Fly&Dine Lounge Review: oneworld First Class Lounge at LAX

Posted in At the Terminal, Domestic US, LAX

Get ready for a TON of coverage about my trip to Hong Kong!

One of the perks of being a guest of Cathay Pacific is that despite the fact that I was flying Premium Economy (more on that later), I was invited to experience the oneworld First Class Lounge at LAX. When I checked in, the agent told me she had a special surprise for me. I was crossing my fingers for an upgrade, but the surprise was a Wonka-esque Golden Ticket (white, really) to the First Class Lounge. Don’t mind if I do…

The lounge itself was smaller than I expected. It actually reminded me of the classic “railroad apartment” layout so-named because they resemble a railroad passenger car. Like the apartments, this lounge was long but not wide with plenty of seating throughout and a nice communal seating strip directly across from the bar. As I always do, I took a bit of a tour of the food and beverage offerings and this is what I found:

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Mid-level liquor offerings.

The beverage program was fairly standard. A variety of decent wines and spirits that wouldn’t quite qualify as top shelf, but serviceable nonetheless.

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Surprisingly nice selection of salads and veg.

If you’re in the market for a healthy snack before your flight, the oneworld First Class Lounge has you covered. The description cards undersell the selection, but you’ve got your choice of the listed carrots, celery, mixed green salad, spinach dip, and fruit along with adorable little tea sandwiches, olives, and a surprisingly sophisticated lentil salad with goat cheese, pepitas, and what I think is sweet potato (I forgot to take a note on this and my memory isn’t helping much). Here’s the spread:

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The salad spread.

The hot items were a little less successful, but by no means disappointing. With a buffet-style lounge setting, you want food that’s going to stay flavorful even after sitting for a while and that means pastas and braises — basically, food that won’t dry out quickly. The options on the night I visited were chicken cacciatore and creamy penne with mushrooms with roasted tomato soup, “fragrant” rice, and assorted vegetables serving as side dishes.

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Pardon the blurry shot…

The chicken cacciatore was a miss, but the creamy penne with mushrooms was quite good despite the pasta being overcooked (which I don’t fault them for in this kind of setting). It had a nice cheesy/salty bite to it and, if my flight wasn’t leaving after midnight, I would have indulged in a full plate to fill my belly. At the late hour though, I didn’t want something quite so heavy. Ironically, these dishes were replaced with a heaping pile of mac and cheese (the photo at the top of the post) that had a rosemary undertone to it. I took one bite and realized that if I had more, I would have fallen asleep before my plane even left, so I abstained. I enjoyed it, though.

Overall, I thought the lounge was nice although perhaps not what I expected from a more-elite first class offering. Luckily, Qantas is getting ready to open up their completely renovated premium lounges soon and those will be open to oneworld elite flyers with all kinds of new bells and whistles.

 

Comments

  1. Bloggers who accept junkets are unable to provide objective reporting. This blog may as well be an advert. For this reason, I won’t be visiting this blog again and encourage others to follow bloggers who don’t accept freebies.

    • Your comment is asinine and uninformed. I take comps because I don’t have an expense budget to report on things like flights to Hong Kong and stays at the Four Seasons and the InterContinental without accepting them. To say that anyone who accepts a comped experience is incapable of providing objective reporting is a false statement. I take my integrity extremely seriously and make it clear to everyone I work with that my acceptance of a free experience in no way guarantees coverage. As a respected journalist (not just “a blogger” as you charge), this is merely the way the industry has developed. It would be one thing if I didn’t disclose that the trip is being underwritten by somebody other than myself, but I’m completely upfront about that fact. Feel free to stop reading, but please know that my reviews and coverage are unbiased and accurate based on my experience. If I could be bought, don’t you think the lounge review that you’re commenting upon (that I doubt you read in its entirety) would be glowing about everything? By virtue of the mixed review, I think I’ve substantiated my claim.

      If anybody else would like to discuss my editorial policies, please email me at flyanddine@gmail.com instead of leaving an anonymous comment like a coward. I welcome the discussion and, as always, thanks for reading.

  2. its common for companies to provide samples/trials/prototypes to reviewers, its all over the web, tech blogs, YouTube, Amazon, travel blogs.we dont question those freebies caused biased reviews.
    Nuf said, not gonna waste more of my time.

  3. Jason – I agree with you regarding Critic’s comment (April 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm) but it is unlikely I’ll be coming back to you to read your blog because it is just not as good/interesting as Lucky’s or even that jerk, Gary, from View from the Wing. If it is any consolation, IMO, many of the blogs here are not up to their standard in the entertainment & informative levels.

  4. I find Jason’s review spot on, ( not biases) I’ve been to the lax One world lounge several times, nothing spectacular , but still nice to be away from the masses.

    I await the rest of his trip report,

  5. JUST FOUND YOUR BLOG ANDENJOY YOUR REPORTS……….WILL BE TAKING CX F TO HKG IN SEPTEMEBR…. WHEN IS THE QF LOUNGE SET TO OPEN AT LAX……ALSO UNDERSTAND CX IS MAKING CHANGES WITH MENU OFFERINGS IN F……ANY UPDATE…SORRY TO SEE THE 747 PHASED OUT….PLEASE EMAIL NEW POSTS…..THANKS J CURRIE LAGUNA BEACH CA USA

    • Thanks for reading! QF Lounge was supposed to open in April, but has been delayed. So official opening date yet, but if I had to guess I’d say June.

      In terms of the on-board catering, F passengers will now be getting a personal tin of caviar instead of the Balik salmon. Flights to/from Shanghai and Beijing are getting new entrees, too, but no word yet on flights from the US. I actually have some insider info that starting this Fall, you can expect a collaboration with one of Hong Kong’s most iconic hotels for a new level of F cuisine.

      Hope you have a great trip and check out all of my Hong Kong coverage when you get a chance.

  6. Just started reading your reports. You write very well. Please keep it up. (Some people are just stupid – ignore them). I’m flying biz on BA from LAX to LHR then to FCO in October. I may have to get the Petrossian picnic pack to take on board 🙂 I haven’t flown out of LAX in ages. I fly out of PSP which is 10 minutes from home. Any tips on navigating/surviving LAX?

    • Thanks for reading, John! Glad to have you on-board (pun very much intended). If you haven’t flown out of LAX in a while, you’re in for a shock. The Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) looks COMPLETELY different. The Petrossian picnic is a good way to go if you’re down with spending major $$$, but if you want something cheaper, I’d hit up inksack or Larder at Tavern for a sandwich or 800 Degrees for a very quick pizza. They’re all local LA favorites and you really can’t go wrong. If you’re feeling sushi, there’s Luckyfish and if you want to grab a burger, Umami is a good bet although I can’t get behind their ridiculous “no substitutions” policy.

      One thing to keep in mind about TBIT: it’s enormous. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your gate. Security also tends to take a while. Hope you enjoy the airport!

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