By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Tam O’Shanter Restaurant unless indicated.)
I enjoy dining at restaurants that have been in business for a long time because there is a feeling of confidence when dining. The Tam O’Shanter Restaurant opened in June 26, 1922, as the Montgomery Country Inn, in Los Angeles.
It was an exciting time of the silent film stars just before the Golden Era of Hollywood. The Tam soon became a favorite of Douglas Fairbanks, Grace Kelly, Rudolph Valentino, Fatty Arbuckle, Mary Pickford, the Gish sisters, Theda Bara, and Gloria Swanson as well as other celebrities and studio VIP’s.
The owners Henry Van de Kamp and Lawrence Frank tantalized their guests with creative menus featuring country-style frankfurters, champagne-baked ham sandwiches, chicken and waffle dinners, authentic pumpkin pie and hot potato salad.
The menus changed throughout the years. In 1938, Van de Kamp and Frank introduced their specialty prime ribs and opened the first Lawry’s the Prime Rib Restaurant. Other winning additions were the special spice salt and salad dressing. The chef has a special way of preparing their prime ribs to make certain that each individual rib came out the same.
More and more our guests are demanding to know about their food. We purchase most of the food from local California farms.
Tam has been serving the Lawry’s famous prime ribs along with their own Scottish, steaks and specialty menus preserving the traditions as a member of Lawry’s fine dining family.
John Lindquist, General Manager of the Tam O’Shanter Restaurant, reminisced, “We were perfectly situated between Hollywood and where the studios were filming. Walt Disney was one of our most famous guests and came in every day because they didn’t have a commissary. Disney had his own table which is located in our main dining room. Sometimes his grandson, Roy Disney, dines here.
Tam began with a bar and dining room then added the Scottish Tartan Kilts Room. We have a collection of almost all of the Scotland clan tartans hung up on walls so guests can come in and see.
Another room, named after the Royal Guards of Scotland, features old armor and swords.
Take a tour of the restaurant. Everywhere you look there are historic pictures, relics, and something to catch your eyes.”
Tam O’Shanter has been proud to be known as the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles. For information, call (323)-664-0228. The Tam O’Shanter Restaurant is located at 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard. www.LawrysOnline.com
PLACES TO STAY
Elaine’s Hollywood B&B is located at: 1616 North Sierra Bonita Avenue, in Hollywood, California (between Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard). (323) 850-0766. www.elaineshollywoodbedandbreakfast.com
Los Feliz Lodge is located at 1509 North Hoover Street, near Griffith Park and Silver Lake. (323)-660-4150. www.losfelizlodge.com
Award winning Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated Show and Dining Reviewer, travel writer, professional photographer and talk show host of the Las Vegas Today Show and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. For any information or questions about any of Sandy’s columns, please contact Sandy Zimmerman at P. O. Box #750211, Las Vegas, NV. 89136.