Sunday, May 24, 2020

Taix French Restaurant

Taix French Restaurant, Echo Park
The descendants of the owners of Taix Restaurant in Echo Park have sold the property. It is slated to be developed into a mixed use apartment and retail space with Taix taking up residence on the street level in a much smaller space than they now occupy. The ballroom will be gone, probably the separate banquet rooms will be gone. The bar will remain, along with some sort of remodeled dining area.
The new development will consist of two large apartment buildings with underground parking, a walk-way between the buildings, other shops and restaurants. The new design for these buildings is cookie-cutter L.A. boxy, just like all of the other nondescript buildings going up in Los Angeles. This is a far cry from the charming Country-French Revival design of the current building.
Taix will be located on the street level of one of the apartment buildings
Taix is a traditional, Country French-style restaurant with hearty food, a great bar, live music and lots of L.A. history. The original Taix was opened at 321 Commercial Street in downtown L.A. in 1927. The "new" Taix Restaurant on Sunset Blvd. was opened in 1962.
The Original Taix (demolished 1964), 321 Commercial Street, DTLA
(photos courtesy LAPL Archives)

The old Taix was in what was then called French Town., close to Union Station It was my Grandfather's favorite place to eat. We sat at long communal tables (very much like The Pantry and Philippe's). Dinner was served family style, large plates of bread, carrots/celery/radishes on a big chunk of ice, a large stainless steel bowl of soup w/ladle, green vegies, mashed potatoes. I do remember them bringing our main dish on a separate plate.
The interior of downtown Taix's was slightly dreary...greenish walls, linoleum...yup, just like Philippe's. Once in awhile we went to the fancy version of Taix's on Sunset, but that was for special occasions only. The downtown Taix was demolished to make way for a parking structure for the new Federal Building in 1964. Sigh. The current Taix on Sunset Boulevard was a much fancier restaurant with chandeliers, smoked mirrors, plush booths, many banquet rooms and a large bar. Also, the carpet, draperies and plush booths serve to dampen the sound, so you can hear your friends speak during dinner. How quaint!  This Taix was built in 1962. For two years, you could visit the old-fashioned Taix downtown or the classy Taix on Sunset Boulevard.
Plush booths, fancy chandeliers and swag draperies at Taix on Sunset 
Charming Banquet Room, Taix Sunset 
Hallway leading to banquet rooms and bar
The food at Taix is simple, French-inspired country fare. The servings are large. The service staff are most attentive. I love their French Onion Soup! We've never had a bad meal at Taix and I've been going there most of my life!
Classic, Iceberg Wedge with Bleu Cheese Dressing
French Onion Soup with yummy, gloppy cheese 
Grilled Shrimp w/lime and chili and ratatouille, beurre blanc

On the weekends there is music in the bar. It is usually filled with people from the neighborhood and local hipsters, along with families celebrating special occasions. EVERYONE eats at Taix!
I will be sad to see the old building go. Taix is offering curbside special dinners during the pandemic. Check out their Instagram site for daily menus. I do hope to dine at Taix a few more times before they close for demolition. Sigh.
I predict that the new Taix in this boxy development will last for, maybe, one year and then will be replaced by a chain restaurant. Double Sigh.
Historic Taix photos, menus and advertisements


At 6:25 PM PDT, Blogger Myrna Richardson said...

I love Taix. I've organized multiple banquets or holiday parties there, probably close to 40. The staff was always easy to work with and the food delicious. We will miss it!

At 8:02 PM PDT, Blogger Kim Burk said...

We attended our neighbor, Millie Escallier's birthday party every year, in one of Taix's banquet rooms, from about 1976 to her 100th, and last birthday celebration, in 2009. She had the most wonderful accordion player provide the music. (Our family took her to see Avatar at the Stapes Center AMC that year... She was NOT impressed!) She lived to be 101.

We lived next door to Millie for only 6 years, but stayed in touch. (Our beautiful rented Craftsman style house, on the corner of 8th & Gramercy was later turned into a Korean Church, and now, it's lost it's wonderful deep porch, and has been turned into a stuccoed box, divided into apartments.

My parents often took Millie to Taix between birthdays, and even Rob and I took her to lunch once. But we never went back after she died.

At 5:44 AM PDT, Blogger ken bloom said...

I remember eating at the old Taix's so often with our grandfather, sooting into those long tables and benches and the big plates piled high with food. For me, these memories are mixed with those of the old Angel's Flight and buying Armenian bread and string cheese at the Central Market. So many great memories of an LA that is now gone.


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