Los Angeles is a world-class city for food, but the plethora of eating options so plentiful in the city was woefully absent at the Los Angeles International Airport for most of our collective memory. It's taken several multi-million dollar renovations for most of the terminals to catch up, and a couple of terminals are still waiting for a restaurant overhaul. Here are our picks for some decent and sometimes even delicious grub at LAX that showcase the eclectic food of L.A., terminal by terminal.Tom Bradley International Terminal
This sandwich counter ticks off all the boxes of a truly L.A. dining experience: reality food show celebrity owner (Michael Voltaggio), on-trend ingredients (spicy miso and Sriracha mayo), and ironic artisan junk food (house-made Oreos). Despite all that, the sandwiches, like the Jose Andres filled with Serrano ham, chorizo, and manchego cheese, are seriously good and great value.
We love the Neapolitan-style pizza at the original Westwood location, so why wouldn't we love it at LAX? You choose the toppings at the counter and ten minutes later, you get a pizza made with fresh, quality ingredients that's just been blasted in a wood-burning oven to get that thin, bubbly crust.
Terminal 1 lacks the luster of Tom Bradley International, and until they start renovations at this wing in the near future, the California pizza concept chain will have to do.
Nate 'n Al
This outpost of the historic Beverly Hills delicatessen serves up corned beef, pastrami, and lox sandwiches. Morning travelers with plenty of time can sit down and leisurely order one of the breakfast options, like the omelet, corned beef hash, or eggs cooked to order.
Wolfgang Puck Express
The Austrian chef's take on pastas, soups, and light meat dishes are now ubiquitous across U.S. airports, but it all started in L.A. He continues to build his empire with the recent opening of an outpost at Terminal 7.
Gladstone's 4 Fish Restaurant
Besides seafood options like fish tacos, fried calamari and clam chowder, this extension of the PCH-based restaurant also serves big, fillings salads, like the lox box and Cobb.
Homeboy Cafe & Bakery
Sandwiches, wraps, and baked goods are served at this worthy non-profit enterprise that supports former gang members by giving them on-the-job training at the downtown facility.
Real Food Daily
This is where vegans, macrobiotic dieters and juice fasters congregate. Tempeh bacon, brown rice bowls, and liquidized fruits and vegetables make this a place a haven for people with highly specialized eating regimes.
It's a beautiful thing that the Farmers' Market stand is open at LAX. Travelers can get a fix of great Mexican food before their flight with menu items like the mole poblanos burrito, chilaquiles, and ceviche.
This Southern California chain has a spa-food quality to its offerings: fresh kale salad and warming vegetarian chili are some of the healthful options here.
Ford's Filling Station
The original Culver City location may be gone, but the gastropub lives on at this LAX incarnation. They serve a tender pulled pork sandwich here, as well as the signature Bloody Mary topped with a piece of bacon.
Redondo Beach Brewing Co.
The bar features several craft beers on tap including Golden Road and Blue Moon, which is about the best you can expect at this terminal for now.
B Grill by BOA Steakhouse
Eat a leisurely meal here (the breakfasts are pretty stellar), but if you're short on time, the sandwiches and salads are attractively boxed up to take onto your flight.
Lunch and dinner are covered (usually in the form of a sandwich or salad), but their breakfasts, like the blueberry pancakes and fried egg sandwiches, are our favorite. There are also gluten-free options.
This counter offers great coffee service in a sea of bad coffee chains. That is all you really need to know.
Engine Co. No. 28
The restaurant's hearty meatloaf sandwich is so beloved that their recipe is heavily circulated around the Internet. You can try the airport version of this American classic and decide if it holds up to the downtown original.
Looking for some lighter fare? This little outpost of the Santa Monica café chain serves wraps, baked goods, and a few hot options.