Takeoff Tacos

I wait in the OneWorld lounge at the international terminal at LAX (status has its perks) and I can’t help but notice I’m enjoying the food. There’s the expected spread of fruits, some buffet salads and sides, a vegetarian pasta and some kind of Indian chicken dish which is tender and well cooked, but a little boring. Of course there’s all the top-shelf bourbon you can drink.

But what stands out is a quintessential LA treat. They operate a taco stand, inside the lounge! Options are limited, chicken quesadillas and beef tacos, but hey, this beats a generic burger or dry grilled chicken breast. I grabbed two tacos. Sadly, the cart is freestanding so the tortillas aren’t freshly grilled, and to appeal to the bland international traveler’s expectations, they use flour instead of corn. But the meat is well seasoned and very tender. Topped with a black bean and corn salsa, some slaw, a hit of sour cream, and several shakes of chipotle tabasco and you’re served up with the closest thing to “real” Mexican food that you’re likely to find inside the sterile confines of the airport terminal.

A last taste of home

It’s been a while – so let’s pick things up as I sit in the terminal waiting for my flight. Recently LAX built a whole new international terminal with a pleathora of flagship dining options. We opted for Umami Burger, that SoCal chain that gets even more rabid fan frothing than In N Out. 

While the choices are limited, the definitely hold up to their equivalents at full locations, although u was surprised they didn’t carry the signature namesake Umami Burger. So instead I took my second favorite, the Manly Burger with loads of beer cheddar and bacon. Pearl went with my second fav, the Hatch Burger with a grilled Hatch chile pepper.

While the cool wrapper was a neat touch, the selection was sad, and they were out of key ingredients for the location-signature “LAX Burger” with port onions and Stilton Blue. Worst of all was the lack of the usual extravagent beer selection. We were limited to 4 domestic macrobrews 🙁

All in all a little disappointing for those familiar with Umami, but still a fantastic option for terminal dining.