Friday, April 4, 2008

Gridskipper Apparently Hasn't Ever Tried Taking a Cab from LAX

Gridskipper, the usually pretty-well-researched travel blog that's recently been redesigned around theme maps, just featured a map of restaurants that are supposedly worth a trip outside the airport if you're stranded at LAX for a few hours. Hmmm, really?

We've all been there: you're stuck in LAX on a layover, cooling your heels with a trashy magazine and a bag of chips, when you learn your flight to Phoenix has been canceled because of poor weather in Boston. You're rebooked for a new flight ... in six hours. You'd love to get out and enjoy a little of the city, but fear straying too far from the airport environs. Well, don't fear! In other major American cities, you'd probably be screwed, but thanks to the wonders of urban sprawl, there are tons of great restaurants within shouting distance of LAX. Get out and get a taste of the city — with ample time to cab back and hustle through security — with our handy map.

This handy map includes such establishments as Tito's Tacos and Buggy Whip. Okay, fine, but has anyone at the Skipper ever actually tried to take a cab from LAX? First of all, try finding one: there are only a few taxi pickup spots, and both times I've looked for one there hasn't been a taxi in sight, only a line of doomed-looking businesspeople. Second, and most egregious: for some reason known only to the string-pulling bossman in "Mulholland Drive," there's a $15 minimum for any trips originating at LAX. That's right, $15, even if you only go two blocks from the glowy columns. Sure makes Gridskipper's recommendation of a quick jaunt to the In 'n' Out on Sepulveda look a little ridiculous, doesn't it -- $15 there, $10 back, that's $25 for a $4 meal. The Burger King in Terminal 7 doesn't look so bad now, does it. Plus, how are you going to catch a cab on Sepulveda?

Here's some real advice: fly into freakin' Burbank.