Gregg Hunter’s Newspace

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Some holi -daze dining hints. The Carolers are making their harmonic way around the Tam O’Shanter singing traditional and popular songs of the season. There’s no sur-charge for the music and they talented group sounds especially wonderful with a Prince Charles slab of prime rib or prime beef steak and Yorkshire pudding on your platter. The Palate also favors the leg of lamb and rotisserie roasted duckling. The menu is familiar and fine though prices have escalated here (and many places) of late. There are a number of new staff faces. When our sweet young server thoughtfully inquired whether I had visited the Los Feliz landmark before it brought laugher all around. I not only knew the late founder, Lawrence Frank, but have staged more than 20 annual “40th” birthday bashes there At one time I emanated a popular luncheon broadcast at “the celebrity table” in the cozy, colorful, turn of the 20th century restaurant. So I go way back with the family-owned Lawry’s place, but it was the Tam, not the Palate, that’s in its it’s eighth decade – Two more positive notes. .One— there’s attendant parking and, two, there’s a full bar. Oops, I almost failed to mention that reservations are always a smart idea here.

Yuletide parties and shopping sprees often mean empty tables in otherwise packed food establishments. If you’ve been frustrated in getting reservations to that extravagant place where the rich and famous mingle, this may be your lucky day. Whatever your destination on New Years Eve go with reservations and a designated driver.

My nomination as the most improved chain restaurant of the year goes to the Los Feliz Blvd. showcase branch of The Sizzler is.located just a busy block or two east of the Tam Long a favorite salad bar the place has finally become a dinner house with its much improved ambiance, service staff and, especially the entrée menu preparation. Steaks, ribs, chicken, lobster tail and fish are perfectly cooked to order without the former over-abundance of tenderizers. Serve yourself soup bowls are no longer salt laden and the new dinner rolls are frresh and tasty. Baked potatoes are twice their former size and even the cheese toast is good. My favorite specialty is the truly gigantic butterrflied and crisdpy deeo-fried shrimp

The sumptuous salad bar remains thestar attraction and the appetizer display includes thte makings fotr tacos and chicken wings. Soft ice cream is there for the coning and thte beverage chart includes bottled beer and wine. Prices start at $9.95and top at $14.95 andit’s a solid value. Egg dishes are featured at the Sunday Brunch counter. Therre’s always something to satisfy any appetite. Re-discover the rreneewed Sizzzler soon.

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The Curious Palate

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