Encounter

Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday proved to be as delightful as the rest of the week had been.  The temperature dropped but the sky was blue, I had another great meeting with some kindred spirits and hooked up with friends new and old.  I bid a fond farewell to the city and headed to the airport.

And I made a rookie mistake.  I didn’t bother to make sure that my flight was on time when I left for the airport, so I dropped off my rental car and made my way to an empty departure lounge where I realized my flight was fully two hours behind schedule.  LAX, unlike many airports, is NOT in the middle of nowhere but I had my flight case with me and there are no lockers on the premises. It just wasn’t practical to hop a bus to the nearby Marina to kill some time, but I did give the idea pause.  I ended up doing laps around the airport and then taking myself for a time wasting lemonade adventure to the restaurant that lies in the heart of the airport complex.

You may have seen photos of Encounter as it looms, Triffid-like,  over the terminals.

The cosmos theme is very much continued in the interior.  You start your adventure by entering a tiny elevator that cues eerie space music (or what passed for it and now sounds like a really stretched audio cassette) and ride up to the top.  The view is pretty good if you like looking at runways and the mountains that you could have been driving through had you the foresight to check your flight details.

The proprietors have resisted the urge to carry the theme to the menu – I had a berry salad and a lemonade that were thus named as a opposed to something like a “Moonberry green garden with alien sputem sauce”, but the kitsch continued to the decor which I suspect had not been modified since the early 80s.

The bathroom was fabulous.

All in all it wasn’t a bad place to spend an otherwise unclaimed hour.  The food was passable, it wasn’t the departure lounge of an international airport and the possibility of an abduction seemed positively ripe.  Still, I will endeavor not to make the same mistake again.  It is hard to stomach that you are looking at this:

When with a simple phone call or web surf you could be looking at this:

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