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LAX Revamps Airport Dining With Hot New Chef-Inspired Eateries

Tanaya Ghosh |
December 6, 2012 | 10:14 p.m. PST

Food Editor

A slew of hot new restaurants will be joining the Encounter Restaurant at LAX. (Flickr)
A slew of hot new restaurants will be joining the Encounter Restaurant at LAX. (Flickr)
When you hear LAX, many things come to mind, but fine dining is definitely not one of them.

That's about to change, thanks to an effort to bring higher-level, chef-inspired cuisine to the Los Angeles airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal thanks to an $80 million dining and retail investment from Westfield and its partners.

Accordng to Eater, the terminal "has secured partnerships to bring in ('Top Chef' winner) Michael Voltaggio's popular sandwich seller ink.sack, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's Border Grill, an Umami Burger, a LAMILL coffee shop, (and) yet another outlet for Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's Larder at Tavern...."

Other drool-worthy excuses to book a plane ticket overseas include the popular Westwood pizzeria 800 Degrees, III Forks' steaks, Chaya, Lucky Fish by Sushi Roku, and James' Beach.

Satisfying the jet setter's sweet tooth will be Amy Pressman and Nancy Silverton's Short Cake as well as cupcakes and such from Vanilla Bake Shop.

Petrossian will fulfill travelers' caviar needs, while Vino Volo's wine shop might just be the perfect solution for those who could use a drink before boarding the plane.

Additionally, LAX will be boasting "one of the first Starbucks Evenings locations." What this means, essentially, is that these new types of Starbucks will also be offering wine after 4 p.m. So, luckily for the wanderlust-stricken, they can not only see the world, but will also have the privilege of being one of the first to sip wine from a globally popular coffee chain.

Joining the impressive lineup, Marmalade Café, Pinkberry, Cantina Laredo, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Drink.LA, Scoreboard LA, Panda Express, and a regular ol' Starbucks Coffee will fill out the rest of the food vendor spaces at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

When will these ambitious dreams become reality, you ask? LAX expects phase one of the project to launch in spring 2013, while the second phase should be completed in 2014.

It seems that most can agree that the end product will be a welcome upgrade to the overall reception most people get when they land at the less-than-awe-inspiring terminal at present. Luckily, it looks promising that all that is about to change, at least for travelers' taste buds.

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