“The Greatest Meal in America!”
That’s what Lawrence Frank called the fine dining experience he and his brother-in-law Walter Van de Kamp first offered the public with the 1938 opening of Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, California.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib, located on what would become the world’s first and most famous Restaurant Row, was the perfect stage on which to express Lawrence’s creativity, innovative spirit and natural showmanship.
A carver at work in 1938 at the original Lawry's The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills.
The elevation of his nickname “Larry” to the British “Lawry” in the restaurant’s name—along with the interior design—was in keeping with his notion that the restaurant should be elegant yet unintimidating.
The menu focused on a single entrée—a revolutionary concept his competitors told Lawrence would never work. They didn’t know how he re-imagined the presentation of the meal he fondly remembered from his Sunday family dinners of his Milwaukee boyhood. It’s a presentation that’s a Lawry’s tradition today and affectionately known among co-workers as “The Show.”
The menu focused on a single entrée—a revolutionary concept competitors said would never work.
In the 1930s, serving a salad before the entrée was unheard of. This simple but original idea—and opening act of The Show—would become standard practice across the country.
The Lawry's Famous Spinning Bowl Salad being spun on a bed of ice.
The first course Spinning Bowl Salad was theatrically prepared tableside. While a large metal bowl of fresh greens, vegetables, chopped eggs and croutons spins on a bed of ice, our server stands on tiptoes and reaches high overhead to pour a generous helping of Vintage Sherry Dressing.
Guests tell the Carver their preferred cut and sides, which are served from a gleaming silver cart.
The main act—and what Lawrence considered the most extraordinary and memorable aspect of Lawry’s dining experience—follows. A gleaming 600-pound Art Deco silver cart Lawrence designed is wheeled to the table by a medallion wearing Master Carver, complete with gloves and chef’s toque. The cart’s lid is opened to reveal succulent standing ribs of beef and side dishes like mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Guests tell the Carver their preferred cut and sides.
The cart’s lid is opened to reveal succulent standing ribs of beef and side dishes like mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.
Adding a portion of freshly baked Yorkshire Pudding and a sprinkle or two of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, to enhance the prime rib’s flavor (just as Lawrence intended when he developed its recipe over eighty years ago in his home kitchen) complete the classic Lawry’s Prime Rib Dinner.
The Classic Prime Rib Dinner, the same today as it was in 1938 when Lawry's The Prime Rib first opened.
Throughout the decades, succeeding generations of the founding Frank and Van de Kamp families have continued to serve essentially the same meal in the same way since Lawrence Frank first imagined it.
Now you can share in that long history when you enjoy Lawry’s At Home.