What do private jets, premium jazz, and scorpion toast have in common? They’re all waiting for you at Typhoon, Santa Monica Airport’s 25-year-old staple restaurant. If you’d like to eat authentic Asian cuisine while watching a plane vanish into the sunset, this is your jam -- at least for a few more weeks. Sadly, the Westside dream dive closes its doors November 8th, so cancel your plans for Saturday and experience this iconic piece of LA history before it blips off the radar.
Pilots fly from all over the world just to have one night at Typhoon. Even more impressively, people drive from the Eastside. They come to feel good, “The vibe here is amazing. From the moment you get in the room it changes you,” explains Juan Vasquez, the bartender who, like many of his colleagues, has worked here since the mid-’90s. Walking into the stalwart establishment feels like a step back in time. The heavy wooden walls and bar frame floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the picturesque tarmac. An antique glass mirror covered in aeronautical symbols hangs above the full bar. Old pilot’s licenses pepper large, cylindrical beams. It’s a standing anachronism. In a city where people shun gluten eaters, let alone smokers, the elegant ashtrays that the staff provides smokers with (sans dirty looks) say it all. It feels as though they should sell duty-free here -- this isn’t Santa Monica, it’s somewhere between worlds.