A couple of times a year, I get a craving for a big hunk of old-school, unfashionable roast beef. For that, I head to Lawry’s. Open the door to this temple of prime rib and the aroma of rock-salt-roasted meat greets you. It’s not a hip scene. The dining room is as quiet and traditional as the patrons. For a great meal here, order the thickest cut of prime rib roast available. Don’t waste your time on the English cut, three unsatisfying thin slices of beef. Do it right, and go for the Diamond Jim Brady, an extra-thick, bone-in portion; or the Dallas cut, the double-sized slab, the traditional pregame meal served to the Cotton Bowl teams. On my last visit, I was psyched to slice into a chunk of pinkish-red corn-fed beef served tableside from Lawry’s rolling silver carts—it feels so all-American and satisfying—but my heart sank when I discovered the meat was cold. The heavy veins of fat that go down so easy when hot were semicoagulated, and the gluttony guilt warnings in my brain made it impossible to eat it. The young server also never delivered my Yorkshire pudding. (What is Lawry’s without Yorkshire pudding?) However, my friend was quite happy with his picks: an oh-so-lightly dressed and tangy Caesar salad, a grilled bone-in rib-eye, and a Grand Marnier souffle. Judging from the faces at the other tables, I was the only disappointed person in the room.

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