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A lip-smacking LAX

When it comes to gourmet airport dining, LAX is a little late to the table. Milan’s Linate International Airport is known for offering superb prosciutto. British chef Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food is considered one of the highlights of Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow. And JetBlue’s terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport has been called “the holy grail of American airport dining.” But hey, better late than never. We heartily endorse the Board of Airport Commissioners’ plans to upgrade the grub at Los Angeles International.

LAX is the third-busiest commercial airport in the country, but many travelers list it among the less appealing, especially regarding the mediocre food. On the Like Me/Daily blog it appears as one of the world’s four Worst Airports for Getting Stranded, with the observation that there are “lines of people everywhere for the boring food options with limited seating. And if you’re over the two California Pizza Kitchens, three Burger Kings and four McDonald’s there is always the eight Starbucks.” (The reviewers obviously haven’t been to Iraq or Albania if they think LAX is intolerable, but point well taken nevertheless.)

Few people enjoy cooling their heels in an airport terminal, and yet our experience suggests that unpredictable security lines and flight delays result in travelers spending more time there. That and the fact that airlines no longer serve meals on most flights, and a ban on bring-your-own liquids anywhere near the gate, means that like it or not, passengers are filling themselves up at the airport. So why not offer them good food for the outlandish prices they’re already paying?

According to The Times’ story last week, bidders for LAX space include Nancy Silverton of Mozza fame, and such L.A. institutions as Bertha’s Soul Food. Even Father Gregory Boyle’s Homeboy Industries has made a pitch to join Wolfgang Puck and the few other locals already there. This a great opportunity to promote L.A.'s vast array of ethnic and California cuisine, while making air travel just a little bit more palatable.

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