How does a restaurant weather three-quarters of a century in the always-fickle food biz climate? By becoming a classic, sure, but by also giving its fans a few treats now and then.
Lawry's The Prime Rib on La Cienega's Restaurant Row is doing just that on Tuesday, June 11. Wait for it: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the famous prime rib will be $1.25. Don't rub your eyes, because the period should be between the 1 and the 2 there. A buck and a quarter.
But there are other specials marking the landmark's anniversary month, including a $75 Dinner for Two. Three courses are included, and you don't even need to say the words "spinning salad" because, yep, it wouldn't be a Lawry's anniversary meal without it.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Prizes, historic homages, and other fancy-fun stuff'll festoon the posh spot's big month.
Now, we have theories. No, not just the theory that this place is the place where all parents come when they visit their kids living in LA. It's the quintessential Special Meal Out place, and in our ever-casual world, that's a welcome thing.
Nope, here are our quick theories. Say the words "Lawry's The Prime Rib" to any SoCaler who has lived here long enough and they'll immediately cite, without even pausing, one of five things:
1. The prime rib, natch. (It's in the name.)
2. That sort of supernatural spinning salad. How does the server keep the arm that's holding the dressing boat so still while keeping the bowl a-spinning? It's like the magic of physics taken delicious salad form.
3. The Yorkshire Pudding. Please. We know you think about this on down days. Ultimate doughy hot comfort food.
4. The fact that the two teams playing in the Rose Bowl always get a Lawry's meal ahead of the big game. Let's just call it one of the biggest foodie traditions in a big city. So? Impressive.
5. The Victorian-outfitted Christmas carolers.
And our very favorite thing about the place? That it has the word "The" in the middle of its name. That's pretty dang old-school, and something a newer place, going for hipper cred, might do. But Lawry's The Prime Rib has rocked its cred for 75 years now, and to that we pay the famous meating place its prime (rib) due.
Photo credit, top to bottom: flickr users ecfotos, Jimmy Yao, LWY