HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Near LAX, lunch wasteland?

I just moved from the east coast, and work on Sepulveda just south of LAX. As far as I can tell, my choices include any number of chains, with a light peppering of really bad strip-mall Mexican and Japanese-esque fare. Are there any hidden gems out here?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. George Petrelli's Steakhouse is just north of you. His uncle Joe's restaurant just up the street (which is now closed) was always busy with aerospace engineers in its hey day. George does an equally good job. The steak sandwich for lunch is a winner!

    Aunty Kizzy's Back Porch in Marina del Rey is great for southern food.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Wes

        It is, but in fairness, I don't think it's "near LAX."

        I live like a mile from Petrelli's -- give or take. I'm 15 minutes from the airport at least.

        It's open to interpretation, but I don't think that Petrelli's is near enough the airport unless you take a long lunch. If Petrelli's is near the airport, so is Manhattan Beach.

        BTW - Is Pann's "near" the airport? I think it might be, it's closer than Petrelli's.

        1. re: PaulF

          From Sepulveda and Century Blvd. it's 3.1 miles to Petrelli's and 2.9 miles to Pann's.

    1. It depends on what you're looking for and how far you want to travel. One charming, authentic place which is nearby, is Pann's


      To someone from the east coast, where you have your pick of authentic places, this may not seem like a big deal but for LA it is and it is truly great.

      1. I had a great pulled pork sandwich at Porky's, on Manchester less than ten minutes east, after La Brea and before Prairie. They have drive-thru and call-ahead service, though beware of mistakes in your order. I'd advise eating in, ordering simply, and sharing some superior pulled pork and ribs, supplemented by their Golden Bird fried chicken.

        1. If you go a little north of LAX, there are some restaurants around LMU - Alejo's for Italian (it's alright), KC's crepes (good!) and then there's Panera (I know it's a chain, but I like it) next to the Trader Joes on Sepulveda near Manchester.

          1. Rinaldi's in El Segundo (it might be called Original Rinaldi's) is north of the Airport to the west of you.

            It could be my favorite sub shop. Not sure, but it's close. Too many sandwiches to name a favorite.

            Lots of folks from El Seg and lots from the aerospace companies eat there.

            And - and this might sound crazy -- there is a really good little cafeteria in the Oracle building on the ground floor. I don't know what it's called, but I've eaten there a bunch of times

            It's really darn good and cheap.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PaulF

              The Italian Combo is really good. I get mine with spicy mustard and peperoncini.

            2. There are several decent places in El Segundo... Rinaldi's was just mentioned, which I also recommend. Big Mike's (also on Main, a few blocks north of Rinaldi's) makes a decent cheesesteak. Hummus Factory (on Grand in the Rite Aid shopping center) for good lebanese fare (especially the Hummus, heh). Valentino's on Sepulveda just south of El Segundo Blvd makes decent pizza, but other dishes are hit and miss. Either of the El Tarascos downtown serve acceptable "combo"-style mexican, and La Paz (Center and Mariposa) is pretty good. There's also the new Whole Foods on Sepulveda just north of Rosecrans that has a ton of prepared food options. For a grease fix, hit Fantastic Cafe on Main in El Segundo.

              None of these are mind-blowing, but they're all solid and a just a few minutes from where you work.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Dav

                The Grinder on Sepuveda and Manchester is quite good looks like a coffee shop but the food is a notch above. Is Truxton's open for lunch? Also, there is an El Terasco on Sepulveda in Westchester very close to you. The Howard Hughes Center has many restaurants-Islands (burgers, fries, I really like the veggie burger), A Mexican place, pizza, Sushi, etc. Kanpai is my fav sushi restaurant in that neighborhood, on Lincoln just next door to Alejo's (IMO-it's awful). There is also a very good Thai restaurant on Manchester and I forgot the name of it....maybe someone else will know?

                Lots of people love In n Out Burger-sounds like you work right next to it. I know the Strawberry shake is good. I do not eat meat so cannot vouch for the burgers.

                Eureka! Try The Whole Foods Market in El Segundo on Sepulveda-AMAZING food courts, even an oyster bar! You can eat there or take away. Also, the is a Salt Creek Grill open now in the same complex and probably some other places by now.

                1. re: Densible

                  In & Out often get poor marks due to the hype.

                  It is just a hamburger drive in.

                  BUT! they do it better than most. All fresh ingredients and a limited menu let them do it right.

                2. re: Dav

                  I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Second City Bistro in El Segundo. Fast and friendly service by traditionally-dressed and well-trained waitstaff, and though it's not dirt cheap it's quite reasonable. They do an excellent rendition of yer typical bar-burger (great big patty, brioche bun, slice o'cheese, leaf lettuce, onion and too much unripe tomato) for something like eleven bucks, along with other nice if not stunning treats. If I lived around there I'd eat there at least half the time; as it is, when I find myself down there it's a tossup between them and Pann's, and godnose I love Pann's.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Lots of good suggestion for El Segundo. I don't use it, but there is a shuttle that provides transportation around the town.

                    Also located in El Segundo is the Farm Stand. They have half orders for lunch that is as large as most dinner orders at other places. You may want to get there early, this place does get busy for lunch.

                    I've also been told that Chef Hannes is worth the try.

                3. I put a post up a few weeks ago for places to eat around LAX.
                  Here's what I got.


                  1. what about paco's?

                    or these (i haven't been, but have heard some positive things) in the same center?

                    ayara thai

                    or this nearby?
                    kanpai sushi bar and grill

                    1. There is an article in today's Daily Breeze (today is Friday, it's in the RAVE section) about a Chinese place called Capri Garden. Merrilll Schindler calls it a good and unexpected restaurant.

                      It's in the Howard Johnson's near the airport (I think it's Westchester). The location is why I mention it here.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: PaulF

                        If a restaurant that Merrill likes is good I would say that's unexpected.

                        1. re: tony michaels

                          That's interesting.

                          I just started getting the Breeze, so I don't really know his reputation.

                          Does he like crappy restaurants?

                          1. re: PaulF

                            Paul, if you want to discuss this we need to move it over to Not Food. If you start something re. Merrill there just link it here if you want and we can see what the hounds have to say.