LAX's sky-high Encounter restaurant closes

By David Flynn, January 9 2014
LAX's sky-high Encounter restaurant closes

Every traveller shuttling in and out of LAX is familiar with the airport's iconic Theme Building, even if they don't know it by name.

It's that futuristic low-rise tower clad in white concrete and crowned by four parabolic arches which looks like something out of The Jetsons.

And if it's eye-catching by day it's even better at night, lit up in cool purples and blues.

But the Theme Building has lost one of its lesser-known attractions with the closure of the Encounter restaurant.

Nestled inside the building's 'flying saucer', Encounter has fallen victim to changing times.

Not only does Los Angeles International Airport boast a greater variety of dining, but tighter airport security has led to shorter transit times for passengers who may previously have ducked out of the airport for a meal and a drink before their flight home.

"The problem is, it was built when bringing your family out to have dinner and watch the airplanes was a cool thing to do" explains L.A. World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey, who added that "passengers (now) won't leave the terminals to have dinner there because it's unpredictable how long it'll take them to get through security again."

Will another up-market restaurant or bar take over where Encounter left off?

The fate of this space rests with Westfield – yes, the Australian-based shopping centre company, which as part of its global expansion operates retail space at LAX, which is no doubt looking at every option.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 465

Sad to here.a good quality optioned is needed as everything else in this airport is crappy.That said the former was a better hangout than most all us airline lounges. 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 650

sadly a sign of the times... hopefully this icon of LAX  can reinvent itself to attract a clientelle to stay as a dining establishment... i think the main issue is LAX is a bugger for 'non travellers' ... anyone (family/friends etc)  that need to take 'flyers' to the airport just wanna 'drop em off/pick em up  and get out'!!

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 650

add on...if this building/restaurant was in an oz airport..i reckon it it would be way more popular..just my opinion...

09 Jan 2014

Total posts 3

Too bad to hear that. The restaurant was great. I like the ambiance, service as well as their food.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 107

Always get a nice cold Arnold Palmer from encounter. I take it the staff resturant will be going as well

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