LAX: Another restaurant may open at Theme Building, but it probably won’t happen soon

If you want to see the view from the LAX theme building, you'll have to check it out from the observation deck, open Saturdays and Sundays.

If you want to see the view from the LAX theme building, you’ll have to check it out from the observation deck shown here, open Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant in the building is now closed. Photo: Katie Murphy.

If you were hoping the Encounter restaurant atop the LAX theme building would reopen soon under a new name, I have some bad news for you.

According to airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles, Westfield, a major company handling concessions at the airport, declined to take over the restaurant space when competitor Delaware North closed the place at the end of December. Westfield would have been the logical choice.

The space formerly operated by the Encounter offers some of the best airfield views you’ll see anywhere. The problem is that the food never was very good, and the place was difficult to get to. It was also last renovated almost 20 years ago, so whoever operates it next — assuming someone takes over — will have to do a lot of work.

Here’s what Castles wrote when I asked for an update.

Following Westfield’s decision to decline the opportunity to develop the concession space in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Theme Building, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) will explore future development options. LAWA is currently in discussion with other concession operators who have shown interest in the space, and is considering several options.

The good news is that there is an outdoor viewing area above the restaurant. It is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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  • Gary Leff

    It’s great that it won’t be Encounter in that space anymore. It’s sad that we don’t have anyone in that space anymore. Class example of ‘the views are great, the food is not.’ I’d rather watch planes land outside of the In ‘n Out than eat at Encounter…