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Dining near LAX

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Does anyone know of a great place to dine that serves Continental or American cuisine or any food that's easy on the stomache and is within a 30 minute drive of LAX? I'm arriving in the late afternoon on a flight from Boston and my wife is going to be crying for a nice place to eat that's not a long drive from the airport.

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  1. Hate to be picky, but could you give me a slightly better idea of what you mean by "continental" or "American" cuisine? I'll be happy to try to suggest restaurants within a short drive of the airport...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jeff Shore

      I'm looking a meat and potatoes restaurant, anything from a steak dinner to meatloaf with roast duckling and/or chicken in between. I'd really like to go to a nice place where I can unwind after a long plane trip and have a great meal that's not too spicy or heavy on the stomache. Hope I cleared that up for you.

      1. re: B.L.B

        Got it. Well, LA isn't exactly replete with those style restaurants; the few that I can think of are quite far from LAX.

        With that in mind, I'd second all the recommendations you've been given - Chef Hannes, Joe's, Lilly's - and add another:

        La Marina Inn
        119 Culver Blvd
        Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
        310/823-9535

        I definitely want to hear Chow-opinion about this, because I've never been here, but man, this is the most leather-booth, chops n' steaks restaurant around. My wife used to come here with her Scandia-loving parents when she was much younger. I've walked in to see the place - which is almost on the beach - and been blown away with the atmosphere. Plus, it is very close to LAX, just north of the airport. All in all, sounds like what you are looking for.

        The only question is: is the food good? Chow-friends?

        1. re: Jeff Shore

          I have been to La Marina Inn about a dozen times. If you stick to the basics (steaks and chops) with potato, you will be very pleased. Not very expensive and meals include soup or salad. They have a full bar and a fairly priced wine list. I have never been astounded or let down when I have dined there. Servers have always been quite friendly and accomodating.

          1. re: Jeff Shore

            I have been going to the La Marina for twenty years and love it. The food is great, the staff treats the regulars very well, and there is live music or a DJ in the bar area most nights. I have never had a meal that I did not like, and my personal favorite is the Linguini Sinatra.

      2. The best food close to the airport is at Chef Hannes on Main Street in El Segundo, but the place can be very loud. I go there for lunch and either early or late, but avoid the place on weekends. Excellent food though, a mix of California, Northern Italy, and Mitteleuropa.

        If you're willing to go a bit further, go to Reed's. The place is oddly located at the South end of the Manhattan Mall, but the food and wine are excellent. The atmosphere is pleasant, with a jazz pianist most nights.

        Reed's Restaurant
        2640 Sepulveda Blvd.
        Manhattan Beach
        (310) 546-3299

        2 Replies
        1. re: Richard Foss

          I had dinner at Reed's a year or two ago and thought it was nothing special. Could it have been an off night? What's not to miss on the menu there, if I were to give it another try?

          1. re: LBQT

            I tend to order pastas or seafood at Reed's, and sometimes make a meal of appetizers there. Their lunches are also good and good value - soup, salad, and entree for less than fifteen bucks in a nice sophisticated atmosphere is a rare find. I suggested Reed's over other places in Manhattan Beach because it is a straight shot from the airport; there are other restaurants in Manhattan Beach that I like a bit more, but there is nothing between the airport and Reed's that is as good as Reed's.

        2. For a real 1950's time warp sort of red leather booths and meat and potatoes experience, (not to mention surf and turf), try the Buggy Whip on La Tijera in Weschester. They don't offer the best of anything, (unless you are discussing portion size), but they do a credible and solid job. However, not cheap. They also offer Green Goddess salad dressing. Good honest dinks too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mike Kilgore

            The Grubs are discriminating at the high end, but pretty indiscriminate at the low end. Therefore, there are few places we simply won't return to. The Buggy Whip, known affectionately by us as the Burning Horse, is one of them. Huge portions of virtually flavorless meat at -- for value received -- outrageously high prices. The decor is indeed '50s, but everything you hated about the '50s. Service is abysmal; drinks are miserly; wine list is laughable. Other than that.... If any hounds want to experience this for themselves, be certain not to go at any time the lounge pianist (located centrally and loudly in the dining area) is, ah, performing. Bring Excedrin. Bring Tagamet.

            For fine dining within a reasonable distance from LAX, take a few minutes more & venture to Abbot Kinney in Venice to Joe's for outstandingly creative California cuisine (whatever that is) or, preferably for the Grubster's tastes, Lilly's for the French bistro moules frites experience.

            1. re: Mr Grub

              The grubby fellow offered an inaccurate travel time. From LAX to Joe's via Sepulveda then Lincoln Boulevard to Washington to Abbot Kinney is roughly fifteen to twenty minutes. I've done it many times.