LOS ANGELES, AUG. 27 -- President Reagan today assured Nicaraguan contra leaders that "we intend to see that you have adequate funding until a cease-fire is in place and a verifiable process of democratization is under way" in Nicaragua.

Reagan gave his pledge of continued support for the contra cause in a prepared statement read at a photo-taking session here with leaders of the rebels, who have been seeking to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista regime.

He then met for an hour with the six political leaders of the contras and their military commander, Enrique Bermudez, to hear their proposal for continued U.S. assistance.

The contras asked that they continue to receive "humanitarian aid" of food and other supplies when their present appropriation expires Sept. 30 and that military aid be appropriated but placed in escrow until the Sandinistas carry out their promised democratic reforms.

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater and Alfredo Cesar, one of the six contra leaders who met with Reagan, said the president reacted favorably to the proposal but did not make a final decision. A senior White House official said that Reagan likes the idea of an escrow account, but also intends to abide by his commitment to House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) not to seek aid of any sort before Sept. 30.

"The escrow account looks like the best approach we've seen," said a senior White House official. "It demonstrates our support for the peace plan, keeps pressure on the Sandinistas and would put a humanitaran aid proposal before Congress that might be approved."

Cesar said the contra leaders will discuss their escrow account proposal Friday at a meeting with Wright in Dallas. National security adviser Frank C. Carlucci telephoned Wright late today to give him a rundown on the meeting between Reagan and the contra leaders, White House officials said.

"If we achieve the democratization of Nicaragua, and if we achieve peace, which is what the resistance wants, we would ask the United States to use the {escrow} money to feed the Nicaraguan people," Cesar said at a news conference after the meeting with Reagan.

Before the meeting, White House officials told reporters that the president intends to honor his commitments to Wright, the contras and the pending Central American peace plan initiated by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, which Reagan has praised without formally endorsing. One senior official acknowledged that this was "a balancing act," but said "we haven't lost our balance."

In his public photo session with the contra leaders, Reagan praised them for forcing the Sandinistas to the bargaining table.

"We have much to thank you for," Reagan said. "The political and military pressure you apply I think is showing results. The Sandinistas have now signed a peace agreement based on democracy, and we'll be watching carefully to see if they really comply."

The president said that without the pressure exerted by "the freedom fighters," the Sandinistas would have "no incentives to implement the measures they've said they will implement."

Contra leaders said at their news conference that they had sufficient arms and ammunition to continue the struggle until Nov. 7, the date a cease-fire would take effect under the Arias plan.

"Our people will be in the field fighting until Nov. 7, unless there is a cease-fire," said Pedro Chamorro, one of the contra leaders.

Reagan's highly publicized meeting here with the contra leaders had the dual purpose of reassuring them and domestic conservatives who have been expressing concern that the administration is about to abandon the contras, White House officials said.

But the meeting also drew attention from opponents of continued contra aid. Before Reagan and the contras met, Rep. Mel Levine (D-Calif.) held a news conference in another room of the Century Plaza Hotel here and said it was "totally contradictory" of Reagan to support both the contras and the Nicaraguan peace plan.

He was accompanied by Edgar Chamorro, a former contra leader who broke with the resistance in 1984, but today credited First Lady Nancy Reagan with encouraging her husband to explore the possibilities of peace in Central America.

Across the street from the hotel, more than 1,000 protesters chanted "no contra aid" and waved banners opposing U.S. involvement in Nicaragua. They in turn were picketed by a much smaller group who supported the contras.

But on a pleasant sunny California day, the demonstrators on either side did not linger. Long before Reagan met with the contras, most of the protesters had disbanded, prompting one official to say that it was "beach time in California once again."