I don't normally give 5 star ratings to "fast food"-type restaurants, but Veggie Grill is really pretty exceptional. I stopped at the El Segundo location of Veggie Grill on my way to the Los Angeles International Airport. First, it should be noted that this location is only 3 miles from the airport and the drive is a straight shot down Sepulveda Blvd. It took me less than 10 minutes to get to the airport terminal from the restaurant. Better still, the service at Veggie Grill is incredibly fast. Within 7 minutes, I had one meal sitting on a plate in front of me and a second meal neatly packaged and ready to bring with me on the plane (and no, there weren't any issues with carrying my food through the airport security). The restaurant was very clean and spacious and the servers were extremely helpful and friendly. Veggie Grill also had an excellent selection of beverages, including several flavors of freshly brewed iced tea and homemade strawberry lemonade.
While I was sitting at Veggie Grill, I tried the Santa Fe chicken sandwich with a side of mac-n-cheese. The Santa Fe chicken sandwich is the most popular item on the menu, and I could immediately understand why. The sandwich comes with a plump, juicy faux chicken patty that has been breaded and seasoned, topped with veggies and southwestern vegan mayo, and served on a perfectly toasted bun. The mac-n-cheese was made with quinoa pasta and sprinkled with gluten-free breadcrumbs. I have to admit that I'm usually wary of dishes that satisfy multiple dietary restrictions (eg. gluten-free and vegan) but I was pleasantly surprised by Veggie Grill's mac-n-cheese. Those who are looking for a vegan replica of Kraft Easy Mac might be a bit disappointed, as it didn't taste exactly like the mac-n-cheese that I remember from my childhood. That said, if you're just aiming for a warm, creamy casserole that also happens to be rich in protein, Veggie Grill's mac-n-cheese definitely hits the spot.
When I explained that I was interested in buying a second meal to eat on an airplane, the server who took my order immediately started giving me advice on which dishes "travel" best (eg. the salads). She also offered to pack sandwich ingredients separately (in order to prevent the bun from getting soggy). I decided to take her advice and order the Thai chicken salad and a chocolate chip cookie. The Thai chicken salad consisted of faux chicken strips, quinoa, roasted corn, mandarin oranges, lettuce, cilantro and wontons, served with a small container of "spicy Thai dressing" (note: I have very low tolerance for spicy foods and I did not find this dressing to be very spicy). The chocolate chip cookie was a large, moist, freshly-baked cookie. My only complaint is that the chocolate chip cookies all seem to contain walnuts.
Overall, I can't recommend this place enough. If you're en route to LAX and have an extra 30 minutes to spare, you need to make a detour to The Veggie Grill!