Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lawry's The Prime Rib

Since 1938 Lawry's of Beverly Hills has been serving up huge slabs of Prime Rib from their famed silver carts. While no one would mistake Lawry's for a high end restaurant these days it fulfills an entirely different role, this is the contemporary incarnation of banquet dinning. Hearkening back to a different age the faux Tudor decor and the inclusion of British classics like Yorkshire pudding and trifle on the menu speak to a time of when the roast beef dinner was the epitome of opulence.

Despite the modern culinary landscape Lawry's continues to thrive because beyond the food this is dinner as a theme park ride. From the aforementioned decor to the dressing of the salad in a "spinning bowl" to the appearance of gargantuan silver cart baring the roasts, the carvers wearing dress whites and large gold medallions, this is pure dinner theater. Dizzying numbers of carvers and waiters dart back and forth serving increasingly larger and larger parties; while there are certainly couples interspersed through out a packed room the bulk of Lawry's tables are large gatherings - birthdays, graduations, engagements and the whole experience is perfectly tailored towards quickly satisfying them at a reasonable price.

While the roast beef here lacks the complexity and intense dry aged flavors that you will find at far more expensive restaurants it is still quite flavorful with a very classic taste. And it is a relative bargain because a large 22oz bone in Diamond Jim Brady cut prime rib dinner at Lawry's includes the "spinning" salad a choice from a myriad of side items and Yorkshire pudding all for only $39.

Each cart has enough roasts on hand to meat out any requested temperature from rare to inedible, plus an assortment of traditional sides - mashed potato, green peas, and creamed spinach. There is something primordially rewarding about seeing four whole rib roasts casually lounging in the comfort of their silver cart.

The carvers effortlessly peel off dinosaur sized slabs of prime rib with utter precision.

The Diamond Jim Brady Cut

All in all a Lawry's is a delightfully tacky experience. The whole package tour vibe is tolerable because it is so unpretentious, unlike restaurants based in casinos and run by celebrity chefs. Lawry's provides food that is decent overall and a Prime Rib is really very good for the price.

Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 N. La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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