"1.) Are there spots for spotting? How do they range in quality?"
Yes. Ever heard of the Imperial Hill? Its a hill just across the street from the south runways (the 25's) Check it out. Newly paved and its on the hightest point of the hill. Great views. Also try the park on the north side of the airport near the 24s. Its right across the street from an IN
n OUT burger joint. Grab a burger and see everything from Cessna Caravans to 747-400s fly right over you as youre only about 200ft. from the end of the runways. Also try the Proud Bird resturant parking lot on Aviation Blvd. east of the airport. Great views to.
"2.) How tight is security around LAX
... are the cops all over the place discouraging spotting?"
Ive never come across a cop that has told me to leave. The only thing that has happened to me is that I was parked on the red zone and they told me to move my car.
All in all LAX
is IMO a great place for spotters. Been going there for several years now.