Like couture designers who develop more accessible lines a la Donna Karan’s DKNY, Ralph Lauren’s playful, sportier Ralph, and Calvin Klein’s CK, restaurants build faster, quicker versions of their full-scale restaurants to reach a wider audience. In most cases, I don’t necessarily love the original restaurant, and the mini-me versions of them are only better because they’re cheaper. wolfgang puck did it with is Wolfgang Puck Cafes in local neighborhoods, daily grill built an outpost at lax, and California Pizza Kitchen does it with their CPK ASAP in malls. At South Coast Plaza, Lawry’s Prime Rib has also extended themselves to the power-shopping crowd with A Cut Above, Lawry’s Carvery.
i don’t know if i was just famished after the veritable road trip down to costa mesa, the dizzying task of circling floors every higher and higher looking for parking, or the 3+ hours of hiking from boutique to boutique in high heels (it is south coast plaza, after all); but our $25 lunch at the carvery was fantastic. we ignored charles david, tod, and even st. john’s prayers to return to our shopping spree so we could finish every last bite of our sandwich and salad.
just like the original prime rib, the hand-carved prime rib sandwich comes au jus. there’s also a bit of horseradish cream to smear, as needed, on the focaccia style-bread. the beef is perfectly pink, totally tender, and though it's not as thick as the diamond jim brady cut, it's definitely not your deli-sliced roast beef. of course, there’s no creamed corn or mashed potatoes, but homemade potato chips are sprinkled with lawry’s seasoned salt. there are however, other sides available like macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli, more appropriate with the traditional prime rib on the carver platters. our rotisserie turkey cobb salad had all the necessities and was beautifully presented – not your standard mall food court fare!
thank goodness for lawry’s, else i would have gotten quite a case of heartburn inhaling hot dog on a stick traipsing from fendi to ferragamo to gucci! hot dog on a stick? good. heartburn? bad. fendi, ferragamo and gucci? that’s another story.
south coast plaza
3333 bristol street, suite 2601
costa mesa, ca 92626