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Aug 19, 2009 09:36 AM

Layover at LAX

Our flight is coming in to LAX at 5pm on Saturday, and the connection is leaving at 10:30pm. Any suggestions on places to grab a good dinner, either in LAX or nearby (without adding excessive ground transportation costs) ? We are 2 adults with pretty much no food restrictions. Thanks.

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    1. Cafe del Rey in the Marina is a great Southern California restaurant. A cab ride will run about $20 each way. The place certainly qualifies for a "good dinner."

      4 Replies
      1. re: Baron

        i wholeheartedly concur with Baron's recommendation of Cafe del Rey.

        1. re: westsidegal

          The only question with CdR would be what the OP meant by "without adding excessive ground transportation costs" because R/T they are looking at $45 or so for the cab rides/airport pick-up fee/tips.

          1. re: Servorg

            Not sure what they mean by "excessive." They can split the cost of the ride and they have four hours to kill. The marina with the boats and the scene at CdR not to mention the excellent food served = money well spent. Good way to start or finish their journey. Dump123.. didn't mention where he/she is from.

            1. re: Baron

              also, the lounge area at Cafe Del Rey is very comfortable if they finish their meal, take a stroll around the boats, and still have some time to kill.

              no other place comes close, imho.

      2. Right inside the airport complex is the Encouter restaurant. You'll be able to see it as you land. It has a spectaular view of the goings and comings at the airport. I've never had dinner there so I can not vouch for the food. Maybe some others will chime in. No cab ride necessary. Easy walk from where you land.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Baron

          Has this reopened? Last time I was over there, it looked like it was still being retrofitted.

          1. re: lil mikey

            Far as I know they're open. Have you ever had dinner there?

            1. re: Baron

              Yes. I've had dinner and lunch there, but it was quite a while ago. I loved the Jetson's theme.

          2. re: Baron

            Was there last week, it is open and the food is OK, but nothing particularly memorable or spectacular. I got some duck with greens and I cannot remember much more than this. As for the decor I was a bit disappointed, it's not so much a Jetson's theme than a late 1990s interpretation of it.
            I'd say go eat elsewhere and have drinks at the Encounter bar instead.

            1. re: bad nono

              Getting in the car and taking a taxi to Cafe Del Rey sounds like a "tweener" to me. There's alot of traffic out, Del Rey is good, definitely good, but it is it great? Worth the trip? And is it better than The Encounter? I haven't eaten at The Encounter in over a year, but last time I was there - actually the two last times I was there - it was always surprisingly good. Listen, Cafe Del Rey is always surprisingly good too (I expect all restaurants in the Marina to suck, so when one doesn't...)

              The Encounter is a true architectual landmark, it's right there at the airport, so no 5:00 traffic to deal with. And the food is actually pretty good. I'd put it on a part with Cafe Del Rey.

              And it's got a fun, unique wacky Jetsons kinda look to it. Hey, I think it's run by Disney, so once again, the food is surprising.

              Menu at The Encounter.

              Pan Roasted Airline Breast of Chicken On Butternut Squash Puree, SautŽed Spinach topped with a Whole Grain Mustard and Roasted Shallot Wine Cream Sauce
              Peking Style Roasted Duckling On Steamed Rice, Infused in Ginger and Garlic served with Seasonal Vegetables and Sweet Chili Thai Sauce
              Pepper Crusted New York Steak Mid-Western corn Fed, served with Sesame Whipped Potatoes, Steamed Snow Peas, Wild Mushroom Compote in a Pepper Port 5 Spice Reduction
              Flame Broiled Prime Flat Iron Steak Served on Garlic whipped Potatoes, SautŽed Broccolini, topped with a Black Diamond Truffle and Chive Butter
              Apple Compote
              Wild Mushroom Ravioli With Grilled Asparagus in a Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce and Oregon Goat Cheese
              Shrimp Penne Sambucca Pomodoro Jumbo Shrimp Tossed with Fresh Roma Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Basil White Wine in a Citrus Sambucca Pomodoro Sauce
              Sesame Crusted Norwegian Salmon On Ginger, Scented Steamed Rice, Crispy Noodles topped with a Trio of Micro Greens and Sweet Citrus Chili Demi Glaze
              Pan Seared Pacific Blue Fin Tuna Served with Char- Broiled Hawaiian Pineapple, Ginger Scented Steamed Rice, Soy Vinaigrette and Wasabi Foam

          3. Shula's 347 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel.
            Take the free Sheraton shuttle bus to the hotel and back to the airport.
            Nice lobby bar and Starbucks there too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: monku

              Bingo. I was not sure about whether the Sheraton has a free shuttle, I would call first to double check how often it runs. But I agree this is a great option. Gooid work monku

              1. re: JeetJet

                It runs fairly frequently since people are going to and from the airport all the time and the hotel is a block from the entrance to LAX.
                I've met friend's at Shula's who had layovers, since Shula's offers discounted valet parking (used to be free).

            2. it should be noted that the style of food served at cafe del rey is very different from that served at shula's.
              cafe del rey serves cal-asian food and offers a lot of seafood items.
              shula's 346 is primarily a steak/chop house offering the kind of food that can be found in any good steakhouse across the country.

              cafe del rey has a pretty view of the boats in the marina, and from the restaurant it is easy to access the little walkway that rings the boat docks for a lovely stroll after your meal, before you will be cooped up on the next leg of your journey.

              shula's is a high-end airport-hotel restaurant.

              it depends on your personal food preferences and how irksome you would find the cab fares to be.

              2 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal

                Have you ever been Shula's 347?

                Read Shula's 347 menu....You can get a salad, hamburger or sandwich along with other non-steak/chop entree's.
                Shula's doesn't claim to use prime steaks, but something called Shula's cuts which are wet aged Premium Black Angus Beef®. The steaks are priced below what you'd pay at Ruth's Chris or Morton's Steakhouse and they're very good and include vegetables.
                If it were a rip off high-end airport-hotel restaurant I wouldn't go and I wouldn't recommend it.


                1. re: monku

                  #1--i NEVER SAID that shula's was, in any way a rip off. --don't know why you made that up

                  #2 the shula's menu is like most steak/chop houses,and espicially like most airport-hotel steak houses that cater to travelers. just because they offer a salad and a couple of fish choices doesn't mean that the menu doesn't look like a steak/chop house menu. practically every steak house i've ever been to offers a couple of fish choices and salads.

                  #3 i agree that the prices at shula's are good for what you get.

                  #4 will stand by my statement that shula's is a high-end AIRPORT hotel restaurant. not too many AIRPORT hotels offer such a restaurant. i spent over a decade traveling and staying
                  at airport hotels. shula's is up-scale compared to what most of them offered.

                  #5 my MAIN POINT is that the two restaurants offer very different food experiences and environments. in addition one will provide free transportation to and from LAX and one requires the expenditure of cab fare. i never said that the food wasn't good, or that the deal wasn't good.