By: Bob Gourley
Prime rib has been a staple of Vegas diners since the early days. Billboards of juicy meat was a great temptation for those making the trek across the desert on Interstate 15 and was also used as a low-price lure to get travelers into the casinos.
But the great distance between bargain beef and high-end meat is a large one. Quality is certainly the number one concern for the management at Lawry’s The Prime Rib. For not only will you find some of the most succulent beef you have ever tasted, but the entire experience is unique. You won’t find anything like this anywhere else.
The dining room is gorgeous with plush booths and elegant lighting. The dinner begins with a basket of warm bread and butter. Next the waitress will bring a cart with the fixings for the spinning bowl salad that is prepared mostly at the table.
In the early days, all of the ingredients were combined tableside but now everything comes in a large bowl ready to eat except for the pouring of their unique salad dressing that is delivered as the bowl spins. Crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, shredded beets, chopped eggs and croutons combine for a slightly tart opening course.
There aren’t many places that carve prime rib to your order at the table and certainly no one has the silver carts that are rolled around the dining room. Each conveyance cost about $15,000 and has a battery-powered light that the expert carver uses to view the ribs. Also on the cart are silky mashed potatoes plus creamed corn and spinach. A pan of Yorkshire pudding is also delivered shortly after the cart leaves.
Four sizes of beef are offered, from a smaller California Cut to the gargantuan Diamond Jim Brady affair that weighs in with a rib bone. Each bite is tender and juicy with a slight crunchiness to the outside.
Even though prime rib is the star, other items are available, including a roast turkey platter, a trio of Atlantic lobster tails and grilled salmon delivered with quinoa pilaf and seasonal vegetables.
You will be full after all of the proceedings but do order the C.C. Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae for dessert. It is prepared tableside and includes Double Rainbow Gourmet vanilla ice cream, toasted almonds, whipped cream and that L.A. favorite scrumptious C.C. Brown Chocolate Sauce.
The Lawry’s people bought the C.C. Brown company a few years ago and now serve the dessert in all of their restaurants. Chocolate Fantasy Cake and house-made crème brulee with fresh seasonal berries are also available.
The Las Vegas location is one of the only ones open for lunch. You can get full-size meat portions minus the bread and spinning salad for about half the price at dinner.
There are very few Lawry’s restaurants in the world. The management likes to keep the experience unique by making it a destination place. With beef this good, loyal followers make it a regular routine.
Lawry’s the Prime Rib, Open for lunch weekdays, dinner 7 days a week, 4043 Howard Hughes Parkway, Las Vegas. (702) 893-2223. www.lawrysonline.com.