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“Great Meal, Spectacular View, Iconic Building”
Review of Encounter - CLOSED

Encounter
Price range: $0 - $32
Cuisines: Asian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Having been assigned to an office at LAX in the early 1970s while in the Air Force, I often noticed the landmark structure in a "flying saucer" motif in the center of of the terminal area adjacent to the control tower known as the Theme Building. But I didn't have the resources then to patronize it. On a recent trip through LAX I had a four hour layover for a connecting flight and decided to have lunch at the Encounter, the restaurant that has occupied the Theme Building since 1998. What a great experience! It was an especially clear winter day so the views of the airport and Los Angeles Basin were spectacular from my table next to the huge picture windows. It was great fun watching planes from all over the world landing and taking off. I enjoyed a wonderful cob salad for lunch. Service was great. Prices were on the high side but not completely out of line and somewhat expected given the unique location, etc. The restaurant is decorated in a "space alien" motif which fits in perfectly with the "Mid- Century Modern, Googie architecture of the Theme Building.

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1  Thank Doug085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (101)
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26 - 30 of 101 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2013

OK, the idea of the restaurant is cute. But to be honest, not even the decor is particularly special. If you are really keen to watch planes taxi between flights, order a drink -- and a drink only! I made the mistake of taking the server's recommendation for the lamb -- $29 -- which I ordered medium rare. It arrived a deep brown -- well done to say the least. When I told the server I didn't have time to await a new portion (between flights) she apologized and said she'd make sure that the meal was discounted to compensate for the main course disaster. To my shock, the "discount" was a miserly 20% -- not even the value of my glass of wine. Stay away -- this place pretends to be a good restaurant, but is a dive.

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1  Thank vancouverandtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

In LA for work and didn't want to eat at the hotel. Great service and great views. The elevator was an experience all by it's self! FYI....the elevator button is in the middle on the wall - not the place you would think the button would be - I had to ask a lady passing by "How do you get to the restaurant?" You get in the little dark elevator and the door shuts and then loud weird music starts to play and when you get to the top the music turns off and the door opens to the hostess to seat you. Pretty night time views and fun watching the planes coming in.

Meal cost me $50 (only me) Wild Mushroom Pasta, Salad, Bread, Coke, Cheesecake and Coffee in Jan. 2013

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1  Thank LundyLune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Great drink pricing - with specials daily. LONG TERM staff that knows their job and find a nice balance between familiarity and professionalism. Good place to watch a game and we actually ate two meals there during our stay!

1  Thank Aaron A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

Encounter Restaurant and bar sits in the old traffic control tower in the middle of LAX. You have to dodge taxis, cars and buses to get to the mid-airport location, but if you're feeling weird, it's worth it. It won't be the best place you've visited in LA, but it might be the best at LAX.

With a firm nod to the 60s and campy science fiction, it's an experiment in what's possible with a crumbling relic.

Try it. If you have to wait somewhere, this is a good choice.

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2  Thank Gordius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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