We decided to go a little early to check out one LAX landmark that we had never been to ..... the Encounter Restaurant in the iconic theme building at the center of the LAX property.
It's pretty simple to find , we walked over from the parking structure opposite Terminal 2 and in a couple of minutes, we were heading up in the SMALL elevator (max. capacity = 5) to the 2nd Floor.
On the way up, the piped in music in the elevator sounded like something out of a Star Trek movie ..... we weren't planning "to boldly go where no man has gone before" ...... The decor of the restaurant is in line with the space age, futuristic design of the building, sort of like we had walked into an episode of The Jetsons (including a few lava lamps, actually working !!).
We only had time for drinks prior to my sister's arrival time, so we sat at the bar and watched a few planes land while Paula sipped on an apple martini, and a Sprite for me (designated driver). We did peek at the menu, most entrees are $20-$30, which seemed a little pricey for the venue, but you DO have a marvelous view if you choose to have dinner.
Recently I spotted an article in the Los Angeles Times that the Observation Deck (one level above the restaurant) has just completed a significant renovation and would be re-opening to the public, on a limited basis, on 7/10/10. I'm sure the views from one deck up would be even more spectacular than those from the restaurant.
All in all, not a bad place to hang out if you need to kill some time at LAX ............ or if you just like to watch planes come and go !!