Saturday, October 23, 2010
Raymond Taix, who owned one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, the French establishment Taix that his family has run since 1927, has died. He was 85.
Taix died Oct. 10 of leukemia at his Pasadena home, said his son, Michael.
The restaurant owes its beginnings to an act of capriciousness at the height of Prohibition when Raymond was 2 years old.
After his French-immigrant grandfather built a hotel in 1912 in a French enclave downtown, he leased space to a restaurant. When federal agents accused the restaurateur of selling alcohol in the late 1920s, he tossed the keys to Taix's pharmacist father, Marius Jr., and challenged him to "do it yourself," The Times reported in 1992.
Raymond and his younger brother Pierre grew up at the restaurant in the old brick building at 321 Commercial St. As the restaurant thrived, the boys started washing dishes at Taix — pronounced "Tex" — when they were 12, their mother Claudia once said.
In 1964, a 39-year-old Raymond Taix appeared in a photograph in The Times with his father raising a toast to their restaurant, which was forced to close that October to make way for a parking structure for the new federal building nearby.
By then Taix had become a downtown landmark known for serving family-style meals and "good food at low prices," The Times said in 1964.
In Echo Park, the family had laid the groundwork for Taix to continue by opening another restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in 1962. Started by Raymond, Pierre and two other relatives, it was originally called Les Freres Taix — the brothers Taix.
Eventually, Raymond became the sole proprietor and the restaurant's name was simplified to Taix.
Two weeks before he died, Raymond was still actively involved with the restaurant, said his son, who manages day-to-day operations.
"He always told me that the restaurant was a Los Angeles institution," his son said. "He maintained the restaurant through difficult economic times and some very serious neighborhood changes in Echo Park. He easily could have thrown in the towel many times, but he stuck by it."
Evidence of his kindness and ability as a manager is reflected in the longevity of the restaurant's workforce, his son said. More than a dozen employees have worked at Taix for more than 30 years and two have endured for nearly half a century.
One of Taix's favorite sayings was, "If you aren't making mistakes once in a while, you aren't doing anything," said the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, the Episcopal bishop of Los Angeles who is his brother-in-law.
"He was a gentle spirit in a very wise business body," said Bruno, who worked for Taix for eight years. "He had an open heart and made sure he treated his employees with dignity and respect."
Raymond Marcell Taix was born April 28, 1925, in Los Angeles, the second of three children. He also had an older sister, Lucille.
As boys, Raymond and Pierre appeared in films as members of the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir.
A 1943 graduate of Loyola High School, Taix attended Washington State University and Woodbury University. His friends from high school still gather regularly at the restaurant, Bruno said, adding that he played a mean game of gin rummy.
Taix joined the Army in 1943 and served in Guam during World War II.
Back home, he returned to the family business and the simple French country cuisine for which it was known. The roast chicken dinner that sold for 50 cents in 1928 — a dollar if a patron wanted to eat in a booth — goes for $13.95 today.
He also built a wine list that was "famous, amazingly broad" and "almost impossibly cheap," The Times said in a 1989 review of Taix that ran beneath a headline that declared: "It's Almost Like Home."
In addition to his son, Michael, he is survived by his wife of 28 years, Toni Rae Bruno Taix, and five grandchildren.
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times
We used to pronounce it "Tays."
My Father used to take us to Taix the Echo Park location was right on top of where he grew up. I'm sure my Grandparents took my Father and Uncle to the downtown restaurant.
Dad was 3 years older than Raymond, they did not know one another.
I haven't been there in 30 years + -.Hopefully I can go check it out sometime soon.
Last time I was there I didn't think the food was that good.I think I was coming from a Dodger game.
I do remember Dad ordering a bottle of wine there. That was pretty special because he didn't usually buy bottles of wine at restaurants because they were expensive, at least back when I was a kid. Makes sense since Taix had "affordable" bottles of wine.
Dad got spendy in his later years. We would go to Bruno's on Centinela and Washington (?) and he'd buy some nice wine with dinner. After that there was always a bottle of wine.
Whatever, this was part of my family history.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Who The Hell is Running This Country??? Us or These Guys??
My more or less lamebrain idea of what we need for a new political party.
First, why; Because both parties are owned by corporations and the uber rich and are not really interested in we the people we really need a fresh new perspective. We need to get power back to the voters. Voters are mad and at the same time complacent and working against their own interests.
The new party in my view needs to be a progressive libertarian party. Libertarian in a social sense and progressive in a government sense.
The social libertarianism is laws against personal liberty must be eliminated. Drug laws in particular are expensive and an invasion of privacy. If you want to be a doper or a whore that's your prerogative. Police should concentrate on crimes against persons or property. This could include driving under the influence of drugs or unsafe use of machinery for example. Fraud and certain kinds of misrepresentation of product or services would be illegal. Monopolies and market fraud or manipulation would be illegal. Other destructive behaviors that threaten others of course would be outside the law.
Government as a social organizer and infrustructure builder and maintainer is desirable, some kinds of socialism would be used or instituted under law and could enhance free market activities. Government would encourage markets and innovation. Government would be efficient and would be reviewed and contained as needed. There would be a principal of only as much government as needed.
One social effort would be health care as a right of all citizens. Organisation of mass transport balancing private and public transportation.
Regulation in environmental protection, parks, city and infrustructure planning, building safety and planning. Local community vision of the built environment co ordinating with private property and property rights in Real Estate. Cultural development and schooling- education using the same local, state and federal mandates and resources.
These are the platforms and goals of the party I see and like any party there will be other visions and opinions within the party itself.
What the hell, that's my view or suggestion. I do know the two party system is corrupt and needs some shaking up and a third party might be a help.
I'm sick of all the half measures and lack of commitment that is co opted by the present powers. Selfishness and short sighted solutions will not work.
Power to the people!!