Everybody Loves Lawry’s
Lawry’s Carvery will be opening in Downtown Los Angeles’s Live sports and entertainment complex. Before or after a game, concert or movie, treat yourself to their delicious hand-carved sandwiches, hearty platter meals, salads and soup. You can enjoy your meal or snack in the dining room or on the siewalk patio, (perfect for people watching). Like the original Lawry’s Carvery in Costa Mesa, also South Coast Plaza and Lawry’s Carvery at Westfield Century City, the newest member is a quick casual restaurant inspired by the popular Ale & Sandwich bars at the Tam O’Shanter and Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas.
The History of Lawry’s goes back 71 years, while the Tam is 86 years old.
In a country where nearly 50 percent of restaurants fail within the first three years, Lawry’s The Prime Rib is celebrating 71 years of success. It started with Lawrence Frank and his brother‑in‑law, Theodore Van de Kamp, who opened a humble potato chip store; soon after, a baked goods shop called Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakers.” Your mother will probably remember the windmill bakery stores on the California landscape. Lawrence had an irresistible desire to have his own restaurant in 1922 when he and Walter Van de Kamp teamed up for the first time to open the Tam O’Shanter Inn in Los Angeles.
Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Gloria Swanson were regulars in the early days when Model T Fords reigned. John Wayne and Rudolph Valentino were also steady customers, as were Walt Disney and members of his studio. This was the first restaurant in the nation to offer drive‑in parking‑lot service in l93l. When Prohibition was repealed, beer appeared on the menu for the first time in l933 at 25¢ a bottle, and in l936, the popular spaghetti and meatballs sold for 45¢. Now, as one of the oldest restaurants in California, it’s still owned and operated by the Franks and Van de Kamps, having weathered prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, and many recessions.
In 1938, Lawrence and Van de Kamp opened Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills; a dream of Frank’s, featuring the glorious standing ribs of beef served on Sundays in his boyhood home. Walter suggested they use Lawrence’s nickname, Larry, but they settled on Lawry’s, (more distinguished). For more than 50 years, the restaurant served only one entree, roasted prime ribs of beef, which became an overnight success. In addition to properly seasoning of the beef, Frank formulated Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. He also designed the fabulous silver carts in order to bring the kitchen to the table. The restaurant opened on land purchased by Lawrence at 100 N. La Cienega Blvd. It was so successful that by 1947, had outgrown its quarters and moved to a new larger building across the street. Lawry’s blossomed, and by 1991 the business outgrew the building again, so by 1993, the Beverly Hills restaurant returned to their original home, redesigning it to fit their needs. Almost seven decades later, the company strategically expanded and now there are Lawry’s The Prime Rib locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, also overseas in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Indonesia, Singapore, Tokyo, and Taipei! Since writing this article they could have opened others.
We dined at Lawry’s, Beverly Hills, and once past the stunning entrance they have a full bar on one side, and reception room on the other. The diningroom is akin to entering a ballroom of important paintings, huge wall tapestries, and magnificent massive floor to ceiling deco lamps. We felt lucky to get a reservation, as the Oval, Oak, Vintage, and Main Diningrooms were filled to capacity on a Monday. After comfortably being seated on leather and brocade banquettes, we ordered wine, and thought how nice it was to have a conversation and hear every word. The service was extraordinary.
Most everyone knows about the Lawry’s “cuts” of Prime Ribs, such as 6-oz California Cut; English, 8-oz, Lawry, 10-oz, Diamond Jim Brady, 16-oz, and Beef Bowl, 24-oz). Prime Rib Dinners include their famous Spinning Bowl of Salad, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and Whipped Cream Horseradish.
Menu’s also feature a’la Carte Fresh Salmon, fantastically broiled Atlantic Lobster tails, (3) or twin tails and Prime Rib, plus fresh fish of the day; all include the Spinning Bowl, Dinner accompaniments are Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, skillet of mushrooms, baked Idaho potato, asparagus, corn, peas, or the best creamed spinach in the world. Desserts include their fabulous English Trifle, a rum and sherry laced cake layered with vanilla custard cream, strawberries, and whipped cream).
Also don’t forget about Lawry’s VIP Benefits. Here’s how it works; If you contact Member Services at Lawry’s, you will be eligible for reward points; one for every dollar spent, which applies to food, beverages, and gift certificates in any of their restaurants. You can call Member Services at (877) 529-7984 or Mail to Lawry’s VIP Rewards, 621 Andreasen Dr., Escondido, CA 92029.
I personally enjoyed the lobster, and the dressing on the salad was so fantastice that I used it on the potato instead of sour-cream. There isn’t anything more delicious than their spinach and other vegetables, plus desserts!
Lawry’s is a treasure, with remarkable food, desserts and wines to dream about. Open 5:00pm Monday through Friday; 4:00pm, Saturday; 3:30 on Sunday. 100 N. La Cienega Blvd; (310) 652-2827; Street Parking or Valet, Major credit cards accepted; banquets & catering.
PS The Yorkshire Pudding will knock your sox off!