HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Eight hours at LAX

I have an eight hour layover at LAX from 4:00p.m. to midnight ona Monday. Is there anywhere within an affordable taxi ride - $10 each way?? where I could find something good to eat for an early supper/late lunch. Preferably in an area with shops - anything from Target to TJ to Whole Food. I am on my way to the Philippines so don't need Asian food. Italian is always a favorite. Good wine by the glass is important - thank you!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No, not if your parameter is $10 each way.

    $10 will barely get you to corner of Sepulveda and Manchester.

    1. Suggest looking at www.flyertalk.com and going to LAX Forum. Lots of suggestions there.

      1. I believe the minimum for a taxi pickup at LAX is $20 - so if you are trying to stay ~$10, you will need to walk off site to catch the taxi.

        8 Replies
        1. re: joshekg

          Not that high. Ipse's figure is more accurate. There's an automatic $2.50 charge. $10 before tip gets you a mile out.

          1. re: Jase

            Actually I took a cab to Manchester and Lincoln and it cost $17.00, so $20 is more accurate.

            1. re: Ogawak

              Your cabbie must have really taken the long way. I live in the Mar Vista area and a cab from LAX usually cost me $25 with tip. It's $20 with tip to LAX since I don't have to pay the airport surcharge. But I also tend to be a generous tipper.

              1. re: Jase

                Well, to be fair I think the fare will depend on what terminal you are picked up at or dropped off at.

                Given traffic in/around LAX sometimes the most significant factor in the price of a cab ride has less to do with distance and more to do with time.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Good point. I generally fly Virgin America or Jet Blue when I take a cab to and from. Also generally early morning departure and evening arrival so traffic is minimal and those terminals aren't too bad to get to.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    You could always take the free Parking Spot Sepulveda shuttle, which will drop you off right next to In-N-Out Burger, and will put you within walking distance of Trader Joe's... (restore your karma by tipping the driver well!)

                    Once at the Parking Spot, you could take a cheap non-LAX off site cab to somewhere close, like Pann's, and then take a much cheaper taxi ride back to LAX. Fare (including tip) is about $19.

                    Mr Taster

                  2. re: Jase

                    It probably would have cost me $20 to Mar Vista as well, but the initial cost is in getting out of the airport. And the route the cabbie took was straightforward.

                    1. re: Ogawak

                      Lol. I am sorry to giggle, I appreciate my California CH colleagues but this subthread made me think I was watching this skit for just a second:


            2. You could take the LAX FlyAway bus to Westwood. It's 10 bucks each way, and runs on the hour. Lots of restaurants and shops in Westwood (search the site here for specific recs).


              If you are up for taking public transportation, you could take the Big Blue Bus (Line 3) in to downtown Santa Monica. It's $1.50 each way. There's a free shuttle from LAX to the bus terminal near LAX, where you'd hop on the Big Blue.

              If you decide to do that, you could always cab it back to LAX if you didn't feel up for another bus ride. You should be able to get the cab ride down to about $23 before tip, if you use a coupon.


              (I've never had any issues with the bus, including taking it after dark to/from LAX.)

              8 Replies
              1. re: spoonlicker

                Hometown Buffet just down the street!

                No, I'm seriously kidding.

                Seriously, I've taken that bus from LAX all the way to Santa Monica quite often, and while it's quite a long bus ride, I enjoy the people watching and the urban scenery.

                1. re: spoonlicker

                  The Blue Bus is great and agree that it's fine. The only caveat is the trip can take much longer if any transfer is involved. I'd say just take one line to get to the general area of whichever you prefer. Also it should only be $1 if there's no transfer involved.

                  1. re: spoonlicker

                    How long would it take on the bus to westwood? I have nothing against public transportation -- just don't want to be nervous for time.

                    Another friend suggested I take a shuttle to one of the nearby hotels. Do any of them have decent restaurants? Without taxi fare I could afford more for supper.

                    1. re: Mariana in Baja

                      Not sure how long it would take to get to Westwood -- it's rush hour (yuck), so it could be slow. Another downside to the FlyAway is it runs only once an hour.

                      At any rate, Servorg's excellent suggestion of the Ocean Express + Manhattan Beach is a much better option than Westwood. I'd go that route.

                      1. re: Mariana in Baja

                        No restaurants worth a taking a hotel shuttle bus to in the LAX area. 10 minute walk to In N' Out Burger on Sepulveda Blvd.

                        1. re: Mariana in Baja

                          Not to make it more complicated, but an alternative would be to take a hotel shuttle to one of the hotels near where the Manhattan Beach Trolley stops(costs a few $ for the trolley) - this will take you to a couple of shopping centers in Manhattan Beach, both of which have a few decent restaurants, and also to the pier area in Manhattan Beach where there's a fairly good selection of places.

                          As for the restaurants in the LAX hotels, pass on them - all are overpriced and mediocre at best.

                        2. re: spoonlicker

                          i second the westwood idea. you can eat at TLT. interesting food and good drinks list (for a non fancy restaurant). satisfies all your suggested criteria.

                          1. re: spoonlicker

                            re: the Big Blue Bus to santa monica
                            not familiar with the time from LAX to Santa Monica at 4 or 5 p, but i'm VERY familiar with the reverse trip at that time (Santa Monica to LAX). figure well over an hour. often the busses are so crowded from 4 to6 that they will only stop to let passengers off, and won't let any new passengers on.
                            ya want a seat? fuggetaboutit.

                          2. In-N-Out Burgers is walkable with 8 hours, but they serve no wine...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: J.L.

                              Only if all the crosswalk signals are synced in your favor.

                            2. You could take the Blue Bus to Sepulveda north to Lincoln Blvd just north of Manchester (Taxi would be out of your price range). There is a Bristol Farms with a decent menu for food. Nearby is Alejos and Italy's Little Kitchen for decent Italian.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Ogawak

                                respectfully strongly disagree with the characterization of the food served at Italy's Little Kitchen and at Alejos as being "decent."

                                for low cost food in the area, imho, Ayara Thai Cuisine is the only option, but the cab ride would end up exceeding budget

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  The problem is, the OP specified Italian and not Asian. given her parameters, those are her best choices.

                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                    not eating anything, imho, is a better choice than either of those two restaurants.
                                    i am often dragged to them by a group of my friends.
                                    i drink water while i converse and watch the others eat the swill.

                              2. If you do decide to go into Santa Monica, you could stroll between various happy hours for the early part of the evening. You might find a nice wine venue, and/or Italian joint, somewhere in this list:


                                1. Take one of the free shuttles for the near by major hotels and then for all of $5 you can take the Ocean Express shuttle http://www.gatewaytola.org/index.cfm/... right into the heart of Mahattan Beach for food and great window shopping or a walk on the pier overlooking one of the nicest beaches in SoCal. MB Post is a wonderful small plates restaurant that you should not miss http://www.eatmbpost.com/

                                  Enjoy your stopover (and this is the way to go for your sojourn and the place you want to wander around in - without a doubt).

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    That sounds perfect., Servorg. If I pay more than $10 each way for a taxi then have supper and look in shops that have tempting things I am looking likely at a $100 eight hour stay. For $50 I can hang out in one of the first class lounges. I will also check out that site - flyertalk.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      +1 for MB Post (3 miles from LAX). Great small plates so you can eat as little or as much as you'd like. Manhattan Beach Pier and the beach are just one short block away.

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        Second this. I"m so used to going to Santa Monica first, I never even considered somewhere like Manhattan Beach. But, it's an excellent idea.

                                        1. re: Violatp

                                          Same here -- as a SaMo resident, my default recommendation is the BBB + Santa Monica plan. I feel like such a provincial rube for not knowing about the Ocean Express. It's a great option. Gotta love CH for broadening our horizons (and waistlines).

                                      2. re: Servorg

                                        i love the food at MB Post, but it should be noted that i have never gotten "out the door" there for $50 or less.
                                        with alcohol, tax, and tip, it generally runs at least $75/pp.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          Regarding prices at MB Post I noticed this Yelp post Sept. 27 of this year and wanted to show this to the OP (in case your reply made her nervous):

                                          "Bacon & cheddar biscuits
                                          Fontina & parmesan mac n' cheese
                                          Brussel sprouts
                                          Skirt steak
                                          2 beers
                                          = $80 (including tax, tip not included)"

                                          This was for 2 people and the Yelper said her boyfriend has a big appetite and this was plenty of food for both of them.

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            That's perfectly fine. I just don't want to spend $50 on taxis as well!!

                                            1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                              another great choice in downtown Manhattan Beach is Petros and their upscale Greek Cuisine.

                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                Wherever Mariana ends up eating, Manhattan Beach will be the best location for killing time in terms of the stores and natural beauty surrounding it...

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  Speaking of natural beauty: I keep wishing her flight got in a bit earlier so she could take in one of our eye-popping winter sunsets en route to MB. So close!

                                                  1. re: spoonlicker

                                                    The sunsets in Todos Santos Baja Sur are hard to beat

                                                    1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                                      Love Todos Santos and I'll take a sunset over one in Cabo anyday.
                                                      Keep us posted and have a wonderful flight/trip!

                                                2. re: wienermobile

                                                  i love the food at both MB Post and at Petros.

                                        2. Although you stated that you want something other than Asian food, I still thought I would offer my go-to place. When I've had limited LAX time (or known that friends have had layovers), I have come to turn to Ayara Thai in Westchester. Relatively easy access to and from the airport. Not quite at the Jitlada level, but very good food indeed.


                                          1. Y'know, 8 hours is a long time.

                                            Why not just rent a car (which should be something like 30 for an economy class car) and then tool around Venice and Santa Monica for the evening?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              I suppose it is more like five or six hours considering arrival, clearing customs coming in from Mexico and checking back in for an international flight. I couldn't find a car under $75

                                              1. re: Mariana in Baja

                                                There is also the time-sink and grrr-factor of dealing with shuttling to/from LAX to the rental agency, doing the rental paperwork, wrassling with rush hour traffic in an unfamiliar vehicle, and so on. To me, the angst wouldn't be worth the added mobility...

                                                Plus, since wine is on the agenda, it'll be nice to have a designated driver (bus or cab).

                                                Have a lovely visit. If you get a chance to post back after your trip, it will be fun to hear how it went for you (and useful for future readers of this thread who might find themselves in your shoes).

                                            2. I don't think $10 gets you out of the airport. lol

                                              1. I admit that I didn't read all the replies, but did anyone ask what you intend to do with your luggage? There is no storage at LAX, the storage services take too long so they aren't practical for a quick turn. Unless your airline is transferring the luggage directly you have to consider that. Then remember that an international departure asks for you to be there 3 hours before takeoff, not two like domestic and Philippine flights are one of the ones that get extra scrutiny. Also if you have to claim bags that takes time as well.

                                                If you land at 4PM and leave at 12:00 midnight, you really only have about a 4/12 hour window, not 8 hour.

                                                So.... with all that said, if you don't have luggage to deal with, you might look at the shopping center where Bristol Farms is in Manhattan Beach (1570 Rosecrans Avenue, Manhatta Beach, CA 90266). Besides BF you have a Fresh & Easy, several restaurants, several stores and it isn't too far.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: scottca075

                                                  Scott, I noticed that in the other thread that this poster (Mariana) started you tell her that "... the restaurants at the Custom Hotel are good, but that isn't a quick ride."

                                                  The Custom Hotel is half the distance (and doesn't involve going south Sepulveda, which can be problematic in terms of traffic at rush hour) from LAX that the Bristol Farms on Rosecrans is. Any drive to the Custom Hotel from LAX is going to be quicker and easier than the drive to Bristol Farms.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    The Bristol Farms suggestion was contingent upon a lot of factors that when I made the suggestion was unknown (from where and to where and luggage).

                                                    The other difference is that the Custom Hotel she was talking about using the hotel shuttle, which can be very time consuming, vs using a shuttle from the Marriott or Westin, that run more often and are closer.

                                                    Bristol Farms involves using a cab so that makes it quicker than trying to use a shuttle.

                                                2. We have used the Westin LAX when flying out International and they have a great deal on the park/stay and fly for around $100+ and that includes 7 days of free parking and the food is decent and the comp shuttle is nice too.
                                                  Sometimes when flying International, all you want is a hot shower, a bed to relax and some good food...couple of cocktails...and yes, I used it for less than 8 hours.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                    If you're staying for just a day (or 8 hours) the first class lounges are cheaper, with (arguably) better food, better satellite channels and full shower and jacuzzi setups, sometimes with message therapies.

                                                    If you're not a member, I think most LAX first class lounges have daily passes in the 30-50 range, and annual passes (if not a club member) of something like 100.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      American Express Platinum members get access to some of them as well... :-)

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Good call Ipsy on the lounges..
                                                        The deal at the Westin is free parking for 7 days, which adds up big time at the airport.
                                                        JAL just opened routes to SD.

                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                          The parking this is a great deal.

                                                          Yeah, just read about JAL. One of the worst business class flights I've ever had was on JAL (pre-bankruptcy). I've heard they've upgraded their planes with Sky Suites, can't wait to try them out.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            I'm using ANA a lot more these days... They have more flights into Haneda instead of Narita, which can be sooo much more convenient.

                                                            Oh, and the food is better on ANA than JAL.

                                                    2. I hope you will let us know what you end up doing tomorrow! :-)

                                                      1. If at all possible, avoid LAX for any long layover. Awful food in airport, little or nothing convenient close by. Plus which, most of the terminals are run down and filthy. I used to live in Hawaii, and it was awful to make frequent visits to two of the most miserable airports in the country, HNL and LAX. Airports from Hell by any measure. Not always avoidable, unfortunately.

                                                        1. oh but that LAX central restaurant disc is such an icon. I used to work for what Welton Becket became and always loved to see those photos in the database.

                                                          reminds me of a time way back in 1992 at Monsoon at the Sta. Monica airport getting ripped and figuring out how in hell we were going to get back to Silver Lake. I forget how we solved that one.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                            thanks one and all. as someone said luggage was a big problem. too early to check it in. sooooo here I am in the One World Lounge courtesy of Cathay Pacific. good wine and decent food and comfort