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Where To Find Haggis in L.A. This Month

Tam O'Shanter:

Tam O'Shanter: "Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis"Photo: TJMWatson/Flickr

Atwater Village now has two Scottish restaurants working Los Feliz Boulevard. But the area is still typically bereft of haggis, Scotland's signature sausage. A traditional companion to Scotch, haggis typically lands with the dimensions of a medium-sized stone in a balloon of sheep stomach stuffed with the lamb's heart, liver, and lungs, along with a mixture of oats and fat. Maybe for obvious reasons, the potent delicacy's importation has long been banned in the U.S., despite repeat efforts to free the beast.

On January 23 and 24, Tam O'Shanter Inn is hosting its annual dinner party (emphasis on the party) in tribute to the 254th birthday of Auld Lang Syne-scribe Robert Burns, whose poetic works include an "Address to a Haggis." As expected, the neighborhood's original Scottish restaurant, to whose title Burns also dedicated an ode, will have its own haggis on hand.

Over two seatings on both nights, Burns' b-day will be celebrated with haggis prepared by the restaurant's former chef, Ivan Harrison, who retired in 2000. A treasured annual event, there could be close to 1,000 guests in attendance over both evenings, many decked out in their Tartan best and hopped up on Scotch, bearing witness to a haggis parade and a ceremonial haggis-slicing by sword, along with traditional performers along the lines of sword dancers, drummers, bag pipes, and a staged reading and performance of some of Burn's works, including his epic about the monstrous meal.

Tam's normal dinner me nu will be served, with the haggis and some other special dishes on offer. Reservations for the January 23 and 24 seatings can be made at 323-664-0228 or through Tam O'Shanter's website, but are limited.

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