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Lawry's Prime Rib - La Cienega - Excellent food and service

lvgoodfood Jan 22, 2007 03:47 AM

We had our Sunday family meal at Lawry's today. What a great choice everything was perfect. First we didn't have a reservation since our plans were to go somewhere else, but we called and were told that they also take walk-ins. We arrived around 3:30 pm, sign in with the hostess and were told to wait for the first seating a 4:00 pm. We were called promptly at 4, then taken to a very nice booth. Our food was very good, we all ordered prime rib. The prime rib and the side dishes were excellent, including the salad. We had a dessert sampler and it was also very good. One of the best things was the service, perfection to its best. Our servers Miss Coty and Sonny (sp?) were just the best, polite, kind and friendly, but above all very professional. I was very happy with our first experience at Lawry's, and for sure I will recommend and go back soon.

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  1. b
    bulavinaka Jan 22, 2007 04:18 AM

    Lawry's used to be one of but a few places that offered a great prime rib. Restaurants that served big hunks of meat - primarily steakhouses - started to die a horrible death as peoples' tastes changed with the much more varied offerings from restaurants like those started up by venerable Wolfgang Puck. Of course, blood pressure and cholesterol probably had alot to do with it too.

    After the dust settled, Lawry's was one of a few "meat n' taters" kinds of places left that had any reasonable size and reputation. I think the reason they survived is because of all the reasons you stated above. They're all about the whole dining experience with YOU as the honored guest, and their sultry juicy prime rib as the star.

    I would always get a kick when they would roll the cart tableside and pull open that orbish stainless steel cover to reveal that huge cut of meat that was just this side of perfection. I always requested the end cut. Everything else was so satisfying as well. No, they wouldn't make the best list for this or that individual dish, but the whole experience was what it was all about. Everything, from the food, to the service there is so consistantly great.

    Unlike alot of the trendy restaurants, where the staff treats you as if you would be so lucky as to even walk be offered to lick a soiled plate, Lawry's staff has always been just as you mentioned above. I can definitely describe Lawry's as one of LA's classics.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bulavinaka
      j
      Jesdamala Jan 22, 2007 05:04 AM

      OHHHHH, those end cuts...so fabulous, sublime....all that crusty goodness, still tender! We starve all day, go early, come home with leftovers...terrific! An oldie that is still, without a goodie...what they do they do right!

    2. m
      mar52 Jan 22, 2007 04:31 AM

      I totally agree with this thread and not the other.

      It is a prime place!

      The best.

      1. jcwla Jan 22, 2007 05:37 AM

        Yecch!!!
        First of all, a 4pm seating? Is this like the am/pm ad with the discussion of "it's not lunch, it's not dinner, it's linner"?
        Secondly, "sultry" and "juicy" prime rib? It has no flavor whatsoever. Once I realized this, I kept adding more and more horseradish until there was no uncovered space -- it was still flavorless.
        The salad -- feh -- it's a gimmick and it's okay, not great.
        The creamed corn is the only good thing, but where isn't it?
        As for the rest, creamed spinach, etc. -- blech.
        The decor is god-awful. If you like the decor of the Regent Theater on La Brea, you'll love this. I find it deeply depressing, like being at Nibblers with the over-90 crowd.
        The uniforms for these poor girls are kitschy and outdated and actually make you feel sad for them.
        That's the word for the whole Lawry's experience -- sad.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jcwla
          lvgoodfood Jan 22, 2007 05:47 AM

          4pm seating was great for us, since we don't like to eat dinner late, also it is Sunday, so it is nice to be able to be back home early and get ready to get back to work next day.
          The decor in my opinion is perfect for a classic restaurant like Lawry's. All blended very well, the type of food for the type of restaurant.

          1. re: jcwla
            wilafur Jan 22, 2007 05:00 PM

            i've gotta echo your sentiments. lawry's is a tourist trap and offers up bland prime rib in a pretty dress.

            1. re: jcwla
              c
              cls May 18, 2008 07:54 PM

              What he said.
              Except for the 4pm part.

            2. SIMIHOUND Jan 22, 2007 05:46 AM

              I have had good experiences and bad at Lawrys. The food is fine but other places do it just as well. When I took my wife there for the first we felt very rushed and because of that my wife will not return. BTW I learned to cook the sides myself at home after seeing their recipes online.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SIMIHOUND
                m
                Mr Dan Jan 22, 2007 06:20 AM

                I despise that place. The decor is like being in a bad airport marriot dining room, in the early 80's .... yuk. I never ate there. We walked in and we walked right out when we saw the place.

              2. h
                Hunter Jan 22, 2007 06:02 PM

                My daughter loves the place. I called last week for a reservation. I was kept on hold for more than 10 minutes listening to a tacky recording of the general manager. I should have hung up, but I love my daughter. When someone finally picked up, I was told that despite calling a week in advance, the only reservation left was for 10 pm. I took my daughter to The Grill in BH that Sunday for it's prime rib a Sunday special. She loved it -- and they treated her like a princess!!

                1. b
                  bulavinaka Jan 23, 2007 08:14 PM

                  I still stand by Lawry's food and service. My experiences have been very consistant: again, it's not like each of their individual side dishes are going to be on everyone's Top 10 list, but all are very exceptable to great, and in totality, great accompaniments to an excellent prime rib. Also, their service is so old school - it's all about treating ALL of their customers with cordiality, courtesy, and respect. This is so refreshing when so many of today's restaurants that are in vogue treat only the Bourgeoisie with unctuous dignity, while we plebeians are often treated like the proverbial red-headed stepchild.

                  As for their decor, no - I wouldn't decorate my place like theirs - but then, I don't have 10,000 sq ft of dining area to decorate. This formula has worked for Lawry's for decades - I think since the 30s or 40s, so why change it? Moreover, I think the reason they haven't changed it much is also because so many people who have been going to Lawry's for so long feel a comfort in this place still looking pretty much the part it did back in the day. Some may not relate to this, but back in the 60s through the 80s, places like Lawry's is where so many of us would go to when we wanted to celebrate special occasions. This restaurant sits deep with warm memories for many of us. Also, if Lawry's had a who's-who list, it would include a mile-long list of names of celebrities and dignitaries. I remember once seeing our then-Governer Ronald Reagan at the next table... my dad recognized him as the guy from the TV western series, "Death Valley Days."

                  And if I am so lucky as to live to the grand age of 90, I would relish the chance of going to Lawry's for another meal, if just to recollect all the great meals I had with people I considered near and dear to me. And while enjoying my meal and reminiscing of the great times,I would wish for that couple that was turning their noses up at this place as they walked out the door to be able to do the same one day at their own storied place - if it's still around when they are 90.

                  1. h
                    HBfoodie Jan 23, 2007 09:36 PM

                    I have never been to Lawry's. Could someone please tell me what an average meal would cost? Is it a fixed price? Is it the same for lunch and dinner?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HBfoodie
                      lvgoodfood Jan 23, 2007 09:55 PM

                      I have only been there for dinner, I don't know if they open for lunch. The prime rib dinners, run from approx 28.00 for the california cut, then 31.00, for the english cut, and 33.00 for the Lawry's cut, there are I think two more cuts, but I can't exactly remember the prices. Your prime rib dinner comes with their Original Spinning Bowl Salad, Yorkshire Pudding
                      Mashed Potatoes, and two kinds of Horseradish. I would say it is approx 50.00 per person, including dessert and soft drinks. If you have bar beverages then that adds up. You can also buy additional side dishes, or other items from the menu.

                    2. r
                      radman123 Jan 23, 2007 10:09 PM

                      the bottomline is the place is actually pretty good - it is what it is...

                      1. j
                        jessejames May 18, 2008 07:50 PM

                        Great bachelor party dinner there this weekend...reasonable price for all ($1000 total with tax tip and drinks and some deserts and lobster tails) but if you're in the mood for prime rib maybe not a better dinner at any price...we all have our top 10s or so and for me this place always delivers on the incredible food and 'treat you like a king' service.

                        most of you might be nauseous after a diamond jim brady cut but the cc browns hotfudge sundae made tableside with toasted almonds, wcream and as much fudge as you want demanded stomach space...

                        anyways i hope chowhounds don't poo poo it because lawry's is a legend for a reason!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jessejames
                          SauceSupreme May 18, 2008 08:24 PM

                          I got no problem with Lawry's. I loves me some creamed spinach.

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