Singapore and Hong Kong
Checking out of the (comparatively) luxurious room at the Regal Riverside was a little sad, but executive lounge access meant we were able to skip the horde of Chinese tour groups in the main lobby, and the direct shuttle to the airport got a good workout.
Tasty Congee and Noodle Wantun Shop has an awkward name and food that definitely would not stand up in Mong Kok, but for airport food, it was quite acceptable. Almost good, had they bothered to put a little more effort into keeping the roast pork crispy (so close!). Lounging around Hong Kong International isn't quite as scenic as Singapore, but it's hard to argue with the huge food court or the replica of the Wright Flyer they have at Terminal 1 Departures.
And while sizeable, Chep Lap Kok Airport isn't nearly as big as Dubai International, so the walk to the train to the gates wasn't nearly as bad. United had quite a line waiting in almost all of the boarding groups-- and ten minutes after I got there, the lines were f'ing crazy (good thing I got there a few minutes early!) Unfortunately having to stand in line meant no more shopping, but that was probably for the best!
An uneventful flight in an old United 747-400 on the way back. Tailwinds make the return flight a few hours shorter and more tolerable, plus a bulkhead seat (despite the proximity to the lavatories and the big LCD screen) definitely helps. United still can't be bothered to make their 747's competitive though. No in-seat entertainment or in-seat power, and while they use in-flight wifi to let you stream movies to your tablet, the lack of in-seat power is a major drawback. The $16.99 price for internet access along with the typical terrible United food is a further insult, but we all endure.
A slightly early arrival in SFO was nice, although that just meant I was stuck there longer. Cross-checking noodle soup at the Terminal 3 food court (at Fung Lum) showed that San Francisco's barbecue pork noodle soup wasn't as good as Hong Kong, but for airport food it wasn't bad, and SFO's little food court was many orders of magnitude less grand than HKG's. And finally-- a quick flight back to LAX on a fairly recently refurbished Airbus A320. While it wasn't the Boeing 737-800/900 I was hoping for, for an hours' flight in an exit row, there were no complaints!