Make a Mid-Century Modern Dream of a Long LAX Layover
Layovers are really what you make of them. Either they're spent draining your phone battery while scrolling through your Twitter feed, or they can be filled with the adventure of exploring a new airport and making the most of a few hours before your next flight.
We recently faced this very dilemma at Los Angeles International Airport to the tune of about 7 hours, so after checking-in for our next flight we headed to the iconic Theme Building in the middle of the terminals.
If you've flown into LAX or even just seen photos of the terminals, then you've likely spotted this spaceship-like building keeping a watchful eye on the airplanes and gates. Originally built in 1961, the mid-century modern design is a throw back to the glamor days of travel, but it's practical as well, featuring an observation deck to give travelers a 360-degree view of the entire airport. Inside the building is a restaurant, Encounter at LAX, but the hours of the outdoor deck are limited to the weekends.
The restaurant offers up a neo-futuristic design (custom lava lamps!) with an inter-galactic theme. We scored a table by the window overlooking the gates between Terminals 1 and 2 and had prime plane spotting views for some international departures. Sipping on a 'Jet Set' martini (what else would we drink?) is our recommended way to pass time, as the food isn't much to write home about.
On the way out of the building, be sure to stop by the September 11 Memorial on the ground floor. It blends into the design of the LA cultural and historical monument structure, and pays appropriate homage to those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
A bird's eye view of the 9-11 Memorial from the restaurant