Local Favorite: Tam O' Shanter
What can be said about a restaurant in Southern California that has been around for 96 years? Opening in 1922, this Scottish restaurant owned by the Lawry's Prime Rib Group actually pre-dates that powerhouse institution. This historic destination was a popular destination for Walt Disney, his animators, and Imagineers. In fact, they dined at ‘The Tam’ so often, that it was dubbed “the Studio Commissary.” Walt Disney even had a favorite table, which has since been enshrined as a functional tribute to him. This table (#31) is located next to the fireplace in the main dining room.
After years of hearing about this place, we decided it was time to embark on our own adventure back in time and visited the Tam O'Shanter in the early part of December. The lot is valet only for dinner, for $5 a car, so we opted to do that instead of attempting to park elsewhere. Upon arrival, you notice the glorious old building, decorated in glimmering lights, with an old fashioned phone booth stationed outside. Once you step through the doors you are surrounded by an old fashioned feel, a tall liquor cabinet stands guard at the front of the restaurant, along with a Christmas tree and a wall of old photographs. We opted to sit in the bar area with those who had arrived in our party, and ordered a round of drinks and the holiday brie. I ordered the Table 31 cocktail, as a tribute to Walt Disney's beloved table at the Tam. Once the rest of our party arrived, we were seated in the main dining room for dinner service. We all ordered more cocktails (I opted for the maple old fashioned the 2nd time around, and it was excellent!) and selected our entrees. I will say, this is THE best time to visit Tam O'Shanter if you haven't been before. The entire place is decked out for Christmas, both inside and out. It just feels so festive and like you've taken a step back in time. They have carolers coming around both the bar and dining room area singing carols, which was a wonderful and fun touch to our evening. We definitely plan to go back in the coming years around Christmas time!