Taix – Comfortably French in Los Angeles


Credit: Kent Kanouse /

Taix is a French restaurant where you can enjoy French food in a comfortable, genteel environment without breaking the bank. Located in a modest, urban section of Los Angeles, Taix is probably the oldest authentic French restaurant in the county, and the one thing absent from the atmosphere is the snobbery that some restaurants cultivate to lend their establishments an air of exclusivity.

A Restaurant with History

Taix French Restaurant is owned and managed by the Taix family who emigrated from Southeastern France in 1870. The current restaurant traces its beginnings in the downtown hotel established in 1912 by Marius Taix Sr. three generations ago. The first restaurant served family style French country cuisine and to this day, a meal at Taix can include a delicate but rich tureen of French onion soup and crusty French bread. In Taix French Restaurant, the LA Weekly gives this description: “The Taix family has been running this French restaurant since 1927, and in this location as a virtual Echo Park landmark since the early 1960s…” 

A Venue for All Types of Gatherings

Taix has accommodations for just about every type of diner. LA Weekly gives an overview of the available facilities: “There are six banquet rooms, as well as a 21-&-over live-music bar. For all of the European elegance of the banquet rooms, it’s in the restaurant’s 321 Lounge that Taix feels warmest and homiest. In recent years, the bar’s humble floor-level stage in front of a simple brick-wall backdrop has borne witness to a surprising diversity of crucial local musicians, ranging from straight-ahead country-rock dreamers to truly out-there funk-jazz experimentalists. Low-key indie rock bands trade off with raging instrumental surf combos, followed by sweet pure-pop balladeers…”

Volunteer critics from Trip Advisor generally rate the Old World ambiance in a positive way and the food even more so. As one enthused diner put it; This place rocks. The service is excellent. The staff is highly tenured and professional. The food is great (I recommend the Braised Short Ribs) and there is always an interesting band in the 321 Lounge.”

Eating and Drinking at Taix

The food in Taix is definitely French, but it is not novelle cuisine. Servings are generous, the prices are extremely reasonable, the wine list is more than respectable, and the service is excellent. A typical menu would feature a generous bowl of navy bean soup, grilled calamari and frisee salad as appetizers, and a choice of braised rabbit (served with pearl onions, mushrooms, and mustard), veal, or scampi as entree. The meal comes with vegetables and sherbet, and clients can opt for unlimited soup for a few extra dollars.

Best sellers at this place include the salmon with Champagne sauce, trout Almondine, and duck a l’orange, and diners have declared that both the Crème brûlée and the dark chocolate mousse are to die for.

Taix is reputed to have an excellent wine list; this is due in no small part this to Michael Taix’s dedication to stocking the restaurant’s racks with good wine. In The Best Kept Wine Secret in L.A., Dan Berger of The Los Angeles Times practically raves about the Taix wine list: Some examples: There are 25 white Burgundies priced at less than $30 a bottle, including 13 from the famed 1985 vintage; 37 California Chardonnays priced at $20 or less (including 1987 Silverado at $16.75, 1985 Vichon at $18.75 and 1985 Simi at $17.75); 80 Bordeaux including 1976 and 1978 Chateau Montrose at $30 and 1974 Lynch Bages at $27; and a string of California Cabernets, many from older vintages…”  

Taix serves both local and imported wines, all of which are reasonably priced. The restaurant also sells wines by the case – a new way of looking at “take-out”. Indeed, this old-fashioned place is the scene for quiet dinners, good food, good wine, and good times.

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