Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dead French in L.A.: Marius Taix Jr. OPENS Taix French Restaurant 1927 French Town

The Taix Family are the third and fourth generations of a family of sheepherders and bakers from the “Hautes-Alpes” in southeastern France who immigrated to Los Angeles around 1870.

In 1912 Marius Taix Sr. built a hotel called the Champ d’Or in downtown Los Angeles’ French Town and 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." In 1927, Marius Taix Jr. opened Taix French restaurant within the hotel serving chicken dinners for 50 cents at long “family-style” tables. Diners could choose private booth service for an extra quarter. Taix’s novel food, unique service and affordable prices make it a Los Angeles institution.

Marius Jr.'s son 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.

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. The present location opened in 1962 and continues to be a family affair. Family style service has given way to private booths, but Taix French restaurant remains faithful to the famed tureen of soup, fresh french bread, and abundant portions of French country cuisine at affordable prices.

Raymond Taix made sure that the character of the restaurant remained unchanged until his death in 2010. The restaurant dynasty is carried on by Raymond's son Michael, whose passion for wines has resulted in an extensive, award winning wine list.



1 comment:

  1. My father was old friends with Marius, Jr. and our family used to go to Taix (along with Chasen's, Scandia, Perino and Lawry's) regularly in the 1970s. I still go to Taix occasionally, and its fortunes have fluctuated but it is still there.