I was married in Great Britain, and every year around my anniversary I crave good old-fashioned British cuisine. I'm talking a nice Yorkshire pudding or beef Wellington, and a really good trifle. Where in L.A. can I go to eat British food where the focus is the food, not the beer?
Dear Ms. Riley:
With the sheer number of British expats in town, a concentration that in certain parts of Santa Monica is so dense that it threatens to strain the earth's crust, you would think that Los Angeles would have a major concentration of British restaurants. And we kind of do, if you count the ale-heavy fish-and-chips joints (King's Head, Robin Hood British Pub, Brits), roadie joints and Indian restaurants (Agra, the newly reborn Lawrence of India) designed to slake the English longing for curry. Lawry's the Prime Rib, of course, was designed 80 years ago as a duplicate of the West End beef palace Simpson's on the Strand, although it is as English as a half-Tudor mansion on Rodeo Drive.
The Tam O'Shanter in Atwater Village, owned by the Lawry's family, is also as ersatz as can be, a Disney version of a Scottish inn that in fact started its life as a drive-in restaurant, but something tells me it's the kind of place you have in mind: prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and a lush trifle for dessert. Is there beef Wellington? Alas, the dish seems to have been banished from local menus. The last Wellington I had was made with Spam instead of beef, and I fear a dish like that on an important anniversary may be enough to strain even the soundest marriage.
Tam O'Shanter: 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; (323) 664-0228.