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Monday dinner near LAX?

My wife and I have a six hour stopover at LAX on a Monday evening next month. Friends are coming to pick us up for dinner during a three-hour window we have to go outside the airport for a good meal. What's really good, but not too far away from LAX, where we can chow down prior to a 15-hour overseas flight?

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    1. Three hours isn't much time if that window is between touchdown and departure, but I'll leave you to worry about that. If it strikes your mood, there is a really good, unassuming Thai place very near the airport, Ayara Thai.
      It is tucked away on 87th St, off Truxton, between La Tijera and Manchester, about a block east of Sepulveda.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Capybara

        it sounds like they have 6 hrs from touchdown till departure so 3hrs out of lax is definitely enough time to scramble back for an int'l flight.

        that being said, ayara and truxton are both good choices. however, stay away from the boat noodles at ayara, it's simply atrocious.

        to the OP, is there any specific type of cuisine you are looking for?

        1. re: wilafur

          "that being said, ayara and truxton are both good choices."

          I am pretty sure that Capybara was not recommending Truxton's American Bistro, but rather just naming the street...but as you so charmingly hit upon it, that would be another good choice right around the corner from Ayara.

          1. re: wilafur

            Thanks for the suggestions. We DO have a 6 1/4 hour window between flights, which makes going out of LAX for three hours for dinner quite doable. As for cuisines, we are coming from southern Illinois, the home of fried chicken and good BBQ. We miss really good Mexican, pizza, Italian. We are headed off to Asia, so we've got seafood and Chinese well covered. Any thoughts?

            1. re: dochoch

              I'm still a little unclear as to whether this means you have 3 hours total to drive somewhere and eat or if you have 3 hours to eat, plus however long it takes to drive somewhere and back. for Mexican, Mariscos Chente is awesome and close by. I'll reiterate my Gjelina suggestion if you have 3 hours to eat plus travel time. Southern California produce is incredible and the do a great job showcasing. Also close by in Venice is Ado for Italian, which is definitely doable if you have the 3 hours plus travel time.

              Mariscos Chente
              4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

              1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

              1600 E Holt Ave, Pomona, CA 91767

        2. I'd definitely vote Gjelina. Here's a link to the site and my review of a meal there with friends who had a layover at LAX:

          2 Replies
          1. re: mollyomormon

            although the food at gjelina is superb, i certainly would NOT try gjelina with the time constraints that dochoch mapped out. gjelina, imho, is simply too far away, and lincoln blvd often has traffic problems.

            1. re: westsidegal

              we actually did it within a similar window of time (6:30-9:00pm), but we did have to rush a bit at the end of the meal. it's hard for me to tell from the OP's post whether they have a three hour window for the meal itself or if that includes travel time. if the three hours includes travel time, then i think you're right that it's cutting it too close and it's best to stay right in the immediate vicinity of LAX given the unpredictability of traffic.

          2. i would absolutely go to cafe del rey in marina del rey.


            1 Reply
            1. re: westsidegal

              Went to cafe del rey with my family (see dinner near LAX with out of towners previously sited.

              It was a wonderful meal, a had a good range for my entire party. Thank you westsidegal for the original recommendation, and though I was warned about traffic getting there etc, it was very easy and fast. And though I do not recall exactly how long our meal took, I feel like it would be doable in the 3 hours window.

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

            2. In El Segundo, immediately south of LAX, there are 2 restaurants which I like.

              Second City Bistro has New American dishes, nicely prepared and beautifully plated. It's in a restored older building, with exposed brick walls. (Zagat estimate for dinner, 1 drink & tip = $38)

              Farm Stand, on the next street, has "Urban county food." I suspect that the "country" it refers to is on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Entrees include salmon, filet mignon, cornish hen, lamb, chicken, meatloaf, pastas, burgers. There's also your standard "country" hummus & rice pilaf & a dish like kibbeh. It's a sister restaurant to Cafe Pierre, in Manhattan Beach. (CP may not fit into your time frame.) (Zagat estimate = $27)

              Second City Bistro, 223 Richmond St (Grand Ave), 310-322-6085, www.secondcitybistro.com

              Farm Stand, 422 Main St, 310-640-farm, www.farmstand.us

              Second City Bistro
              223 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245

              1 Reply
              1. re: vickie2172

                even though i end up going to farm stand because of it's convenient location, gotta admit that i find the food to be very underwhelming--sort of on the downside of meh.
                their copycat persian food is something that could have been turned out by my high school home economics class.
                their cheeses and most of their other ingredients are the standard institutional stuff.
                all in all, imho, nothing with nothing in terms of the food.
                have never had anything really good, nor really bad there. . . .

              2. There's a very good Mexican restaurant near the airport in Westchester. Paco's Taco's has good food and the best part is the hand made fresh tortilla's. Yum!

                Paco's Tacos
                2242 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                1. I don't know why people have a hard time understanding the time issue - 6 hours between flights - budgeting about 3 hours for the excursion. You're pretty clear. Since you are flying to Asia, you are probably on one of the many 11pm to 1am departures from Bradley International Terminal at LAX. If you're connecting from a domestic location, your airlines should easily just transfer your luggage and you will probably have boarding passes already, so getting back and on the flight later in the evening should be really easy. If you're back at the airport within 90 minutes of your departure time, you will be MORE than fine. I fly to Asia from LAX at least 10X per year, so I'm really familiar with this.

                  Also, the fact that you will be returning well after peak traffic times helps you a lot.

                  My recommendation would be to stay in the South Bay to eat. If you're looking for faster, ethnic or casual restaurants, there are some options already given. But I think you'll see a lot of that type of food in Asia already, so my recommendation would be to see if you can get some New American or updated contemporary fine dining stuff before leaving.

                  One of my primary "go to" places in the South Bay is Chez Melange in Redondo Beach. It's about a 20 minute drive from LAX and you should be well within your time window. New American style cooking with various influences, good wine list and they make a proper Sazerac.

                  Redondo Beach Cafe
                  1511 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                  Chez Melange
                  1716 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277