The Proud Bird
11022 Aviation Blvd. (on LAX property, near the intersection of the 105 and 405 freeways)
Los Angeles, CA 90045
11-8 Mon-Sat, 9-8 Sun
Website link in the first paragraph
From the moment you get here, you can tell that this is a restaurant designed for airplane geeks. Even the parking lot is full of old military planes.
The inside of the restaurant also has several photo exhibits chronicling both LA-area and U.S. aviation history.
My one big complaint about this place is that they attach a 15% surcharge to your bill, ostensibly because of LAX's "living wage" ordinance. I find this practice of levying a surcharge in lieu of raising menu prices dishonest, and I generally boycott establishments that do this, though I had to make an exception in this case. What bothered me more, though, were the rather obnoxious (and repeated) reminders that this surcharge wasn't a gratuity, and that an additional gratuity was expected (the server even made sure to circle this on the check). I thought the point of paying servers a proper wage was so that you wouldn't have to tip, like in Europe?
Anyway, we spent a few minutes afterwards walking around the open-air airplane museum in the back of the restaurant. They have a pretty cool collection, if you're in to that sort of thing.
The restaurant is located perpendicular to one of LAX's main landing paths, so if plane watching is your thing, you can get some great photos on a clear day. First on tap today was U.S. Airways...
The VerdictThe food was pretty good, but really, you come here for the experience more than anything else. This is an especially good place to bring the kids, number one because they have plenty of place to run around, and number two, the airplanes provide a good distraction if your kids like airplanes. I dock them half a star for their surcharge policy, though.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars