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Perched on the edge of Van Nuys Airport, the 94th Aero Squadron is a restaurant and lounge where patrons can dine, drink, dance and listen to live music while watching planes land on a nearby runway. The dining room, bar and downstairs banquet rooms are a curious combination of elegant decor and kitschy war and aviation memorabilia. The tables and booths are covered with fine white linens and decorated with sumptuous bouquets of fresh flowers, while the walls are mounted with vintage recruitment posters, model planes and flight gear. In an unusual twist, headphones are installed at each booth so diners can listen in to live transmissions from the airport's control tower. Given the lounge's retro feel, the musical entertainment includes jazz and big-band revivalists, as well as more modern pop groups. Although the restaurant is kid friendly, with plenty of toys and artifacts to distract and inspire budding young pilots, the 94th Aero Squadron is above all a popular destination for couples to enjoy a traditional American-style meal and a drink before jetting off to some romantic getaway. The outdoor patio is an excellent place to get even closer to the adjoining runway and watch the wide variety of private aircraft and bigger jets landing and taking off. The restaurant specializes in high-end comfort food and such traditional favorites as burgers, steaks, filet mignon, seafood and pasta, along with house specialties like beer-cheese soup and crab-stuffed mushrooms. Happy hour occurs every Monday through Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m., and the Sunday champagne brunch buffet starts early at 9 a.m. The lavish banquet rooms are also available for private parties and weddings. There's free parking in the front lot. Full bar. All ages.
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