Classic Tables: The Tam O'Shanter
Time stands still in Atwater Village
Prime rib with creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding
Less than 200,000 cars were rolling through the streets of Los Angeles in 1922; land west of La Brea Avenue was largely undeveloped.
Tam O’Shanter Restaurant opened at 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard that year, and despite a few shifts in concept throughout the years, the same establishment, run by the same family, still remains there.
Los Angeles has exploded in the past near-century, change and growth that makes the L.A. of '22 seem quaint. But Tam O’Shanter has not modernized nearly as rapidly. The tartan- and dark-wood-heavy restaurant is no time capsule of the early 20th century, but it does feel wonderfully dated and free of irony. Even with Atwater Village’s increasing cultural caché, the self-awareness of hipsterdom hasn’t wormed its way through Tam O’Shanter’s doors.
The meat-and-potatoes-centric menu is uninfluenced by today’s (or yesterday’s) culinary trends. Start your meal off with Scotch rarebit ($8), a pleasure guilty rather than refined, which tastes more like Wisconsin beer cheese than Public House cooking. And the varied cuts of prime rib ($28 to $38), rosy slabs of beef served with smoky creamed spinach, are impressive--the family behind Lawry's owns the place, after all.
Tam O’Shanter, 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard, Atwater Village; 323-664-0228 or lawrysonline.com/tam-oshanter
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