Can you solve the mystery before dessert?
Last May, the Los Angeles Times celebrated the city’s incredibly diverse food culture with its second annual LA Food Bowl. The month long Bowl included everything from wine tastings and discussions to special meals and markets. There was even a series showcasing food in film.
As part of the festivities and in honor of our 80th Anniversary this year, Lawry’s The Prime Rib hosted a lunch recognizing our unique place in the culinary landscape. Profits from the sold-out meal attended by over two hundred guests went to Midnight Mission, offering paths to self-sufficiency for LA’s homeless.
Before lunch, Lawry’s CEO Richard Frank and his nephew, Corporate Executive Chef Ryan Wilson, welcomed the crowd, and recapped Lawry’s history. They then introduced event emcee, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold, and four nationally known Los Angeles chefs who generously donated their time to create their versions of some of our popular dishes. The results amply displayed their imagination and talent.
Profits from the sold-out meal attended by over two hundred guests went to Midnight Mission
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the dynamic duo behind the highly regarded restaurants Animal, Trois Mec and others, put a new spin on our Famous Spinning Bowl Salad by substituting gem lettuce and adding a spicy Calabrian chili dressing. Nancy Silverton, of La Brea Bakery and Mozza fame, re-interpreted our Creamed Corn by using a Japanese corn crusher that created a different and pleasing crunchy texture. She also produced a very satisfying spinach side dish featuring bechamel and lemon and a Yorkshire Pudding with an Italian twist by way of a Parmesan cheese topping. Sang Yoon, who trail blazed the gastropub movement with Father’s Office and later opened his Asian restaurant, Lukshon, offered an exotic variation on our C.C. Browns’ Hot Fudge Sundae with his Hot Fudge “Dumplings” made with vanilla ice cream and accompanied with sweet soy hot fudge dipping sauce and brandied bing cherry compote.
After lunch, Richard and Ryan joined Jonathan as he led a conversation with the four chefs. The food critic set the stage by saying that, for him, there’s no restaurant he associates more with Los Angeles than Lawry’s The Prime Rib. He observed that Lawry’s is the one LA restaurant known to chefs around the world. He added that all of them dreams of the kind of enduring success Lawry’s has enjoyed for eight decades. Following some personal reminiscences about Restaurant Row, Jonathan asked our guests chefs about their first memories and lasting impressions of Lawry’s.
Many of their responses were very similar to what we’ve heard from generations of guests. They showed that the classic Lawry’s The Prime Rib experience remains as unique and unforgettable for highly respected culinary professionals as it does for all the rest us. Both Jon Shook and Sang Yoon first came to Lawry’s as children and were “blown away by the size” of the restaurant. Jon remembered the warm welcome he immediately felt when as a little boy he was allowed to keep his hat on for dinner. Vinny Dotolo said his memories of eating at Lawry’s were inextricably tied to his connection with his father. Nancy Silverton used the first word everyone seems to say in describing Lawry’s: “iconic.” She summed it up succinctly when she said Lawry’s “is what it is…and it does it the best.” We think we can all agree on that. As the one of a kind event drew to a close, Jonathan Gold thanked everyone and exclaimed “I hope we’re all here for your 100th Anniversary too.” We’ll be looking forward to it.
Lawry's The Prime Rib — Beverly Hills
100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211