I have no Irish blood in my body, but having grown up in the Boston area, I like to think I know a thing or two about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This year I had the opportunity to check out the festivities as a guest of Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village.
I arrived and immediately noticed the place was bustling with patrons of all ages. An elderly couple was dressed in elaborate costumes and ready to head home just as I was getting started. Children ran around devouring green ice cream cones. I stood in line with my companion for fifteen minutes waiting to check in. The young lady who greeted me was full of smiles as she handed me my four tickets (normally $8 each) that were good for food or beverage. We wandered into a giant tent filled with people dancing and enjoying the Irish music stylings of The Ploughboys.
I walked to the bar to wet my whistle. For $16 (two tickets), I ordered a Guinness and a Jameson on the rocks. I watched as the bartender poured my Guinness into a tiny plastic cup and proceeded to take a tiny little plastic shot glass and measure what would have been a half shot anywhere else. I’ll accept this practice under protest at the Staples Center. However, for an establishment that charges $21 for their cheapest entrée, it is nothing short of tacky.
We were very curious to try the food inside the restaurant, but with the wait being long and the prices being sky high, we opted for the street food. A corned beef sandwich on rye or a roast beef sandwich were priced at $8. For $12 you could get a corned beef and cabbage plate that goes for $26 on their regular menu. We chose to split the corned beef sandwich on rye. The meat was flavorful and tender but by the time we arrived at a table, the cabbage on the side made the rye bread soggy and crumble in our hands.
My plus-one and I decided we would avoid another sandwich fiasco and split another drink with our final golden ticket inside the hot and humid tent. Despite the hot temperature, the band playing onstage made every bead of sweat worth it. Their energetic performance truly dictated the atmosphere of the party. Parents indulged in green beer as children danced in front.
Tam O’Shanter’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party: County Fair feel at Disneyland prices.