Bit O’Scotland

Over on Westwood Boulevard, between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevard, you could once get the best fish and chips you ever had, served by cheery older women with (mostly) British accents. The entire menu was fish and chips, shrimp and chips, chicken and chips, some kind of ham and chips, plus various combination plates. I never had the ham but I think it was the only thing in the place that wasn’t fried, except maybe the clam chowder (red), salad, beverages and shortbread. This was all served in an an old house someone had converted into a restaurant that was way too small for the crowd. On weekends, the wait to dine could run upwards of an hour and for some reason, every time I found myself waiting for a table, the party ahead of me included James Coco.

After Bit O’ Scotland closed, the same family opened a restaurant over on Pico near Rancho Park. It’s called John O’ Groat’s and it’s open mainly for breakfast and lunch. But at lunchtime, you can order fish and chips made with the same wonderful recipe. Alas, they don’t have shrimp, scallops or cheery older women with British accents.

62 Responses to Bit O’Scotland

  • Felicia Thiel says:

    When I was 8 or 9 years old (1962-63) my Dad, who worked in West LA at Ampex, introduced our family to Bit O’Scotland. I never liked fish until I had Bit O’Scotland’s fish & chips. The batter was so light and crunchy and the very generous pieces of fish were always light, flaky, and sweet, never fishy. I’m now 65 years old and I haven’t had Bit O’Scotland’s fish since the very late 1970’s, but my mouth still waters for it! If my husband and I ever make it out to LA, we will definitely seek out John O’Groat’s and pray it’s still open and serving that wonderful battered fish.

  • Michael B Levey says:

    When I worked at Jacks Richfield gas station across the street in the late 1960’s it was my ” Go to” for lunch and dinner. Wonderful fish and chips served in a cardboard take away box. Now that I read the comments here will have to try John O Groats

  • The Management says:

    The software that runs this site makes it difficult for readers to post photos. If you can do it, great. But if you can’t do it, you can e-mail the photos to me at the address on our front page and I can do it.

  • William Hill III says:

    My grandparents, Katherine and William Hill originally owned the Bit O’ Scotland. My Uncle Bob Jacoby eventually took over the restaurant and upon its closing opened the restaurant John O’ Groat’s which still uses some of grandmas original recipes.

    I have nothing but fond childhood memories and it’s really great to see all these comments about the Bit O’ Scotland.

    Not sure if I can but I will try to post some old photos that I think might bring back some old memories of your own.

  • Smile! :) says:

    A nice place to retreat after fierce battle with the British classist control systems at work against the good people in the City of Los Angeles. The Scottish King approves. :)

  • Frank Kelley says:

    Both of my sisters worked there. I remember on Friday nights, they would come home with the reddish color boxes with either the chicken, fish or shrimp with the chips that the cooks made extra and would throw out or give to whatever employee wanted them. Friday night midnight munchies were the BEST!!!!!
    Absolutely the BEST FISH OR SHRIMP OR CHICKEN and CHIPS i have ever eaten!!!!

  • Bryan Kenyon says:

    Feasted there as a child in the early 50’s and on. Globally, I have never found Shrimp fried the way they did it. Absolutely fabulous.

  • Stanley Arouty says:

    Used to take my kids to Bit O Scotland for Chicken, Fried Shrimp and their family reciep cream of chicken soup. One night after w2e fdorgot one of my boys toys I came back as they were getting some supplies from thier onsite storeage shed . Lo and behold, we saw huge industrial size can of Campbels Cream of Chicken Soup. We all had a great laugh about their old family reciep and started to wonder if they got their fried chicken from the Pioneer Chicken down the block. Best Fried Shrimp I ever had.

  • Margaret (Slater) Oliver says:

    The Bit O Scotland was a wonderful restaurant where my family would order the fish and chips and take it home to eat almost every Friday night. I grew up inWest LA just a few blocks away. I was asked to work there by the owners when I was 16 years old because I grew up in the north of England and had the right accent. My sister also worked there. The food was fabulous and authentic. My goodness what memories.

  • Britt Overbaugh says:

    Had a stunning nightime view on Westwood blvd….I remember it was slightly north of The Chatham. Got a take out copy of the menu just before it closed April, 1984.

  • Sandy says:

    Been thinking about the Miramar, they served barBQ steaks & chicken. It was a small hotel w/lounge & a large outdoor, patio. Located in downtown LA area. Don’t recall street, but had a steep driveway.
    Was there in the 60s. Anyone know it?

  • Jeff Kaye says:

    Best fish and chips ever!

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