clock menu more-arrow no yes

18 Tasty Spots to Try Before Departing From LAX

View as Map

2008_10_hasmapsla.jpgAs airports go, the latest additions to the food courts at LAX over the past couple years have improved the general quality of food in the airport by quantum leaps. But what if you're not going inside, or if you're picking up a friend for their first meal in the City of Angels? Fast food chains dot the roads leading to and from the airport, but there are better local options to be found.

So whether you're sending off a friend, buying your ride a meal or you're just in the mood for some comfort food because you're not flying off to a fancy overseas destination this summer, the area surrounding LAX is home to some very respectable food options that won't leave you in financial ruin. Without further ado, the 18 Best Places to Eat Near LAX. Note: don't forget this coming weekend is the "Century Crunch," meaning Century Blvd will be closed down.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Front Page Jamaican Grille

Copy Link
1117 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 216-9521
Visit Website

To those who have been to this hole-in-the-wall, the fact that this Jamaican restaurant made the list is hardly front page news. Intensely fragrant jerk chicken and oxtail arrive in styrofoam boxes accompanied with rice, beans and plantains. Chase the heat with a cold bottle of Kola Champagne (Jamaica’s national soft drink) or a glass of housemade ginger beer.

2. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

Copy Link
8732 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 645-2243
Visit Website

This spot might be a favorite with the local police and LAXPD, but the giant nondescript ring-shaped pastry perched atop this Westchester establishment is not a donut. Instead, it’s a purveyor of no-nonsense bagels that would make even the most hardened East Coast visitor... well, briefly stop complaining, at least. Keep up with the fast-talkers with the shop’s iced coffee, which comes with coffee ice cubes.

3. Ayara Thai Cuisine

Copy Link
6245 W 87th St
Westchester, CA 90045
(310) 410-8848
Visit Website

Fried rice and drunken noodles are the go-to dishes at this Westchester Thai food restaurant. Cap off your meal with an order of the seasonal mango with sticky rice — Ayara Thai has one of the better renditions of the dessert in the entire city, Thai Town included.

4. Don Rogelio's Tex Mex Restaurant

Copy Link
10618 S Inglewood Ave
Lennox, CA 90304
(310) 677-1510

In a city where “Tex-Mex” food is generally considered a culinary travesty against authentic Mexican cuisine, Don Rogelio confidently puts out a capable fusion of Texas ‘cue and Mexican classics. Popular dishes include anything with chili verde, fresh chips and guacamole and “Bar Ba Coa” brisket with beans and rice.

5. In-N-Out Burger

Copy Link
9149 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(800) 786-1000
Visit Website

An essential stop for anyone who’s been without it (or will be without it) for a prolonged period of time, the In-N-Out in Westchester serves up God’s favorite quick-service hamburger to travel weary Angelenos and Double-Double neophytes alike. If you’re new in town, the correct answer to “would you like onions on that?” is always “grilled, please.”

6. The Good Pizza

Copy Link
7929 Emerson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 215-1883
Visit Website

It has to be better than bad pizza, right? This “chain” goes two locations deep — with another location in nearby Playa Del Rey — but the food is all down-home goodness. The notion of fries on a barbecue chicken pizza might sound enticing, but opt for the more reasonable Capricciosa pizza instead: The pie comes absolutely loaded with artichoke hearts in addition to prosciutto ham, pepperoni and mushrooms.

7. Mariella's Taco Truck

Copy Link
102nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90045

To many Angelenos, nothing says “welcome home” like getting some carne asada or al pastor tacos from a taco truck. Tucked away on Aviation Blvd. just south of Century, Mariella’s more traditional meat offerings are piled into a double-dose of soft corn tortillas and are a big hit with the hungry LAX airport staff.

8. El Pollo Grande Restaurant Y Pupuseria

Copy Link
10300 S Inglewood Ave
Inglewood, CA 90304
(310) 419-4440

The restaurant name indicates it serves chicken, but you might want to go straight for the pupusas. The savory Salvadoran pastry is browned perfectly on both sides, and the queso con pollo pupusa elevates the humble disk of dough to a dish at least worth naming your restaurant after.

9. Sushi Kura

Copy Link
5567 W Manchester Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 568-9800

In true L.A. fashion, this sushi restaurant is tucked away in a strip mall off Manchester Ave. Expect a pretty wide variety of rolls (some rolls of the “heavily sauced” variety) and extra-thick swaths of tuna, white albacore and salmon sashimi. Don’t skip the freshwater eel hand roll, which comes with a generous helping of the caramelized fish and a dab of masago.

10. Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop

Copy Link
6710 LA Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(323) 776-3770
Visit Website

If the Googie architecture and classic ‘50s diner aesthetic of Pann’s seems familiar, it’s because it is: the owners of Pann’s Restaurant once owned Holly’s in Hawthorne, the location of the infamous coffee shop scene from Pulp Fiction. What Pann’s lacks in Mexican standoffs and Samuel L. Jackson quoting Bible verses, though, it certainly makes up for in excellent comfort food. With gargantuan ham steaks and fried pork chops served with eggs, breakfast is the meal of choice at Pann’s. If you don’t dig on swine, though, don’t worry: the restaurant also offers a superb plate of fried chicken and waffles.

11. Humble Potato

Copy Link
8321 Lincoln Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(323) 989-2242

This restaurant pronounces their burgers “hambaga,” and dresses up American fast food fare with a Japanese flair. Expect otaku-friendly décor and dishes like curry French fries, a sukiyaki cheesesteak and the “Battle Royale,” a hamburger (excuse us, “hambaga”) crowned with a fried egg and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese pepper powder.

12. Alejo's Presto Trattoria Italian Restaurant

Copy Link
8343 Lincoln Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 670-6677
Visit Website

For those who just suffered through those minuscule, un-American portions overseas, this oak-adorned trattoria serves up massive portions of their excellent chicken piccata and big, hearty plates of pasta. Diners pack it in to split pizzas heaped with cheese and break up hot rolls to dip in the restaurant’s garlic olive oil.

13. Truxtons American Bistro

Copy Link
8611 Truxton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 417-8789
Visit Website

Truxton’s is an American-style bistro famous for their house “monkey bread,” but it’s not the sweet and sticky coffee cake you’re thinking of: Truxton’s monkey bread is actually a cheesy, garlicky vessel of carbohydrate worship accompanied with garlic, ranch and marinara dipping sauces. If you’ve managed to completely block out the images of your disapproving personal trainer/cardiologist, feel free to tuck in to their cookie skillet, a massive cookie a la mode reminiscent of a B.J.’s pizookie.

14. Courtyard Cafe

Copy Link
8939 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 410-0770

Small, charming and affordable, Courtyard Café offers up a variety of sandwiches priced under ten dollars in addition to a massive Mexican breakfast burrito made with potato, eggs and chorizo. It’s a spot to take food on the go and a great way to thwart the steep prices of the food options inside LAX.

15. KC's Crepes Cafe

Copy Link
8320 Lincoln Blvd, #101B
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 348-9697

KC’s Café is more of a Japanese-style creperie and boba spot that takes the paper-thin pancakes with a variety of sweet or savory toppings and rolls them into a handheld package. Though it’s probably not the same experience as eating one in Paris (or Shinjuku, for that matter), the sweeter crepes are a guilty pleasure. Bring cash (credit cards aren’t accepted) and try an azuki (red bean) double cream crepe or the caramel crunch, both of which lend themselves well to one of KC Café’s numerous tea options.

16. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

Copy Link
621 W Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90044
(310) 981-4141
Visit Website

Roscoe’s inclusion on this list might elicit a little controversy, but support of the LA landmark has been bipartisan: former United States Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon were regulars at the restaurant, and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and current leader of the free world Barack Obama have all stopped by for a fix of the odd combination of fried chicken and waffles that Roscoe’s made famous.

17. Delta Pride Fish Grill & Southern Cuisine

Copy Link
6081 Center Dr #217
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 645-9400

Southern style fried seafood is surprisingly hard to come by in Los Angeles, but Delta Pride’s specialty is cornmeal breaded fried catfish. Sides can be hit or miss, but the yams, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese are popular options. Portions err on the smaller side, but with food this heavy, that might be a good thing.

18. Aliki's Greek Taverna

Copy Link
5862 Arbor Vitae St
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 645-9555
Visit Website

This old-school Greek diner is almost walking distance from LAX. The family-owned establishment is known for its lamb shanks, gyro wraps and vegetarian options, including a vegetarian pastisio, crunchy falafel and lemon potatoes.

Loading comments...

1. Front Page Jamaican Grille

1117 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

To those who have been to this hole-in-the-wall, the fact that this Jamaican restaurant made the list is hardly front page news. Intensely fragrant jerk chicken and oxtail arrive in styrofoam boxes accompanied with rice, beans and plantains. Chase the heat with a cold bottle of Kola Champagne (Jamaica’s national soft drink) or a glass of housemade ginger beer.

1117 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301

2. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

8732 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

This spot might be a favorite with the local police and LAXPD, but the giant nondescript ring-shaped pastry perched atop this Westchester establishment is not a donut. Instead, it’s a purveyor of no-nonsense bagels that would make even the most hardened East Coast visitor... well, briefly stop complaining, at least. Keep up with the fast-talkers with the shop’s iced coffee, which comes with coffee ice cubes.

8732 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

3. Ayara Thai Cuisine

6245 W 87th St, Westchester, CA 90045

Fried rice and drunken noodles are the go-to dishes at this Westchester Thai food restaurant. Cap off your meal with an order of the seasonal mango with sticky rice — Ayara Thai has one of the better renditions of the dessert in the entire city, Thai Town included.

6245 W 87th St
Westchester, CA 90045

4. Don Rogelio's Tex Mex Restaurant

10618 S Inglewood Ave, Lennox, CA 90304

In a city where “Tex-Mex” food is generally considered a culinary travesty against authentic Mexican cuisine, Don Rogelio confidently puts out a capable fusion of Texas ‘cue and Mexican classics. Popular dishes include anything with chili verde, fresh chips and guacamole and “Bar Ba Coa” brisket with beans and rice.

10618 S Inglewood Ave
Lennox, CA 90304

5. In-N-Out Burger

9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

An essential stop for anyone who’s been without it (or will be without it) for a prolonged period of time, the In-N-Out in Westchester serves up God’s favorite quick-service hamburger to travel weary Angelenos and Double-Double neophytes alike. If you’re new in town, the correct answer to “would you like onions on that?” is always “grilled, please.”

9149 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

6. The Good Pizza

7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

It has to be better than bad pizza, right? This “chain” goes two locations deep — with another location in nearby Playa Del Rey — but the food is all down-home goodness. The notion of fries on a barbecue chicken pizza might sound enticing, but opt for the more reasonable Capricciosa pizza instead: The pie comes absolutely loaded with artichoke hearts in addition to prosciutto ham, pepperoni and mushrooms.

7929 Emerson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045

7. Mariella's Taco Truck

102nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

To many Angelenos, nothing says “welcome home” like getting some carne asada or al pastor tacos from a taco truck. Tucked away on Aviation Blvd. just south of Century, Mariella’s more traditional meat offerings are piled into a double-dose of soft corn tortillas and are a big hit with the hungry LAX airport staff.

102nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90045

8. El Pollo Grande Restaurant Y Pupuseria

10300 S Inglewood Ave, Inglewood, CA 90304

The restaurant name indicates it serves chicken, but you might want to go straight for the pupusas. The savory Salvadoran pastry is browned perfectly on both sides, and the queso con pollo pupusa elevates the humble disk of dough to a dish at least worth naming your restaurant after.

10300 S Inglewood Ave
Inglewood, CA 90304

9. Sushi Kura

5567 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

In true L.A. fashion, this sushi restaurant is tucked away in a strip mall off Manchester Ave. Expect a pretty wide variety of rolls (some rolls of the “heavily sauced” variety) and extra-thick swaths of tuna, white albacore and salmon sashimi. Don’t skip the freshwater eel hand roll, which comes with a generous helping of the caramelized fish and a dab of masago.

5567 W Manchester Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045

10. Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop

6710 LA Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

If the Googie architecture and classic ‘50s diner aesthetic of Pann’s seems familiar, it’s because it is: the owners of Pann’s Restaurant once owned Holly’s in Hawthorne, the location of the infamous coffee shop scene from Pulp Fiction. What Pann’s lacks in Mexican standoffs and Samuel L. Jackson quoting Bible verses, though, it certainly makes up for in excellent comfort food. With gargantuan ham steaks and fried pork chops served with eggs, breakfast is the meal of choice at Pann’s. If you don’t dig on swine, though, don’t worry: the restaurant also offers a superb plate of fried chicken and waffles.

6710 LA Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

11. Humble Potato

8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

This restaurant pronounces their burgers “hambaga,” and dresses up American fast food fare with a Japanese flair. Expect otaku-friendly décor and dishes like curry French fries, a sukiyaki cheesesteak and the “Battle Royale,” a hamburger (excuse us, “hambaga”) crowned with a fried egg and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese pepper powder.

8321 Lincoln Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

12. Alejo's Presto Trattoria Italian Restaurant

8343 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

For those who just suffered through those minuscule, un-American portions overseas, this oak-adorned trattoria serves up massive portions of their excellent chicken piccata and big, hearty plates of pasta. Diners pack it in to split pizzas heaped with cheese and break up hot rolls to dip in the restaurant’s garlic olive oil.

8343 Lincoln Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

13. Truxtons American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Truxton’s is an American-style bistro famous for their house “monkey bread,” but it’s not the sweet and sticky coffee cake you’re thinking of: Truxton’s monkey bread is actually a cheesy, garlicky vessel of carbohydrate worship accompanied with garlic, ranch and marinara dipping sauces. If you’ve managed to completely block out the images of your disapproving personal trainer/cardiologist, feel free to tuck in to their cookie skillet, a massive cookie a la mode reminiscent of a B.J.’s pizookie.

8611 Truxton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045

14. Courtyard Cafe

8939 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Small, charming and affordable, Courtyard Café offers up a variety of sandwiches priced under ten dollars in addition to a massive Mexican breakfast burrito made with potato, eggs and chorizo. It’s a spot to take food on the go and a great way to thwart the steep prices of the food options inside LAX.

8939 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

15. KC's Crepes Cafe

8320 Lincoln Blvd, #101B, Los Angeles, CA 90045

KC’s Café is more of a Japanese-style creperie and boba spot that takes the paper-thin pancakes with a variety of sweet or savory toppings and rolls them into a handheld package. Though it’s probably not the same experience as eating one in Paris (or Shinjuku, for that matter), the sweeter crepes are a guilty pleasure. Bring cash (credit cards aren’t accepted) and try an azuki (red bean) double cream crepe or the caramel crunch, both of which lend themselves well to one of KC Café’s numerous tea options.

8320 Lincoln Blvd, #101B
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Related Maps

16. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

621 W Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90044

Roscoe’s inclusion on this list might elicit a little controversy, but support of the LA landmark has been bipartisan: former United States Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon were regulars at the restaurant, and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and current leader of the free world Barack Obama have all stopped by for a fix of the odd combination of fried chicken and waffles that Roscoe’s made famous.

621 W Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90044

17. Delta Pride Fish Grill & Southern Cuisine

6081 Center Dr #217, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Southern style fried seafood is surprisingly hard to come by in Los Angeles, but Delta Pride’s specialty is cornmeal breaded fried catfish. Sides can be hit or miss, but the yams, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese are popular options. Portions err on the smaller side, but with food this heavy, that might be a good thing.

6081 Center Dr #217
Los Angeles, CA 90045

18. Aliki's Greek Taverna

5862 Arbor Vitae St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

This old-school Greek diner is almost walking distance from LAX. The family-owned establishment is known for its lamb shanks, gyro wraps and vegetarian options, including a vegetarian pastisio, crunchy falafel and lemon potatoes.

5862 Arbor Vitae St
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Related Maps