Lawry’s The Prime Rib – Las Vegas, Nevada

Lawry’s The Prime Rib Restaurant in Las Vegas

“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself
but all the bonds and memories the food represents.”

~Michael Chiarello

Many of my most cherished memories involve the act of eating and quite often those memories don’t involve the food itself.  The memories which sweeten most over time invariably involve the people with whom those meals were shared.  The act of degustation is infinitely more satisfying and the meals so much more pleasing when shared with loved ones.  In part because of the memories it evokes, one restaurant which will always hold a special place in my heart is Lawry’s The Prime Rib.  Every visit rekindles memories of my first visit and creates new memories to be revisited and cherished thereafter. 

My inaugural visit to Lawry’s occurred on August 31st, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois.  I was five hours removed from landing at O’Hare Airport after an exhausting flight from London.  Jet lag had set in and neither my thoughts or speech were as coherent as one would want for meeting future in-laws for the first time.  The jet lag apparently trumped any nervousness I may have had because my in-laws found me perfectly charming, a worthy catch for their daughter.  Over the years, my father-in-law and I grew very close, sharing great conversation, great wine, wonderful food and many loving memories.  Lawry’s The Prime Rib deserves some credit.

The elegant interior of Lawry’s The Prime Rib

Fourteen years later–on December 29th, 1999–the entire family gathered in Las Vegas to celebrate my father-in-law’s 70th birthday at Lawry’s.  For a man who had seen and accomplished virtually all he ever set out to do, the outpouring of love came as a very touching and memorable surprise.  Four years later, we gathered at Lawry’s once again only this time without him.  We were there to celebrate his life, cut short prematurely.  Of all the many lessons he taught us, perhaps the most important was that families who share meals together share love.

Lawry’s has been carving out places in the heart and impressing itself upon the memories of countless diners since launching its flagship Beverly Hills restaurant in 1938.  Because of its unique ability to create memories, it has spanned generations and survived the onslaught of rigorous competition despite virtually not changing a thing in more than seventy years.  If ever there was a “one trick pony” it would be Lawry’s, but this is one pony who does that one thing exceedingly well–better than anyone else has ever done it.

An expert carver slices a Lawry’s cut of prime rib

What Lawry’s does–as the name clearly indicates–is serve the very best roasted prime rib of beef conceivable.   Sure, it’s an anachronism, but it’s a throwback in the best sense of the word–the sense that implies exceptional service and warm hospitality, a lavish dinner experience, an art deco ambiance and a unique menu so good, it hasn’t had to change much with the times.  Lawry’s is about memories and it’s about tradition.  It’s about parents and in-laws introducing their children and grandchildren to the sharing of great food and the creation of new memories. 

Lawry’s is also about making its guests feel special, as if they all deserve an exceptional dining experience–one that comes to you.  Not long after your drink order is taken, an expert carver nattily attired entirely in virginal white wheels a stainless-steel cart to your table where you can select the cut of roast prime rib of beef you want.  The prime rib is carved tableside before your very eyes and to your exacting specifications.  It’s food porn, a tantalizing visual show that will make your mouth water and arouse your olfactory senses.  The beef is dry-aged and roasted with the famous Lawry’s seasoning blend.  There is no better beef anywhere!

The Lawry’s Cut of Prime Rib Destined For My Plate

There’s a prime rib of beef cut for every appetite. They range from the “California Cut,” a smaller cut for lighter appetites, which at about eight-ounces, is still an intimidating hunk of beef to the “Beef Bowl Cut,” a double-sized cut with the rib bone as served annually to the Roast…er, Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl football teams. It’s roughly the size of an air conditioner. The most popular cut is the Lawry cut which probably tips the scales at about twenty-four ounces.  As with any prime rib, there’s a bit of marbling here and there, but it only lends to the flawless flavor profile.  Lawry’s whipped cream horseradish is as powerful as tear gas so unless you’re into shedding tears with every bite, it may not be for you.

The prime rib dinner includes Lawry’s famous original spinning bowl salad with mixed greens, shredded beets, chopped egg, croutons and a unique dressing you won’t find anywhere else.  The salad preparation is unique.  Waitresses–attired in an old-fashioned outfit complete with a Nurse Ratchet type hat (cap?)–don’t toss salads; they spin them in a stainless-steel bowl atop a bed of ice.  Then with the pomp and ceremony of a knighting, the waitress will present a chilled salad fork so you can apportion the salad onto your plate.

Lawry’s Prime Rib (the Lawry’s Cut), Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Creamed Corn, Spinach and Yorkshire Pudding

Lawry’s Idaho mashed potatoes are superb–whole potatoes whipped with milk and butter to give them the creaminess  diners crave!  You can have the mashed potatoes with or without gravy.  In either case, they’re standard with your prime rib as is Yorkshire Pudding (not actually a pudding by American standards) which is baked in small skillets until puffy and golden brown.  A number of a la carte dinner accompaniments are available: jumbo shrimp cocktail, sizzling skillet of mushrooms, a baked Idaho potato, fresh asparagus, buttered peas, creamed spinach and creamed corn.

The latter two are absolute must haves, reasons by themselves to visit Lawry’s! The creamed spinach (subtly seasoned with spices, bacon, scallion, onion and more than a hint of garlic) might explain Popeye’s affinity for spinach (didn’t Gilligan love it, too?). It is simply outstanding, a buttery-rich tangle of beauteous greens.  Be ever vigilant and don’t leave the table or you’ll be risking your dining companion reaching over and taking some.  The creamed corn will inspire similar covetousness.  It’s sweet, buttery and delicious to the nth degree.

Lawry’s famous salad

There are other options on the menu including ribeye steak, fresh fish of the day and Atlantic lobster tails, but when in Rome, most do as the Romans do.  That means a prime rib of beef dinner you’ll long remember.  Now, if you’re thinking that in Las Vegas you can have a prime rib dinner for a pittance at any number of casinos, remember you get what you pay for.  In most cases that’s a fatty slab of tough beef prepared by a nameless, faceless cook in the confines of a hectic kitchen.  If there are any memories to be gleaned from this experience, they’re bound to be memorable for the wrong reasons. 

There are seven items on the dessert, but most diners don’t have room for a post-prandial sweet treat unless they ask the wait staff to box remaining items. The coconut banana cream pie has a rich, butter crust, an old-fashioned vanilla cream center and is loaded with ripe banana slices and topped with a generous amount of toasted coconut.  The fact that I’d prefer a second serving of creamed spinach is certainly no indictment of the pie, but a testament as to just how good the creamed spinach is.

Banana-Coconut Cream Pie

Today aside from its Las Vegas, Chicago and Beverly Hills locations, Lawry’s The Prime Rib is creating new memories in Dallas, Jakarta, Singapore, Tokyo and Taipei.  Dear memories of my father-in-law revisit me every time we dine at Lawry’s.  They’re fond memories of great times we shared at a restaurant we considered our special place.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib
4043 Howard Hughes Parkway
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 893-2223
Web Site

LATEST VISIT: 9 November 2011
1st VISIT: 31 August 1985
# OF VISITS: 4
RATING: 26
COST: $$$$
BEST BET: Prime Rib, Lobster Tail, Spinning Salad Bowl, Yorkshire Pudding, Idaho Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, Creamed Corn, Banana-Coconut Cream Pie

Lawry's the Prime Rib on Urbanspoon

About Gil Garduno

Since 2008, the tagline on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog has invited you to “Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.” To date, nearly 1 million visitors have trusted (or at least visited) my recommendations on nearly 1,100 restaurant reviews. Please take a few minutes to tell me what you think. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear about it.

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18 Comments on “Lawry’s The Prime Rib – Las Vegas, Nevada”

  1. Alas, for anyone who gets to a Lawry’s as well as the Chica who once recommended LA’s Langer’s (sorry forgot the name as she needs to comment more) and Sr Plata who surely must have had the pleasure of dining at the original on “Restaurant Row” (aka La Cienega in BH): Lest it was back in the day, you certainly had also been to C.C. Brown’s (my first “experience” in one of those tall, dark (unpadded???) booths was ’61 after that edgy movie, West Side Story, at Grauman’s Chinese Theater next door. Anyway, check this issue of Lawry’s A LA Cart(sic) http://tinyurl.com/y9qlafjj for where the iconic Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae is!

  2. My wife, a retired flight attendant, has successfully Heimliched 2 (out of 2) chokees.
    The biggest culprits according to her are frankfurters and roast beef.
    The chokee might very well have been biting of more than they could chew.
    After you do Phillipe’s french dip you might want to try Desiboo’s in Bernaliillo.
    The french dip is very good.

  3. Don’t mean to take ya down a notch or two there Gil, albeit we both agree on its excellence, but Whoa….despite your exaltations, apparently Lawry’s Prime Rib does not agree with everyone!!!!! Macabre-likeLOL (Don’t have to roll the video.) http://tinyurl.com/c6x3vlf Lest past its 12/11 video availability, to his credit as an Eagle Scout, an Oregon lineman, Mark Asper, steps in to do the Heimlich for a stranger during an annual dinner at Lawry’s for teams playing in the Rose Bowl (1/2/12)!
    Beyond that, am happy to see there is still an “original” Lawry’s!!!, albeit my fading memory can’t say this http://tinyurl.com/cp6z7wk looks like what I knew as a wet-behind-the-ears college kid of yore from The East. (Hey! on that map version, I zoomed in to espy there is now a sister of San Francisco’s original Stinking Rose http://www.thestinkingrose.com/ (for garlic lovers if ya never been) just down the street! Eh? didn’t the Goldberg fellow, who was slashed by an unknown slayer of Nicole (can you say per a recent 6 Degrees of Separation reference) Simpson, work at an “in” place at the time along that Restaurant Row which ABQ Foodies would designate as part of the trough which would be a must to chomp along lest we took the Southwest Chief overnight to critique the original French Dip of Philippe’s ?

    1. Roberto

      One has to surmise that the diner in need of the Heimlich was a vegan trying to convert. The richness and deliciousness of the Lawry’s prime rib would have that effect.

      Ron Goldman did indeed work at the trendy Mezzaluna Restaurant before losing his head. Hopefully OJ will eventually find the real killer.

      I’ve got a sabbatical coming up and would love to make the trek to Philippe’s. Maybe we can talk Sr. Plata into joining us. He grew up in the Brentwood area of LA and tends to avoid all things USC, but he does appreciate a great French dip.

  4. 2 quickies….
    Peter Benchley is credited with saying “I may be 60 but if every year had 18 months in it I’d only be 60.”
    As a transplanted NYer I judge all hot dogs by a snapping good natural casing all beef Nathan’s Famous original, sauerkraut and basic yellow mustard, and on the side the granddaddy of all great French Fries, Nathan’s Famous French Fries.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. The Bruce:
    – Pink’s? Pink’s? While it existed, don’t think it was “in the loop” during my era in LA…Blush! No pun intended. Per my love of coincidences, I just freekin heard of Pink’s for the first time as part of a cable newz “filler” this week similar to this print reference about ‘dogs’ now being ‘hot’ in LA http://tinyurl.com/7flhgxk (Your reference to Pink’s and that newz item is like an offshoot of this week’s newz regarding Kevin Bacon’s Six Degrees of Separation per now possibly being only 4.74 Degrees !!!! http://tinyurl.com/cem65zj Hey…nevertheless, another classic place apparently to visit on The Wild Wild West Foody Train Adventure!!!
    – Actually, per your reference to ‘not getting it’ about Pink’s: that also ties into degrees of separation!!! It’s like people must apparently feel by eating one of those dogs they are like being connected to Hollywood Liberalites….see here http://tinyurl.com/qjnzb just like tourists try to do by putting their hands/feet into this guy’s http://tinyurl.com/7p2yy9j or Ronnie’s hands or feet at Grauman’s Chinese Theater !!!!
    – Alas, I will refrain from going off on Orange Julius’ (‘affectionately’ known as OJ’s) being the best greasy burger as well as fries in LA back then, as well as not detailing the variety of splendiferous burgers I had the privilege of grilling at Woody’s Smorgasburgers of my era, I’m sure I have extolled elsewhere….LOL
    – Lastly: “You seem much younger.” Satchel once asked: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” And Twain: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

    Here’s wishing we all will be able to be Thankful in the months ahead in terms of Wealth, Wisdom, and Health!
    “Chow!”

  6. Huh, BOTVOLR,
    No Palladin or Yancy or Bart, Bret, and Babalu?
    No Pahookahteewah?
    Lash Larue???
    You seem much younger.
    And please explain the hordes that wait for seemingly forever for Pinks tube steaks.
    Ball park franks with strange toppings.
    I don’t get it.
    Help

  7. Ha ha on me Foodie Star!
    There I went being a bit idiosyncratically off-the-wall trying to be ‘playful’ while responding to Sr. Plata’s expressed need to obtain the recipe for Lawry’s Yorkshire Pudding! To me…and don’t know why….the name Yorkshire Pudding has an aura of British uppityness/mystery/elitism to it, which brought to mind the Wizard of Oz being exposed for less than what might be expected of a “Wizard”. As sometimes said or implied: “Do you really want to know what’s behind the curtain?” as you might be let down? That’s what struck me…not being a cook…when seeing Lawry’s recipe for YP is “just 2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 4 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt !!” What??? No EVOO or Cumin????
    The reference to Philippe’s was to playfully “test” his claim of being a real “Los Angeleno” given Philippe’s being widely known as a LA landmark across from another landmark, Union Station, per Philippe’s claim of inventing the French Dip (which ties into this Blog’s food theme) and being around for over a hundred years. Also, my reference to Philippe’s is just a bit of nostalgia seeping out, wondering if this place is still as good as when it provided sustenance to some of us poor students at USC sooo looong ago, along with the others so noted. How supercilious would it be to take a train while listening to you Dudes n Dudettes all night long regaling of your gustatory adventures, just for me to get a simple sandwich of meat-on-a-bun while sitting at a ‘community’ hi-top picnic table with sawdust on the floor!!! Hey, it’s not like I’m asking that we go in search of (one of the first all-ya-can-eat-buffets???) Rand’s Chuckwagon Round-Up http://tinyurl.com/6s82zao
    The reference to the Cisco Kid* and Pancho’s closing interplay, was simply my ‘interlinking’ of the Spanish roots of LA, our being in the Southwest, and my interpretation that Sr. stands for Senor in lieu of my saying Hasta Luego!!
    My use of web addies was just for explanatory reference.
    (*Lest Y’all be too young, t’was a popular series nationally in the early B&W days of TV introducing us Eastern kids to the likes of “others” beyond those of Hoppy, Roy/Dale/Gabby, Tom, Lash, Gene, The Lone Ranger (wherein I actually learned to speak “Indian”, e.g. ‘Kemo Sabe’, before Latin and French in high school!!!)
    Hope that answers your “Huh?”….LOL ….and albeit Sr. Plata has not apparently checked back to find the recipe…MLOL
    “Chow!”
    BOTVOLR

  8. OK Senor Plata….So you think you’ve got the huevos of Toto to pull back the curtain to actually see the recipe for Yorkshire Pudding??? http://tinyurl.com/2hu277
    As an option, scroll down for text version http://tinyurl.com/6omwr3e !!!
    BTW, if Y’all are a true Los Angeleno, name the best place to go for “The Original” French Dip Sandwich (FDS) before you can peek here http://tinyurl.com/2efqe2 !!!
    Again, if we follow your lead, we all board the 4:45 pm Amtrak from ABQ to arrive Union Station at 8:15 am to cab it to The Pantry for breakfast. We then go to Farmer’s Market to amble around noshing before hitting the FDS place after the lunch crowd clears out. Just before our 6:15pm departure home, we grab FDSs to-go so that later that evening, we tip toe up to the Club Car for a raucous Midnight Snack!!! As an option, we stay a night in LA for some sumptuous repast therein.
    http://tinyurl.com/868ddxg

  9. One of the best things of Lawry’s is the Yorkshire Pudding, it has got to be one of the best comfort foods ever and I need the recipe. When I go to the one in Beverly Hills, yes, also an ex-Los Angeleno, I must ask for 1 extra pan to eat as a dessert. Thanks Gil for reminding me of days gone by…

  10. When I go to Las Vegas, I do not eat in the casinos for the very reason you stated. My favorite steak house is Del Frisco and visit every time we are in Vegas. Your review of Lowery’s has inspired me to visit. Thanks Gil for the review.
    (I will still have to sneak in a visit to Del Frisco too)

    Rand
    NewMexicoChileProducts.com

  11. Gil,

    Your recent posts are really timely as my wife and I are planning a trip to Vegas next month. As Los Angeles transplants we were looking forward to Lawry’s and your post cinched it. Was also looking at Joe’s. By any chance did you see anyone ordering the king crab legs?

    1. Hello Hunter

      We did see a number of people order the king crab legs. They appear to have been enjoying them. About the best advice I can give you is to place yourself in the very capable hands of Linda, the very best waitress we’ve had in Las Vegas. Her knowledge is encyclopedic, her service ambassadorial and her personality iridescent. She won’t steer you wrong.

      Gil

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