If you are looking for a "nice" place for you and your friend to relax after the stress of travel and for the two of you to be able to enjoy a great meal and talk and take your time, with good service, then Cafe del Rey is where you should go. Turxtons is SO noisy, I'll never go back. Panns is a coffee shop, 26 Beach is ok but nothing compared to Cafe del Rey. I's my go to place for out of towners who are always impressed. 10 minutes north of LAX. Also nice views of the Marina. Very California.
i, too, have been underwhelmed at Truxtons.
in my case the service has been fine, but the food is just a step above chain-restaurant food.
would not consider it to be a destination restaurant in any way.
i tend to go there when my dining party includes folks who are just not interested in anything but main stream american food.
on the good side, they are very good about responding to requests for menu changes/substitutions.
My wife and I were stuck in LAX a couple of years ago. We went to The Encounter Restaurant, the spacy building right outside of the terminals. Food wasn't bad and the experience was kind of fun. Very Jetsons :). We'd do it again if we had a couple of hours to kill in the airport....
Not sure what type of food or price level you have in mind but Cafe Del Rey would be my top choice (also useful, if you have luggage, as it has a valet lot) but other nearby options include Ayara (Thai), Chalet Edelweiss (Austrian), Paul Martin's (American), Tin Roof Bistro (casual American), 26 Beach Cafe (casual American with great burgers) and Waterloo & City (gastropub--also with a valet lot). A Frame (fusion) is also great but does not take reservations. If you are just looking for a classic diner dinner, there is also Pann's which has great Googie style architecture and very good fried chicken and patty-melts.
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Cafe Del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Ayara Thai Cuisine
6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Paul Martin's American Bistro
2361 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 180, El Segundo, CA 90245
8740 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Tin Roof Bistro
3500 Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
re: New Trial
just tried waterloo and city for the first time tonight.
liked it, but imho, , based on two dishes, it doesn't approach fig nor la cachette bistro, nor gjelina, all of which are on my regular rotation. also, for gastropubs, i like the food that i've had at The Tripel better (granted, i'm "stuck" on the same two dishes at The Tripel nowadays).
i may go back again to try some more dishes at waterloo and city, but it isn't on my "priority list."
if you are heading north from LAX, CAFE DEL REY, located on admiralty way in marina del rey.
this is a civilized, white-tablecloth-restaurant, with a lower-than-most noise level , good food, and a very good wine list (both by the glass and by the bottle).
if your luggage will be in the car while you are eating, i especially recommend this place because it has an ATTENDED parking lot right in front of the restaurant. your car will be monitored through the evening.
3 miles south of LAX in Manhattan Beach is Manhattan Beach Post. Just one block from the beach with wonderful food by Michelin–starred chef, David LeFevre. LA Eater's Los Angeles Chef of the year. Great small plate menu. Vegetable dishes; Seafood dishes; Meat dishes and house–made breads stand on their own as a dish, not sides, for the table. Love their MOROCCAN BBQ LAMB BELLY with creamy semolina, cardamom carrots. Their BACON CHEDDAR BUTTERMILK BISCUITS with maple butter is a must. Valet parking right in front.
You will not be disappointed.
Manhattan Beach Post
1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266