No Nick & Stef's, La Serenata For LAX Food Choices: Boring, High School Cafeteria-Like Restaurants Win For Now

A world class city deserves world-class food at its international airport, right? After all, LAX saw nearly 7.8 million international passenger arrivals through June of this year. What kind of cuisine to they see, smell and taste? Burger King, Chili's and Cinnabon, to name a few.

Embarrassing? A little. And the Board of Referred Powers, a five-member panel made up of City Council members, had a chance to make it right by approving a bid by SSP America that would have allowed more foodie like ventures, including Nick & Stef's Steakhouse, Market Cafe, Geisha House, Panda Express, La Serenata de Garibaldi, Red Mango, Park's Korean BBQ, Peet's Coffee, Border Grill Taqueria and Spuntino, to hold court in LAX's terminals. The body voted SSP down, leaving the status quo at LAX for now.

As LA Weekly food blog editor Amy Scattergood notes, "Nick & Stef's and Market Cafe are Joachim Splichal restaurants, and that Spuntino is Nancy Silverton's proposed focaccia shop."

We're talking star chefs here. Bon appetit right?

Apparently not for the board's palette, which prefers that the generic-sounding HMS Host keeps the $600 million-a-decade or so worth of LAX concessions for now.

Interestingly the move was made under the guise of avoiding a conflict of interest. As LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus reported previously, LAX Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey recommended a no vote on SSP over concerns that it "had worked with an architecture company called SmartDesign, and since Smart Design had also helped LAX design the request for bids, that should eliminate SSP from the running," according to Maddaus.

We're having a hard time swallowing it. All we want is decent food at LAX. Yeah?


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