Robin Green's restaurant column on Lawry's The Prime Rib ("High Adventure in Lawry's Roastbeefland," Jan. 18) was a textbook example of effete snobbism and unremitting negativism. She has taken each facet of a fine restaurant serving good, solid American food, and twisted it to suit the purposes of an out-and-out hatchet job.
Obviously, Green would rather have been languishing in some leafy hothouse, enjoying a spare plate with a thin slice of veal smothered in an exotic grape sauce, accompanied by a couple of marble-sized boiled potatoes and a few lonely pea pods. And joyfully paying about $200 a couple, sans wine.
Lawry's success speaks for itself. We don't consider the bar to be an "ersatz men's club." And how can one complain about complimentary smoked almonds? How many bars around town even furnish peanuts nowadays? And what's so unusual about the portrait of the founder in the foyer? Hasn't Green ever noticed Dave Chasen's portrait in the foyer of Chasen's?
Would that some of the uppity waiters and owners of trendy "in" spots around L.A. were as personable as the "cheerful, on automatic" waitresses at Lawry's.
We love their wholesome salads, and are knowledgeable enough to know that most prepared salad dressings contain a small amount of sugar. Green calls the dressing "stuff." One could make anything sound unappetizing with such a biased word. She calls the silver beef cart a "coffin." My wife, whose taste I'll put against Green's any day, calls it Art Deco.
Green sneers at the little sign on the baked potato about being tubbed and scrubbed. How effete can you get? And denigrates that wonderful slice of prime rib by labeling it a "slab."
My wife has been coming to Lawry's since she was a child in the late '30s. And I've been taking my family there since 1962, when it was an event--and still is.
The fact that one may have to wait for a table shows its popularity. The hostesses always play fair, not favorites, such as some of your so-called fashionable spots around town are wont to do. We've never had to bribe a headwaiter at Lawry's for a good table. Can you say the same about other restaurants, Green?
So, you just keep going to your kind of restaurant, Green, and we'll keep going to ours--one of which is Lawry's. And, by the way, it's a wonder you didn't find a way to knock the valet parking, along with everything else.
JERRY and PAULINE COWLE
I don't like Lawry's the Prime Rib, and am dragged there under protest every three years or so. I also don't like "puff-piece" restaurant reviews. Those facts notwithstanding, when 36 column inches are devoted to cutesy-poo snideness, and only a grudging final line says the beef is good, the review becomes irritating and useless except as an excuse for the writer to show off.
In other words, nobody loves a smart-ass. So, could you skip Robin Green and get Colman Andrews back?
Get Andrews on Page 85.
Regarding Otis Pettigrew's letter suggesting that restaurant critic Colman Andrews should be horsewhipped for extreme unctiousness and using bad French (Letters Annex, Jan. 20), Andrews is one of the better judges of restaurants and good food. He combines sophistication and humor in a way that some nerds who spend their time at fast-food joints before attending a Prince concert wouldn't understand.
WALTER P. COOMBS
Pettigrew of Sherman Oaks accuses Colman Andrews of "using his bad French at every opportunity" and then ends his letter saying that Andrews "has got to be a little weird, n'est pas? "
Ceux qui habitent des maisons de verre ne devraient pas jeter les pierres, n'est-ce pas?
Rough translation: Those who live in houses of glass should not throw the stones, is this not so?