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L.A.'s top chefs want change food at LAX

July 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles International Airport ranks nineteenth out of 20 of the largest airports in terms of airport quality. One survey gives the fast food at the airport just two out of five stars. That's sparked a food fight of sorts between some popular L.A. eateries and the existing restaurants LAX.

At a protest at LAX on Thursday, a group of travelers were hoping their message would be heard -- get good cheap food before a flight.

Airport dining isn't always a pleasurable experience, but some Los Angeles eateries want to change that.

"As you can see this is many chefs and restaurateurs all of us very hands on who've been in the restaurant business in L.A. area for 20 to 30 years," said Susan Feniger of Border Grill.

A group known as SSP America along with 20 L.A. eateries want to represent cuisine at LAX.

"We have some of the best food that the city of Los Angeles has to offer," said Rod White of Bertha's Soul Food. "All courtesy of some of the finest and most famous world renowned master chefs."

Patina, Border Grill, M Cafe are some of L.A. notables, along with chains like Panda Express and Red Mango.

Five different proposals were reviewed over the last year, a process fraught with political controversy. Currently the SSP America group holds first place.

"At this point we've been referred to the Board of Referred Powers which is a special committee for the City Council," said Pat Murray of SSP America. "Our group was chosen by their selection panel and is a part of the normal city due process, has to then be subsequently approved by the City Council and then the mayor."

The group held an "Eat In" at Patina complete with bite size samples of things to come. If they get full approval they hope to begin construction in January.

"Let's give them something to talk about," said White.

Partners with SSP America for the airport service include:

  • Nick & Stef's Steakhouse
  • Market Café
  • Border Grill Taqueria
  • Panda Express
  • Geisha House from the Dolce Restaurant Group
  • Spuntino from Nancy Silverton of Michael's, Spago, Mozza and La Brea Bakery
  • M Café from the Chaya Restaurant Group
  • 25 Degrees from the Domaine Restaurant Group
  • La Serenata de Garibaldi
  • Bertha's Soul Food
  • Red Mango
  • Park's Korean BBQ
  • Buttercake Bakery
  • Groundwork Coffee
  • Lamill Coffee
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea

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