for a place that is not bland and americanized. I'm dying for some Pad Kee Mao that acually has flavor! Oh and our friend wants to meet us for dinner at Shula's, so I will report back what we experience there.
I hear the Sheraton on Century - I think that's where you're staying - has a restaurant inside called, "Shula's." According to Jonathan Gold, it's pretty good - if you get a chance, check out his review. I've never eaten there but just thought I'd mention it since it would save you a cab ride for at least one meal.
I enjoy going to Lido's in Manhattan Beach. It's on Rosecrans next to Houston's. They have Italian food, but I go there for their salads. I love their Grilled Chicken & Tortellini Salad. It has cooked spinach, sundried tomatoes, fresh chopped tomato, mixed greens, mushrooms, avocado and a very light vinaigrette dressing. The combination is just wonderful! My co-worker often orders the grilled salmon salad and another orders the angelhair w/pesto. There never seems to be a wait for a table and they have fresh baked bread w/olive oil. You have to ask for balsamic vinegar & garlic though to mix up w/the oil for a great bread dip. Yum!
Alejo's is north of Manchester on Lincoln (although I am not a great fan of the place -- though I like garlic, I think at Alejo's garlic substitutes for every other aspect of the meal.)
I will strongly second the recommendation for Ayara Thai (address above, just off of Sepulveda and La Tijera). I also will second the fine dining recommendation for AVenue, just a bit south of you in Manhattan Beach. Very close to you, you might also try Second City Bistro in El Segundo.
For local fare, here are some of my favorites, all within a few minutes of LAX:
Breakfast has always been good at KJ's Diner in Westchester. Lunch also. Dinah’s is an LA institution famous for fried chicken and waffles. The best Thai in the area is Ayara Thai. especially their Drunken Noodles.
Farther north is a Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa. Santouka has probably the best ramen noodles in LA. There are other Japanese restaurants there as well.
8731 Lincoln Blvd
LA, CA 90045
In a bowling alley just north from LAX
Dinah’s Family Restaurant
6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd
6245 W 87th St.
LA, CA 90045
Hidden in downtown Westchester
3760 Centinela Ave
To really experience LA’s dining, you would have to be willing to travel some. 15, 20 miles further and you can experience some of the best dining around.
Thank-you for the recommendation on KJ's Diner. We had dinner there last night after picking up some friends who flew into LAX from Chicago and we loved it. They serve breakfast all day at KJ's--our friends loved the omelettes, and their meatball soup was very tasty. Lots to choose from on their menu. We will definitely put this restaurant on our list of places to eat nearby the airport.