Monday, March 31, 2008


(213) 484-1265
1911 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Adequately Fed: $21 (sans wine)
Clam Chowder****
House Salad, Vinaigrette**
Braised Short Ribs****
Roast Chicken*****
Orange Sherbet**
(Out of Five Stars)

I'll admit it. I'm a foodie who has very limited experience with French cuisine. In my lifetime, I can only remember going to two exclusively French restaurants, besides my trip to France. Even worse, I took Spanish in high school and my command of French pronunciation is terrible. The issue with French food is that it always commands an air of prestige, what French restaurant is not fancy? Last night's dinner at Taix (pronounced "Tex") showed me how delicious and non-pretentious French food can be.

Opened in 1927, Taix is a part of Los Angeles history. Walking into the restaurant, I felt a wave of nostalgia for simpler times, despite the fact I have not lived in "simpler times." The decor reminded me of an old village inn and there are multiple banquet rooms for large parties.

The menu is short and straight forward. Many of their dishes are on a weekly rotation, so besides a soup of the day, there is also an entree of the day. It seemed to me that they hid their best items like their filet mignon on their rotating menu to encourage customers to come on days like Monday. The staple items of the menu were simple homestyle French dishes like roast chicken, short ribs, pork chops. They have kept to traditional dishes rather than opting for the trendy fusion cuisine that has marred so many French restaurants.

My braised short ribs were excellent in their juiciness and flavor. I always fear that braised dishes will be overcooked, but this was not the case. The grated horseradish also added a unique flavor to the beef. It was the mashed potatoes that stole the spotlight though. They were whipped to a fluffy consistency not weighed down by garlic or herbs but allowed the potato flavor to shine. Their roast chicken, a signature dish, also showcased the great food that kept this place in business for so long. Portion were large by French standards. I hate excessive plating, but these dishes were served in large plates filled to the brim. For $4, you can make any entree into a prix-fixe set including a salad, sherbet, and all you can eat soup du jour. The drawbacks in the food were few. My salad was soggy and not very appetizing. Also, the sherbet tasted generic and scooped from a tub.

Besides my shame in not appreciating French food, I also carry the much deeper shame of not liking wine. As such, I did not order any for my dinner last night. But besides my own personal preference, I was impressed by their extensive wine list worth seeing for the oenophile.

Recommended: Portions are large if you want to get a full six-course meal. Be prepared to eat.

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