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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fine Dining & The Disappointing Dress Of My Era

Lawry’s The Prime Rib is an extraordinary restaurant---a place of classic elegance, style, and luxurious comfort. From the moment the valet opens your door and your feet hit the marble steps of the famous Beverly Hills location, you embark upon an evening of effortless fine dining. But in Los Angeles it appears that fine dining is no longer accompanied with fine attire. The effortless dining experience Lawry’s is well known for has been paired with casual styles of dress.

            Lawry’s has been a dining legend in the city of Los Angeles for over 75 years. Opening its doors in 1938, Lawry’s has created a unique menu that is still served today. The unique menu features various cuts of Lawry’s roasted prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, creamed corn and spinach and their renown spinning bowl salad. The prime rib is carved and served tableside from silver carts. The simple menu, that happily accommodates carnivores, maintains Lawry’s excellence of serving food that is exceptionally unique when paired with Lawry’s famous seasoned salt. 

            The open seating area that accommodates the silver carts that are wheeled about the tables, paired with the tall mahogany colored leather chairs makes a diner feel like they have assumed the seat of royalty for the next hour and a half of their dining experience. Accompanying the décor of the dining room is the dim lights and the soft classical music that permeates within. 

            The elements of luxury, elegance and comfort are three characteristics that any special occasion should indulge in. Lawry’s is a restaurant I have been going to with my parents since I was a little girl. However, this occasion was a bit different. It has been at least 10 years since the last time I enjoyed the succulent prime rib at the specified Beverly Hills location. My 22nd birthday just passed and after being a seasonal vegetarian for four months I decided I wanted to experience the Lawry’s dining I once remembered. My boyfriend made reservations for two at 8:30 pm on Tuesday January 22nd. Looking dapper as usual he sported a dinner jacket, dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. I, believing to be fit for the occasion, wore a skirt ruffled blouse and heels. As a young couple in there twenties dressed very elegantly, I was embarrassed as I walked into the dining room. My embarrassment was not for me, but for the rest of the diners. It was extremely disheartening to walk into what was and still remains one of the finest dinner houses in Beverly Hills, to find how poorly dressed people were. Maybe it had grown to be a tourist location? That’s the only explanation I could fathom. But even then, I find it highly unacceptable when the dress code is on their website and their dinner prices speak for the anticipated level of elegance displayed upon diners. 

My memory as a little girl was one of required dinner jackets and dresses for all diners; today jeans, leggings, and tennis shoes flooded my view. Although diners were not dressed to my expectation for a fine dinner house or Lawry’s, “we recommend attire that is befitting a special occasion restaurant; we strongly request no tank tops, torn jeans, shorts, hats and casual gym wear,” my experience was still exceptional. Regardless of the less then befitting attire of some of the other diners, the company, service and food in my corner were exactly what I hoped for. 

-Andrea N.


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