The Tam O'Shanter

A 100-year old LA institution that’s still packing them in

By Keyla Vasconcellos

Pass the classic red telephone booth outside to enter Tam O’Shanter’s gigantic, fortress-like wooden doors, and you’ll be transported into a storybook-like place of Scottish themes and comforting meals. This setting may explain the rumor that Walt Disney spent countless hours sketching at the timeless restaurant—Snow White’s house is supposedly inspired by the restaurant’s original design. But Tam O’ Shanter offers more than just atmosphere—the eclectic menu of hearty meals reflects a diverse cultural range, too.

To start out, check out the “Wall of Scotch, ” featuring over 102 spirits or just order the cheese and charcuterie plate. Choose from cow, sheep, goat, or bleu cheeses, and don’t forget about the 500-day cured prosciutto di Parma. The summer salad with melon, avocado, and bacon delivers a balanced sweet, salty, and smoky bite for the ideal palate cleanser. If you’re still not done getting started, the Asian-inspired tempura green bean appetizer with a subtle horseradish aïoli will test your ability to save room for what’s to come.

Before you get to the main event, however, go ahead and order dessert—Tam’s decadent, fluffy, chocolate soufflé with house-made whipped cream is made-to-order, and will take some time to work it’s magic.

Tam’s signature dish, the roasted prime rib, arrives saucy and juicy with creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, and a light and airy popover bread—the picture of a composed and comforting meal. Not enough? Not to worry, an array of other sides are yours for the choosing, including decadent mac and cheese with smoky Gouda, farmhouse Cheddar, and breadcrumbs for a mouthful of crunchy, cheesy, goodness. If red meat’s not your thing, the trout stuffed with roasted lemon and garnished with crispy Brussels sprouts doesn’t disappoint.

With your chocolate soufflé arriving—and really, it would be a gastronomic crime to leave without trying this—you can feel ready to close the book on a perfectly fairy tale evening. If you happened to end up sitting at table 31—Walt Disney’s fabled spot—all the better.


Dinner: Mon–Thu 5 PM–9 PM; Fri 5 PM–10 PM; Sat 4 PM–10 PM; Sun 4 PM–9 PM
Brunch: Sat 11 AM–2:30 PM; Sun 10:30 AM–2:30 PM
Ale & Sandwich Bar: 11 AM–midnight daily

price range

$7 (deviled eggs) to $48 (Prince Charlie Cut prime rib)