A feeling of familiarity always comes over me when I escape from the cold and the rain into the warmth and comfort of the Tam O'Shanter. Maybe it's because I grew up in Scottish pubs. Maybe it's because my mother's house is decorated exactly like the interior of the Tam O' Shanter, as is my brother's house, as is my own den (I have managed to contain all of the Scottishness in one room of the house by sheer willpower). Oh, sorry, am I babbling? Have I mentioned how strong the drinks are?
Grab a seat by the fire, and let Ricky fix you up a nice hot toddy. The Tam first mulls cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel, sugar and bitters to form the base of their hot toddy. If you don't declare a preference, the default liquor is Christian Brothers brandy. But if you like, they will mix it with any whisky you choose (or even rum).
Stay for a nice hot meal as long as you are there. It is always disappointing to arrive at a restaurant in the afternoon only to to discover that the kitchen closes for a few hours between lunch and dinner. But like any good pub, the Tam doesn't want you drinking on an empty stomach. They offer a hot sandwich bar to fill the gap between seatings, and to accomodate people who don't want full service. You can watch as the cook carves off moist slices of turkey, pastrami, brisket, and yes, even their famous prime rib to order.
There is a sense of convivialty in the Tam not often found in Los Angeles. The servers are friendly, the bartender is my best friend, and even perfect strangers smile when you catch their eye. So shake off the cold and cozy up in a corner where Walt Disney, Mary Pickford and John Wayne once did the same.
The Tam O' Shanter (323) 664-0228
2980 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90039
Ale and Sandwich Bar:
Sun - Fri: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm