I am so excited to see Morrison open up. What with the Tam down the road all we need is a few wool shops to turn this stretch of Atwater into our own Little Glasgow. The bar has a great selection of whiskies, with a good representation of the Glens. They also offer specialty cocktails. The Morrison Manhattan and the Badia with Dewars Scotch, orange liqueur, and amaretto topped with Oatmeal Stout are both excellent. They have an enormous selection of craft beers, but I have to cry foul at the lack of Bass and Guinness on the menu. How can you make a proper black and tan?
The open room is stark and clean, with a prudent use of tartan. The booths look cozy, and I will definitely make a reservation next time so I can enjoy one. The restrooms have 2 stalls and smell like apples. During the day hip mainstream music plays softly in the background, and is cranked up during raucous Saturday nights.
Service is a bit uneven as they have just opened and are finding their sea legs. Showing up at 6pm for an early dinner, we were warned that we would need to vacate the table by 8pm. No one in Los Angeles lingers for two hours and it is felt pretty unwelcoming. But later in the evening we were gladhanded by both the owner and the manager and then we felt very welcomed indeed. On other nights servers were friendly and helpful, and we even have a favorite waiter now.
Their take on a Scotch egg (sausage wrapped around a hard boiled egg and deep fried) is creative, using a soft-boiled egg and a fantastic venison sausage that is made especially for them. I hope when they start serving brunch they will have that sausage on the menu. The scallop salad is so good my friend has ordered it twice in a row. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the beet salad. It misses the mark on so many points it is unsalvagable. The fish and chips are just like mum used to make, and the burger is big and meaty, though topped with a redundant slice of dry brisket. With tax and tip, 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 beers, the tab adds up to around $100, a bit rich for pub grub for two. And dishes aren’t big enough to share. They need to take “To Share” off the menu. How do you share a bowl of soup?
I would recommend the fantastic Happy Hour between 3pm and 6pm. You can get a comparable meal for two for under $40. Scots are thrifty, after all. The Happy Hour menu has the Scotch Eggs and Fish and Chips, as well as some specialty items. The haggis sliders, which they manage to make without any of ‘the nasty bits” are intense with the bite of horseradish. But you definitely have to like lamb. The “rarebit” is mightily improved with the addition of egg and generous amounts of quality ham. Best of all, draught beers and well drinks are only $5.
Morrison’s location is one of those “bad luck” restaurant spots with a high turnover. Let’s hope a little bit of style and a lot of whiskey can turn that luck around.