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A Terminal-By-Terminal Guide To Eating At LAX

LAX-Umami-02

Airports are magical places. No, not because of the giant flying vehicles that allow people to travel across the world at tremendous speeds. They stopped calling that magic years ago. Rather, it’s that they’re meeting grounds for loved ones and adventure seekers all looking for their place in the world.

However, traveling cannot be done on an empty stomach.

This is why we went through all the terminals at Los Angeles International Airport to find the most delicious and drool-worthy menu items you should try. Whether it’s before boarding or after a long, exhausting flight, the airport dining experience is detrimental. So when there’s good food to be had, you really need to know where to find it.

Also, there’s booze. Booze everywhere.

Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese

LAX-Grilled-Cheese

Who: Ford’s Filling Station

What: With a name like Ford’s Filling Station, you’d better believe travelers will expect to leave with a belly full of fuel. The Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese is a perfect combination of savory…and savory. You’ll probably still feel it resting comfortable in your stomach, miles into the air.

Where: Terminal 5

Spanish Omelet

LAX-Omelet

Who: bld (Breakfast Lunch Dinner)

What: If you’re in the mood for a rustic breakfast, Breakfast Lunch Dinner should do the trick. The Spanish Omelet is stuffed with chorizo, fingerling potatoes, roasted piquillo peppers, paprika, and manchego cheese, and it’s served with herb-roasted potatoes and choice of bread.

Where: Terminal 7

Pastrami Sandwich

LAX-Pastrami

Who: Cole’s

What: Nothing goes better with a nice tall glass of beer like a hearty Pastrami Sandwich. Stacked with a generous amount of cured meat, the sammich is served with a pickle spear bar side.

Where: Terminal 4

Champagne and Caviar

LAX-Caviar

Who: Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar

What: Feeling fancy? You’re already in the international terminal, why not indulge yourselves further with some champagne and caviar? Served with crackers and other hors d’oeuvres, it’ll be a light snack to tide you over until your in-flight meal.

Where: Tom Bradley International Terminal

Macarons

LAX-Macarons

Who: La Provence Patisserie and Cafe

What: If you’re looking for a last-minute gift, look no further than a box of assorted macarons. These colorful pastries, albeit pricey, will definitely bring a smile to the recipient’s face. Or you can just buy a box for yourself and eat them while you’re waiting for luggage.

Where: Terminal 4

Tacos

LAX-Tacos

Who: Loteria! Grill

What: Tacos galore. Perfect for someone looking for a quick, light and savory meal. Includes different styles of pork, beef, chicken and veggies prepared in savory marinades and salsas. Order them in singles, pairs or platters.

Where: Terminal 5

Pizza

LAX-800-Pizza

Who: 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

What: Travelers can choose from a pre-designed pizza, like the classic Margarita, or build their own from 800 Degree’s list of toppings and sauces. Either way, the pizzas should put you in a comfortable slumber for the majority of your flight or the car ride from the airport.

Where: Tom Bradley International Terminal

Veggie Bowls

LAX-Veggie-Bowls

Who: Real Food Daily

What: The LAX and Pasa[dena] Bowls. The Pasa bowl features quinoa, club seitan and mixed veggies over a bed of rice. The LAX Bowl boasts black beans, jalapeño cashew cheese, guacamole and a lime-cilantro dressing over brown rice. A perfect spot for vegetarians, vegans and anyone looking for a healthy meal before flying.

Where: Terminal 4

Lemonade

LAX-Lemonade

Who: Lemonade

What: Lemons. Water. Sugar. Who would have thought that three simple ingredients could become a beverage popular enough to open a restaurant around? With tons of stores all over California, and one in the Middle East, Lemonade is a light pit stop through the terminal. They don’t just have lemonade either, food can also be found.

Where: Terminal 5

LAX Burger (Umami)

LAX-Umami

Who: Umami Burger

What: An Umami Burger with port-caramelized onions and a Stilton blue cheese spread. Greasy, juicy, savory. That’s pretty much all you need to know here.

Where: Tom Bradley International Terminal

Chicken and Waffles

LAX-Chicken-Waffles

Who: Engine Co. No. 28

What: An insanely crispy piece of chicken thrown on top of a savory Belgian waffle. While Engine Co. doses the sucker with a special sausage country gravy, don’t let that deter you from drowning it in maple syrup as well. They also serve some chili that’s pretty fire, although you might want to pass on that if you’re in for a long flight.

Where: Terminal 8

Corned Beef Hash

LAX-Corned-Beef

Who: Campanile

What: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Corned beef hash is one of the most under-appreciated breakfast foods out there. You got your savory potatoes, deliciously salty corned beef and a shamefully yolky poached egg.

Where: Terminal 4

Steak

LAX-Steak-02LAX-Steak-01

Who: B Grill by BOA Steakhouse

What: There’s nothing better than a nice, juicy, well-seasoned steak. If you call yourself steakhouse, you better believe people are you going to expect a great steak. Needless to say, B Grill delivers, even with the high-speed expectations of diners running late for flights. Their BOA Burger is pretty legit, also.

Where: Terminal 7

Breakfast Pizza

LAX-Breakfast-Pizza

Who: Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill

What: Our two favorite foods: breakfast and pizza. Breakfast pizzas will always hold a magical place in our hearts. Sammy’s boasts two morning pies on their menu, one featuring sausage, mushrooms and eggs, and the other, bacon, cheddar and eggs.

Where: Terminal 4

Philly Cheesesteak

LAX-PhillyCheese

Who: Rolling Stone Bar & Grill

What: Comfort food at its finest. Made with marinated beef, sauteed onions and melted provolone, Rolling Stone serves their Philly cheesesteak on a toasted bun topped with diced red and green peppers.

Where: Terminal 7

Cupcakes

LAX-Cupcake

Who: Vanilla Bake Shop

What: Honey-roasted peanuts just can’t satisfy a sweet tooth like a cupcake can. Vanilla Bake Shop pretty much has it all: chocolates, macarons and cupcakes. We recommend trying a red velvet cupcake, or three.

Where: Tom Bradley International Terminal

Kogi Tacos & Quesadilla

LAX-Kogi

Who: Kogi

What: You would think the last place you’d find a Kogi truck would be smack dab in the middle of an airport. Yet, here we are. Nestled in the heart of Terminal 4, Kogi recreated an authentic truck serving the same fusion foods you find on the streets. A wild Roy Choi may occasionally appear.

Where: Terminal 4

The LAX Burger (The Counter)

LAX-Counter

Who: The Counter

What: Yep, another LAX Burger. This burger, however, features quite a few more toppings than its Umami counterpart. Stacked with onion confit, sauteed mushrooms, horseradish aioli and a brioche bun, the burger boasts a hormone- and antibiotic-free beef patty.

Where: Terminal 7

Fish Tacos

LAX-Slapfish-Tacos

Who: Slapfish

What: A cajun rubbed fish taco for those craving some seafood before some quick globe-trotting. The tacos are topped with cabbage and a tangy tartar sauce. Though if you’re gonna cross the ocean, you might want to ease up on that sauce.

Where: Terminal 2

Stinky Fries

LAX-Sea-Legs-Fries

Who: Sea Legs

What: Fries drenched in a three-cheese garlic fondue. It’s topped with shaved parmesan and truffle oil. Just remember to pop a mint before boarding, cause you’ll probably devour these.

Where: Terminal 2

The LAXisHappening website also features terminal-specfic information on all the restaurants availibable at whatever terminal you’re in.

Photos by Peter Pham. Cover image photographed by Brian Yamamoto

By Peter Pham

Pete's favorite foods include pizza, tacos and pretty much any kind of breakfast. He'll usually snap a photo or two while his food cools down.

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