For over 90 years, Lawry’s has delighted diners throughout the country with their renowned prime rib and signature seasoned salt. Atwater Village’s Tam O’Shanter is one of L.A.’s longest-standing restaurants and the original location of Lawry’s. Seventy years after closing its historic patio, made famous by Walt Disney and some of the original Disney animators, a freshly renovated patio breathes new life into the neighborhood gem, attracting new and regular customers alike.
General Manager John Lindquist runs the day to day operations at Tam O’Shanter, which honors its indelible place in L.A. history. “You step into our restaurant, and you take a step back in time,” Lindquist explains. “We’ve got pictures of Walt Disney from the 1940’s and 1950’s on the wall here because he was a regular. We have his specific table in the restaurant, table number 31, where he sat every day during lunch. His studio was right near us on Hyperion at the time. It’s an interesting piece of L.A. history.”
Originally established in 1922 as a roadside stand, Tam O’Shanter has been a part of the community for nearly a century. “You can’t build a 96-year-old business if you don’t have long term guests,” Lindquist continues. “I meet guests who come up and tell me, ‘I’ve been coming here longer than you’ve been alive!’ It’s great to hear that they’ve got a tradition of coming to a restaurant like this, and we’re able to still provide that for them. We just had a customer celebrate her 96th birthday here. She’s been coming here for 90 years.”
Not only known for its history and prime rib, Tam O’Shanter offers an impressive assortment of scotch. “We have one of the largest collections in California, if not the U.S.,” Lindquist explains. “We’ve got a great wall of scotch which is filled with 200 out of the close to 400 bottles that we have in our collection, some of which you can’t find in the U.S. at all. We have it here for our guests to enjoy and learn a little bit about if they’re not already familiar.”
The unveiling of the new patio earlier this year adds another layer to Tam O’Shanter’s unique dining experience and offers guests something that few restaurants in that area offer. “We’re in a part of the neighborhood where there are not many restaurants that offer outside dining in our general vicinity,” Lindquist continues. “Now when you drive up, you’re greeted with these English gardens and beautiful outdoor fireplace on our patio where we have 50 seats to serve a full menu. Every night we get people coming up with their dogs or coming up to share a cocktail with their friends. It’s just a great addition to the neighborhood to bring that outdoor dining space back which is key in California.” Tam O’Shanter is an important cornerstone of that one of a kind L.A. dining experience and hopes to continue indulging palates for decades to come.