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Fall 2017

A Part-Time Co-Worker’s Remarkable Journey

From weekend dishwasher at Lawry’s The Prime Rib to communications giant.

The Kotanis and Lawry's Manager Peter May The Kotanis and Lawry's Manager Peter May

For two years starting in 1960, a UCLA student from Japan worked as a weekend dishwasher and table setter at the old Lawry’s The Prime Rib across La Cienega Blvd. from today’s location.

Last spring, Ted Tanaka brought the now eighty-four-year-old former co-worker, Taizo Kotani, and his wife to dinner at our Beverly Hills restaurant. It was Mr. Kotani’s first visit to Lawry’s in fifty-six years. During a delicious meal, he remarked that he had never tried the prime rib while he was working at Lawry’s. Afterwards, Manager Peter May, pictured above with the Kotanis, took them and their friend on a behind the scenes tour featuring the newly built automated “dish room.”

It was Taizo Kotani’s first visit to Lawry’s in fifty-six years.

Peter received a gracious thank you note from Mr. Tenaka a few days later that included some details of his friend’s life.

While holding down his part-time Lawry’s job, Mr. Kotani also served as “house boy” and gardener in exchange for room and board at a Brentwood, California home. Upon graduation, he returned to Japan where he started Inter Group Corporation, the world’s first and largest western/Japanese translation and interpretation company. Today Mr. Kotani is Chairman of the Board and his son serves as CEO. Together they are pointing the company in an exciting new direction: developing artificial intelligence as applied to computer technology.

Lawry’s is delighted and flattered our co-worker paid us a visit after so many years. We’re proud to have played a small part in the life of such an accomplished man. His achievements are an inspiration to all of us.

Lawry's The Prime Rib — Beverly Hills

100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Lawry's The Prime Rib — Beverly Hills

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