Going to the Tam O’Shanter is like stepping back in time. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, “theme” restaurants were everywhere. Now there are few.
Perhaps the Tam’s longevity is due to being a member of the Lawry’s family of restaurants. In fact, it is the eldest of this elite group, operating for over 90 years. Somehow it still manages to look fresh and current. A patio was added recently for al fresco dining, yet the history and charm lies within. It is a meat lovers’ paradise, though vegetarians and pescatarians have options, too.
A friend I met while working at a Lawry’s restaurant in San Francisco years ago was the perfect “date” for this evening. We were seated promptly in a comfortable corner table in one of the many rooms. Our server, Sarah, greeted us with a smile, and we felt right at home.
The specials sounded tempting, but we had already made up our minds. The prime rib, Lawry’s specialty, was imperative, and, for variety, the pan-seared Scottish salmon.
For openers, we shared the onion soup, dripping with melted cheese. The broth was scrumptious, slightly sweet and teeming with onions. The prime rib was thick and juicy, but I would have enjoyed au jus, (a little extra on the side to pour over the Yorkshire pudding). The salmon had a crispy crust and the cauliflower was crunchy and popped with flavor.
For a fun change, try the Ale and Sandwich Bar, open daily from 11am to 11pm.
The Tam O’Shanter is located at 2980 Los Feliz Blvd. in Los Angeles (Atwater Village). Call (323) 664-0228.
Laura Voeth has worked for some of L.A.’s most prestigious restaurants and her reviews have been published since 2002.