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LAX: 4 adults, 5 kids, 3 hours. . . .

  • d

will be at lax for a layover.

i know there are a lot of food near lax inquries on the board - and i've read them. but i haven't been to a lot of the places (cafe del rey, cozymels, casa sanchez, panns, panchos, etc.).

i'm particularly interested in kid-friendly near lax. they are very good kids - but it would be great if there was somewhere that they could get some energy out before the next leg of the plane ride.

i'm thinking venice beach or the marina - maybe a little running around after dinner? please - not c&o or 26 beach. any other ideas?

oh - and any cuisine, any price ok.

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  1. So you are picking them up and delivering them back to catch their next flight? If they really get a full 3 hours then the Marina might work out for you depending on the service. It could be tight though. For walking around afterward the Marina is your best bet. What about the perennial Cafe Del Rey?

    Cafe Del Rey
    4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

    6 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      respectfully disagree with Servorg on this one.

      i would not recommend fine-dining-white table cloth-good wine list-quiet-date/business dinner type restaurants, like cafe del rey, for kids to 'get their energy out before the next leg.' this is especially true if you have 5 kids together and the kids outnumber the adults. . . .

      also, don't see the cal-asian fusion menu with $10 salads and $30 entrees being terrific for a party with 5 kids.

      1. re: westsidegal

        Just a few things about the recommendation. CdR is in the midst of one of the biggest tourist areas in Los Angeles and they get a lot of families eating there in the summer. It's never struck me as a hushed temple of higher dining.

        The restaurant has/had a kids menu in the past and, since dtud said nothing about price restrictions for the adults, the cost of the food really wasn't something I was concerned about.

        As to the kids burning off energy. The marina walkway around the boats is a great place for the kids to burn off extra energy. I didn't think dtud meant that they planned on letting them burn it off by running through the restaurant itself (unless I'm missing something?).

        1. re: Servorg

          the last 8 times i've been to Cafe del Rey, the only times that kids have been there have been during the Sunday brunch service.

          i'm at Cafe del Rey weekly. say 'hi' to me the next time you're there.

          1. re: westsidegal

            We tend to go early for mid week dinner (there by 6:30 normally) and both times we had dinner there this summer we saw at least a couple of families with small children eating at the same time. I figured they might have walked over from the Ritz Carlton while on vacation, but I can't say for sure.

            1. re: Servorg

              if you're there early mid-week, you can often find me at the bar taking advantage of their terrific happy hour offerings.
              (in particular, their house sparkling wine is offered at happy hour for $6 a glass, no other wine deal in town beats this one imho. they also offer many other wines at $6/glass in the bar area at happy hour as well as real/good food specials cooked in their kitchen--not the reheated institutional drek that some other, lesser, restaurants serve for happy hour)

          2. re: Servorg

            servog - you are correct. i was hoping the kids could run around outdoors after dinner.

      2. maybe antica pizzaria?
        #1) it is on the second level of an outdoor shopping mall, so there are places where the kids can actually run around and make noise.
        #2) it serves italien food so the likelihood is that there is something on the menu that would appeal to every member of the party
        #3) the italien food they serve is actually GOOD food, the pizzas are terrific (neopolitatan-style, very thn crust) made with top-flight ingredients (flour actually imported from italy, good quality olive oil, etc). i've never had a bad dish there
        #4) it is not too formal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: westsidegal

          thanks. i forgot about this place - it's on the list.

        2. Has anyone been to Aunt Kizzy's since they moved to the strip mall on Washington where Killer Shrimp used to be?

          Is that space big enough? How's the food these days?

          1. um....is three hours your TOTAL layover, or the time you expect to spend at Marina del Rey? Not to be a killjoy, but I have found the security and changing planes at LAX to be VERY time consuming. If three hours is your total I would NOT leave the airport. Not too long ago it took me a good 2 hours just to get from one flight to another..and I did NOT have to go through security again. Catching the second plane involved taking a bus across the tarmac, and there was a thirty minute wait for the bus. Then it finally showed and there were too many people..and they wouldn't let us stand. So we had to wait for ANOTHER bus. And then we had to walk a long way once we got to the second terminal.......

            1 Reply
            1. re: janetofreno

              we have 3 solid hours. i think we have 5 hours total.

            2. It's tough to mobilize your herd, given your numbers. With 3 hrs., you're safer with In-N-Out by LAX.

              1. It's a half hour to Venice, a half hour back, 45 minutes to get thru security (often less). So that leaves an hour and 15 minutes. But let's say an hour to be safe. And there's a lot of places to choose from.

                I'm assuming not C&O and 26 Beach because you want a bump up in quality and experience.

                Gjelina is very good, has pizza and there's a lot of energy.

                Hal's, right up the street on Abbott Kinney is good, especially if you're going for Sunday brunch or lunch you might see a celebrity. And they have excellent french fries.

                I never "got" Aunt Kizzy's. It's certainly not bad, it's just not great. There isn't one thing there that I can't top in my kitchen. I expect more than that when I go out to eat.

                3 Replies
                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                  i would not ever count on being able to get to venice in a half hour.
                  also, what is the current parking situation at gjelina?

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    It really depends on the time of day and the day of the week. Weekends are tough with all of the beach traffic. But during a weekday, early afternoon, it would not be too bad to Venice from LAX.

                    1. re: alliebear

                      that is the route i take from playa del rey to my carwash on lincoln between washington and venice blvds.
                      it is astonishing how long that crawl can take sometimes. . .

                2. Two places that are kid-friendly and very near lax are Big Mikes and Original Rinaldi's. Both are talked about here often. Both are located on Main Street and only a couple of blocks from each other, which allows members of your group to go to either without adding more time to your trip. Both serve very good sandwiches, just order at the counter and take a table. Main St. is a nice place to walk a little after dinner and if you check out Mapquest you will notice two parks within a block or two. We usually order our food to-go and drive back toward LAX on Main St. and then turn right on Imperial Ave. (just before Imperial Hwy.), drive to the top of the small hill, take a seat on the city benches overlooking LAX and watch the planes come & go while eating our sandwiches.

                  Oh, when ordering a large sandwich at either place, you should expect a sandwich large enough to have some left over. Maybe the kids could share a sandwich if they order the same. Also, they will wrap the leftover to take on the plane if you wish. Big Mikes offers a truly giant cheese steak. I once ordered it, shared it with another person and still had about 1/3 left over.

                  Big Mikes (L.A.’s best Philly cheese steaks plus burgers, chicken sandwich, rings)
                  507 Main St.
                  El Segundo, CA
                  (310) 726-9638

                  Original Rinaldi's (Boar’s Head Meats, Italian combo, Meat Ball sandwich, Hot Chicken sandwich, Turkey w/ liverwurst and many more options)
                  323 Main St.
                  El Segundo, CA
                  310) 647-2860

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JeetJet

                    AND el segundo is a very kid-friendly town and main street is a great place to wander around to kill time.
                    great suggestions, jeetjet!

                  2. ......."Bring the whole family – we are your casual, family-owned, neighborhood restaurant! "

                    Close to LAX (*) & the picture of the Bachofner family might reassure you:


                    (*) About 5 blocks from LAX per google maps.

                    1. Don't chance it. Take the kids to In & Out Burger just outside the North side of LAX, watch the planes fly overhead and get back to the airport an hour early just in case. It's not gourmet but most people on this board agree it's the best fast food burger and not available outside of CA/AZ/NV

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GoodEatz

                        Since I would think that "blowing off steam" would be your primary goal here, why not get those burgers to go and take them up to the park on Lincoln just North of the airport?

                      2. My LAX layover place is usually Shula's at the Sheraton - you could hop the free Sheraton shuttle, even, if you want to, and the lobby is big enough for the kids to run around, There's even some grass out front. I would not go too far. My last international flight, where I had to change terminals, took almost 2 hours. For no reason I could ever figure out.

                        1. A three hour layover really isn't that long when you consider the deboarding process, then going back through security and getting to your gate in time. With that in mind, just drive up to In-N-Out on Sepulveda. Very good (though IMO a bit overrated) burger and the kids can run around. And it's so close to the airport you won't be freaked out about getting back to the plane in time.

                          1. thanks for all the responses!

                            due to the votes upon arrival - we ended up walking around on abbot kinney and venice boardwalk and then hitting Talpa for dinner.

                            i haven't been to talpa in some time and was a bit disappointed. the salsa was great. but the carnitas plate just left a little to be desired. it needed a bit of salt or seasoning or something to give it flavor. it also didn't help that they kept my plate in the heater for too long causing the beans to be dry (and also lacking flavor). the ceviche was great though. i had a taste of the machaca taco and it was ok. the toppings on the taco overwhelmed the flavor of the beef.

                            the visitors had no complaints - loved it and had a great time.

                            thanks again for great ideas - i will store for later.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dtud

                              We used to go to Talpa pretty regularly, but they began to slip (I also found the dishes tasting flat) and we ended up changing over to Don Antonio's next door. Very Mex-Am but they do a great albondigas and their steak picado plate is tasty and they sell lots of fajitas. Strong drinks also make it popular and during the summer their back patio gets a lot of action.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                don antonio's is essentially my favorite restaurant and i plug it every chance i get. i cannot go too long without their chips, salsa, or refried beans (or nachos). it just hits the spot. i only end up at talpa when DAs is too long of a wait - and that's what happened to us.

                                i'm sorry talpa has gone downhill. i used to like it as a backup and thought it was pretty good. but since someone else has the same opinion - i'll probably hit lares or gilberts if DAs overflows.