Whenever I visit LA, I like to dine at older restaurants that have some link with old Hollywood's past.
Tam o' Shanter is located near former Walt Disney studios, and in the lobby you can see Walt's sketches of the owner, along with the Disney troupe of characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, etc.)
The decor is what you would expect of a Scottish pub, i.e., plaid furnishings and dark paneled walls.
As it was Christmas time, the restaurant was beautifully decorated with pine trees and garlands, and there were carolers dressed in Dickenesian costumes. They did go from table to table, taking requests (my only minor complaint is that we heard "O Holy Night" no fewer than 4 times before we even got our entrees).
We had reservations but had to wait about a half hour for our table.
The manager seated us at a table right in front of the fireplace which was the crowning touch for me - I half expected someone to come marching in with a yule log. We were also offered complimentary cocktails for having waited so long to be seated.
The specialty cocktails are VERY strong - plenty of Jamieson's in them all - they have a full bar, so lighter and fussier drinks such as whiskey sours are available.
We shared the Welsh rarebit for an appetizer - and we could have made a meal of this alone. The hint of dark ale in the cheddar sauce gives it the right kick and was absolutely delicious.
I had the toad in the hole, which was very good - it is chopped filet mignon cooked in a red wine sauce with onions and mushrooms and served in a large Yorkshire pudding.
Whenever I've had Yorkshire pudding it's always had a very buttery flavor to it, and this did not. However, the sauce was so good I hardly missed that.
My dining companion had the roast goose which was very good and looked totally like a festive Christmas dinner.
For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding which was absolutely delicious - this is one of my favorites that I look for in any English/Scottish restaurant and their version was yummy.
The service was wonderful - our waitress was Diane, and she was very attentive without being obtrusive.
Definitely will come back again!
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