Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hey, Secret Spice:

Are you from Los Angeles?

Do you remember Lawry's California Center?
Special Occasion Central

It was an outdoor courtyard restaurant in the 1970s and '80s. A Mexican restaurant run by Lawry's Seasonings, adjacent to a spice-packing plant. It featured fountains and steaks and mariachis, oh my.

These photos capture it much as it exists in my memory.

Lawry's closed in 1991 and sat vacant and overgrown until it was rehabbed in 1998 to become the Los Angeles River Center, home to the Friends of the LA River, as well as a popular site for weddings and other events. (Tsar played a secret reunion show there!)

Lawry's California Center had something of the lush al fresco languor of Disneyland—specifically, Adventureland and New Orleans Square. Sometimes when I am eating at Rancho Zocalo, the Mexican restaurant at Disneyland, I get a visceral memory-meld of those times.
Rancho Zocalo lanterns
Dig the xeriscaping

Do you remember Lawry's?


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