Stopping for a quick nosh, before a flight, somewhere in the neck of the Los Angeles International Airport woods? It's something thousands of Southern Californians have done over the decades. Animal-style fries, a glazed goodie from Randy's Donuts, and other edibles located under the flight paths have long fortified travelers.
But The Proud Bird holds a special spot in many a suitcase-wielder's heart, thanks to its venerability — it opened in 1967 — as well as its famous spread of real aircraft, out on the lawn.
After all, while many restaurants boast flowery grounds for guests to stroll post-meal, very, very few offer a close-up peek at a variety of planes.
The plane-packed landmark at 11022 Aviation Boulevard shuttered near the beginning of 2016, leaving fans worried that the restaurant had come in for its final landing. But Specialty Restaurants Corporation went to work on major renovations, creating a "unique re-imagined food bazaar" that pays tributes to the many flavors of Los Angeles.
And, out there on the horizon, just past the nose of this particular plane? It's the just-announced re-opening date of Monday, May 15.
True, that means you can't schedule your Mother's Day get-together there, on May 14 (the restaurant has long been known as a holiday gathering place), but Father's Day will come up just a month later.
As for what to expect: Fresh cocktails on the "Mile-High Club" roster, including the Classic Aviation and the First Class. And you can download a Scanner Radio Deluxe app and listen as planes overhead whoosh by on their way to LAX, and from.
What to do, where to go and what to see
A bonus: The Proud Bird will stock loaner headsets, if you need them.
Which may make this one of the only eateries around where a table full of guests are all rocking a pair of headsets, tuned to the sky above.
If guests aren't at the table, though, chances are solid they'll be at one of the floor-to-ceiling windows watching the busy, up-high byways into nearby Los Angeles International Airport.