10 Reasons You Can Finally Be Excited To Eat At LAX
In years past, LAX has been horrendous for hungry travelers, which was a bit of a embarrassment considering it's a major international hub in a city with such a stellar food scene. But thanks to the recent multi-billion dollar renovations, there are finally options for weary travelers in need of a bite to eat. With 11 local Los Angeles area restaurants and 13 other new concepts now available at LAX spread throughout the different terminals, you’re bound to find something that will satisfy your stomach during this busy holiday travel season. Here are 10 of the reasons we're most excited about the upgrade.
They've embraced our local street food culture.
Put down your smartphone because you no longer need Twitter to track down Roy Choi’s famous Kogi food truck. Just head on over to Terminal 4. Yes, there’s an actual Kogi truck parked right smack in the American Airline’s terminal. Nothing says Los Angeles street food like a Mexican Korean mash-up. Somehow we get the feeling that chowing down on Kogi’s signature short rib taco, kimchi quesadilla, or Kogi hot dog might make your flight delays a little more manageable.
You can get Neapolitan-style pizza, pronto.
If you’re in a time crunch, but still want something delicious, Umami Co.’s 800 Degrees offers Neapolitan-style pizza custom made-for-you and ready in about a minute’s time—minus the line, of course. 800’s pizzas have a thin crust and are made with only flour, salt, water and wild yeast topped off with fresh mozzarella and extra-virgin olive oil. The pizzas are baked in a wood-burning oven, which give the soft, chewy, crust that classic Neapolitan blister. Find 800 Degrees in the food court of the Tom Bradley International.
You no longer have to settle for soggy sandwiches.
Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio's ink.sack has quality sandwiches that won’t break the bank in Tom Bradley International. Your order comes in a black paper lunch bag that is convenient to take on your flight. Sandwiches run about $5+ a piece and include options like the veggie banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with tofu; a spicy miso-cured albacore tuna topped with Sriracha mayo and nori flakes; or the Jose Andres, aka The Spanish Godfather, slathered with Serrano ham, chorizo, lomo, and manchego cheese. Grab a few of their house-made Oreos or Mexican chocolate chip cookies for good measure and take it on the plane. Pick up the fried chicken sandwich to-go, and we can guarantee passenger envy.
There's craft beer on tap.
Now you can pre-game before your flight with more than two-dozen rotating beer taps all in one place in Terminal 5. The busy Rock & Brews bartenders are required to go to beer school monthly, meaning they are aces at what's on tap. To go with the craft beers, they serve gastropub classics like garlic fries, giant Bavarian pretzels, poke tacos, and a variety of other comfort foods. Rock and Roll hall of famers Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS are partners, which means you can drown out the pesky flight announcements with some quality tunes.
You can take a trip to the Farmers Market.
There’s now a replica of the famous Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax in Terminal 5 complete with its very own ¡Loteria! Grill, Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market and Bistro, T&Y Bakery and Coffee Corner. Chomp on an assortment of mouth-watering braised meat miniature tacos paired with a ginger, lime, watermelon, or jalapeno margaritas at ¡Loteria! or check out their full-service bar with beers on tap. Although the stores are on a much smaller scale, you’ll still find a decent selection of Monsieur Marcel's gourmet cheeses, sandwiches, and cured meats. In-flight cheese board anyone?
There are finally some healthy options.
Lemonade, a Southern Californian-based eatery with a cult-like following offers a grade school cafeteria-like buffet with constantly rotating seasonal vegetables, eight different types of pot roast, a variety of pastas, 20 different salads, and a selection of seasonal lemonades, plus cakes, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, brownies, and more. Try their white truffle mac and cheese or ahi tuna and wash it down with fun lemonade flavors such as cucumber mint, watermelon rosemary and blood orange, etc. Don’t forget to sample the watermelon radish, one of Lemonade’s most popular flavors. Find them in Terminal 5.
Pulled pork grilled cheese. Need we say more?
In Terminal 5, Ford's Filling Station is the go-to restaurant for those travelers wanting gastropub fare made with organic and sustainable ingredients. Ford’s has a seasonal menu and offers unique dishes you wouldn’t typically associate with an airport such as bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, deviled eggs topped with Turkish pepper, chicken wings, and their must-order dish; pulled pork grilled cheese. Flatbreads, salads, and smaller bar bites are also available and made on-site from scratch. Ford’s Filling Station is one of the very few onsite eateries at LAX with its very own, full functioning kitchen. Fun fact: Chef Ben Ford who owns Ford’s Filling Station is also the son of international movie star Harrison Ford.
Did we mention caviar?
Of course, the new and improved Tom Bradley International Terminal had to show off with its very own caviar and bubbly eatery. Petrossian’s ultra glamorous champagne and caviar bar is tucked into its own inconspicuous corner with a private lounge atmosphere. Dehumanizing as flying can be, you’ll most definitely be feeling like a VIP while indulging in some house-made pasta with caviar powder served with crème fraiche, smoked salmon flatbread topped with caviar and dill, or a toasted baguette with Burrata and roasted tomato and caviar. Or get decadent with a $18 Petrossian martini topped with caviar. Petrossian's bar also has 15 to 20 champagnes that are affordable and splurge-worthy. If you feel the need you can drop $1000+ for a bottle of Cristal Rose. Then again, you might be flying private if you have that kind of budget.
You can get your sweet tooth fix.
Bring your buddies overseas some of Vanilla Bake Shop's baby cupcakes, macaroons, or cake pops, or grab some for yourself while you're at Tom Bradley International. They use real Madagascar vanilla beans in all their desserts and constantly they have new rotating seasonal flavors and sweets that make a great souvenir from Los Angeles.
Hallelujah! There's decent Mexican food.
It wouldn’t be LA, if you didn’t have celebrity chefs cooking for you. Food Network and Bravo stars Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Millikin can be found making cameos at Border Grill in the Tom Bradley International Terminal whipping up their modern Mexican cuisine with a twist. Order some Yucatan pork tacos, chicken Poblano enchiladas, dulce de leche churro tots, or a warm guava cheese empanada. Of course the meal wouldn’t be complete without a margarita or agua fresca to top it off. This is L.A., after all.