Encounter Restaurant, Theme Building, LAX


It was a Southern California picture perfect afternoon. The views from a nearly 360-degree vantage point were breathtaking, and my Macallan 12 hit the spot perfectly. In this “Jetsons meet the Starship Enterprise” setting, we see an entire panorama of the greater LA area – the Hills of Beverly, Palos Verdes, Hollywood, and Malibu, the high rise buildings in downtown LA, Century City and West Hollywood (including the famed Hollywood Sign), and the Santa Monica Mountains. Adding excitement to the view was the constant arrivals and departures of planes – private, corporate, regional, national and international. At the bar, several of us agreed that it is just impossible for a 747 to fly. How can something that big effortlessly float like a feather in its final approach to the runway? It was easier to contemplate how the lava lamps worked!
The Theme Building, built in 1961, is located in the center of Los Angeles International Airport. It was part of the “Los Angeles Jet Age Terminal Construction Project”, bringing LAX into the Jet Age. Encounter Restaurant opened in 1997. Both the restaurant and the building have just undergone a total renovation and are more sleek than ever. The distinctive parabolic arches that support the structure are 135 feet high. Walt Disney Imagineering designed the restaurant’s interior and spectacular exterior lighting.

The selection of single malts is modest, in favor of a greater selection of vodkas and tequilas, but more than made up for by the setting and the view.

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