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Guide to Flagship First Dining at LAX / Los Angeles

Guide to Flagship First Dining at LAX / Los Angeles

Old Mar 20, 18, 9:33 pm
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LAX Flagship First Dining... OK, help needed in the kitchen

Had my first visit to LAX FFD yesterday before my LAX-JFK flight. Love the period celebrity photos that line the hallway to Flagship First Dining. Very cool.



Nice first impression with an attractive bar and communal work table.









Sadly, no booths like JFK... just a number of tables and lots of thick partitions. And two tops squeezed against said partitions. The open layout of JFK is much more attractive.



More two tops jammed against the wall. With the good seats by the window too hot to use in the morning sun...and it's only March.



Since I arrived at breakfast time... the Breakfast Menu.



Service was pleasant and well intentioned... but I'd characterize it as adequate as opposed to the typically excellent service at JFK.



I ordered the Steak, Eggs, Frites which sounded great.
But uh-oh, that sure doesn't look very appetizing. Seriously? What chef in his right mind would like think this looks good??
And where is the Steak? Or the Frites?



OMG, this was disgusting. The only part I ate were the eggs, but only after brushing off the sauce. The "short ribs" were just plain gross and inedible.
And the "crispy potatoes" weren't even close to crispy. They were soft and mushy... just like you'd get them with an inflight meal.
I'm betting that the kitchen made a big batch early in the morning and then just served all morning from that.



I sent it back... but with time running out, ordered the House-made Toasted Coconut Granola with apricot guava compote and Greek yogurt.
OK, I sure didn't see any granola as this was basically a smoothie. Jeez.



OK, not a good first First Dining impression although the bar area is probably the nicest part of the lounge and a welcome calm from the regular Lounge. But what is with the food? Maybe it was the B team in the kitchen for breakfast and maybe it's all still new and a work in progress. Hopefully, the All Day menu is better... or it's back to the QF lounge.
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Last edited by JDiver; Mar 22, 18 at 2:10 pm Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Mar 20, 18, 10:16 pm
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You just took one for the team......
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Old Mar 20, 18, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
But what is with the food? Maybe it was the B team in the kitchen for breakfast and maybe it's all still new and a work in progress. Hopefully, the All Day menu is better... or it's back to the QF lounge.
Flagship Dining may be new, but the finite space of T4 has remained the same. There is simply no way for AA to build a real kitchen there. Other than a butane camp stove for the omelet, your meal was likely prepared by Gate Gourmet (?) offsite, and then reheated and plated in the closet behind you. In essence you were served an airline meal, just with heavier dinnerware and on a actual table. By contrast, there's actual cooking in the QF F lounge. You can tell the difference.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
Flagship Dining may be new, but the finite space of T4 has remained the same. There is simply no way for AA to build a real kitchen there. Other than a butane camp stove for the omelet, your meal was likely prepared by Gate Gourmet (?) offsite, and then reheated and plated in the closet behind you. In essence you were served an airline meal, just with heavier dinnerware and on a actual table. By contrast, there's actual cooking in the QF F lounge. You can tell the difference.
OK, well that would definitely explain it. AAirplane food in First Dining. LOL. #GoingForGreat once again.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post

what the hell is that?
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Old Mar 21, 18, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
what the hell is that?

Tijuana Surprise?
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:23 am
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I've spent about 8 hours in there over the last month on a couple of long connections. The team there indicate to me they are employed by food service provider Sodexo. They aren't AA employees.

The bar area is nice, but I would honestly prefer if they took out the long table and added lounge chairs. The way they have it configured now, the assumption is there will be lots of diners (there aren't) and you'll eat there and then return to the Flagship Lounge. I won't - it's too crowded.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:24 am
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I thought Sodexho had the contract to manage food service in the lounges?
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Old Mar 21, 18, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by YtravelF View Post
I thought Sodexho had the contract to manage food service in the lounges?
From the look at that food I'd say it's more LA County Dept of Corrections.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
From the look at that food I'd say it's more LA County Dept of Corrections.
Not far off, I suppose -- doesn't Sodexo also do hospital food?
That stuff looks terrible compared to JFK. Honestly looks bad compared to JFK's regular Flagship non-FFD offering.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
what the hell is that?

My dad was in the service, and he loved his "chipped beef on toast", although I've heard other names for the dish (not appropriate for this forum).

Last edited by jcatman; Mar 21, 18 at 10:52 pm Reason: typo
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
what the hell is that?
I thought it was some brown gravy version of eggs Benedict. But that's without my glasses on.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
Flagship Dining may be new, but the finite space of T4 has remained the same. There is simply no way for AA to build a real kitchen there. Other than a butane camp stove for the omelet, your meal was likely prepared by Gate Gourmet (?) offsite, and then reheated and plated in the closet behind you. In essence you were served an airline meal, just with heavier dinnerware and on a actual table. By contrast, there's actual cooking in the QF F lounge. You can tell the difference.
keep in mind though those same "airplane kitchens" can and do turn out some solid meals for airlines that pay for them to do so. Lack of space is not a valid excuse IMO...
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
what the hell is that?
Looking at the menu I'd guess "Merlot Hollandaise", mixing wine with hollandaise sauce is a new one for me and sounds like the result wasn't something spectacular so perhaps there's a reason we dont see a lot of merlot hollandaise.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
...those same "airplane kitchens" can and do turn out some solid meals for airlines that pay for them to do so. Lack of space is not a valid excuse IMO...
I don't disagree; but I also think that AA could have used better judgment on what to serve on the menu. Omelets are fine because you can cook them well on a portable stove. However, poached eggs are probably destined to look like OP's if you precook them and send them down Sepulveda before putting them on the dinner plate. IMO, Flagship Dining's menu seems too ambitious given LAX T4's limitations. Compare and contrast my breakfast in the QF F lounge last February:

LAX QF F lounge breakfast menu February 2018
Under-stated menu, and not too fancy. But it delivered on quality.


Chobani yogurt with honey, poached pears, and hazelnuts - LAX QF F lounge February 2018
Although the dish looks simple, the components had to be freshly put together or the whole thing would have come out watery and gross.


Zucchini and haloumi fritters with soft egg, yogurt, and paprika butter - LAX QF F lounge February 2018
You can easily tell that the poached egg was freshly cooked...

Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
mixing wine with hollandaise sauce is a new one for me and sounds like the result wasn't something spectacular so perhaps there's a reason we dont see a lot of merlot hollandaise.
Not "merlot hollandaise" per se, but red wine hollandaise is actually quite common. The wine bolsters the acidity (lemon juice) required to hold together the other components of the sauce, butter and yolk. Methinks OP's portion had too much wine added to it, and it was probably delivered to the lounge in one of those fairly sizable stainless steel tubs. It looks terrible.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
I don't disagree; but I also think that AA could have used better judgment on what to serve on the menu. Omelets are fine because you can cook them well on a portable stove. However, poached eggs are probably destined to look like OP's if you precook them and send them down Sepulveda before putting them on the dinner plate. IMO, Flagship Dining's menu seems too ambitious given LAX T4's limitations....
Not arguing with the conclusion on quality w/r/t SFO777's meal (although my dinner at LAX FFD a month ago was very good), but are we now just assuming that AA has all their food for the Flagship Lounge prepared off-site at a catering facility then ships it down Sepulveda and reheats it? I can't imagine that's the case, even given T4's limitations.
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