Joe, Lawry and Tradition: Final Vegas Post
We've instated a few traditions in Las Vegas over the years. The March Madness trip itself (which also coincides with St Patrick's Day, Peter's birthday and my birthday) has been going on for almost a decade.
When we were younger Vegas trips happened numerous times per year, but with age it's
been cut down to an annual trip (although bachelor parties seem to be bumping the number up lately). Standing in the sports book this year, it hit me that it's just the only way to watch the NCAA tournament- on 4 giant screens and 8 smaller screens, surrounded by point-taking or giving sports fans, hanging on every last shot and second on the clock.
Two food traditions that have emerged are Joe's Stone Crab for lunch and Lawry's for dinner. Joe's is the perfect vegas meal, light but decadent and something that can't easily be found in LA. Their hash browns alone are worth the trip, but throw in powerfully flavorful oysters Rockefeller and thick, fresh crab legs and you have the perfect midday Vegas meal.
The Lawry's tradition is one that doesn't really make sense, as we have one in LA. It's definitely not the fanciest restaurant in Vegas. It's not new or trendy or even on the strip. I think the reasons are that the service (especially for a large, rowdy group of eight to ten guys) is always spot on. The limited menu makes ordering easy and keeps the price reasonable (versus Bouchon or Guy Savoy where some of the pickier eaters might be upset about choices and cost). It's hearty and satisfying, with nuclear horseradish and artery-clogging creamed corn and spinach. Although they never have the table ready when we arrive, that's the only qualm we've ever had with Lawry's.
My final point is that I will definitely hit Lotus of Siam in June. I missed it this time but it won't happen again.