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Aug 16, 2014 05:47 PM

Taix - 10% more effort needed

So, we were bopping around a couple of venues for Echo Park Rising and made a pit stop at Taix to get out of the heat and share a snack. Three of us split a charcuterie plate and moules frites. Our expectations were not especially high and were borne out by what we were served.

While the pate de campagne and cured meats were decent, they were paired with a supermarket quality baguette and confusingly accompanied by very sad looking tomatoes and deli style sliced turkey (?). The mussels were decent, if a bit small, but the frites were clearly low-end sysco or their equivalent.

The sad thing is that just a shade more effort - sourcing a better baguette, leaving the mystery turkey off the charcuterie plate and purchasing sysco fries just one level up from the basic frozen shoestrings - would've made a huge difference.

Perhaps I was being too kind in my subject line - more like 20%.

I wish this place was better.

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  1. Yes, 20% is about right.

    It does a banging lunch business, however, with local city hall powerplayers occupying big booths ordering big plates of lamb chops and steak and bottles of red all on city dime (or maybe it's now quarters); while old-school law firm partners dine alongside their arm-candy, with waiters seating them just oh-so discretely.

    At one time they did do a decent Shephard's Pie.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I hadn't eaten at Taix in about six or seven years. Our snack was a reminder of why.

    2. Taix is a strange place. It does do lots of bureaucratic lunches, retirement dinners, etc. It also does groups. [It's cheap! This is not where your tax dollars are being wasted. That's in City Hall, Sacramento, etc.] The lunch special of clam chowder and Caesar Salad is an obvious choice.
      At the same time it has interesting music some evenings. And, I am told the car washes are pretty good.

      1. Why would you go to Taix for a charcuterie plate? Would you order one at a Chinese or Thai restaurant if one were on the menu?
        This is not what they do well, or even fairly well, per your commentary.
        Their entrees for dinner, their wine list, their value, are what they are known for.
        Charcuterie will NEVER be on that list, EVER.
        And beware, this is a month not containing the letter R, so mussels might be sourced from non-traditional places.
        As to the frites, they have been pretty good when I have had them, yet that has been a while. In fact, may be there Monday night for moules/frites.
        And Turkey on a charcuterie plate - wtf.

        14 Replies
        1. re: carter

          If there was a charcuterie plate listed on a Chinese restaurant menu I would order it.

          Just to scratch the "what the fuck" itch.

          But more to the point. Taix bills itself as a French restaurant, so opting for the charcuterie plate is, well, sort of not a "what the fuck" choice.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Look, it's Americanized and budgetized French. There used to be a French buffet place in Westwood that was of about the same ilk. Located in roughly the current location of Palomino. You want cheap coq au vin, this is your spot. Charcuterie is too hip for this place. You have been warned.

            1. re: mc michael

              I don't think you folks understand what charcuterie is - a fancy name for cured meats on a plate.

              As I mentioned, THE BASICS WERE NOT THE PROBLEM, which was the utter cluelessness of adding thin sliced deli turkey and sad tomatoes.

              Leaving those two items off would have made the plate much better - improving by subtraction.

              1. re: JeMange

                I put this in the same category of some ugly (ok, very ugly) cheese plates I have endured over the years. As Bourdain would say: adjust meds, move on.

                1. re: mc michael

                  We were in fact wishing we were more medicated at that point.

          2. re: carter

            As I mentioned, we were there for a snack, not to tuck into heaping helpings of beef bourguignon.

            How hard is it to screw up putting cold cuts on a plate? They call themselves a French restaurant and, even at an iffy one, ordering a charcuterie plate is playing it safe - they don't have to cure the meats or make the pate, just source them with a modicum of intelligence. And, as I mentioned, the screw up was in adding ridiculous non-standard items like deli turkey, which makes no frickin' sense no matter where one would happen to order that item.

            The other issue - the bread - would be just as shitty if served alongside the entrees you seem to be touting.

            Your letter "R" suggestion may have made sense a few decades ago but holds ZERO WATER at this point.

            Which means that your argument makes as much sense as... well, serving sliced deli turkey on a charcuterie plate.

            1. re: JeMange

              Not to be racist, but think about who is in the kitchen. Hint: they are not French.

              1. re: mc michael

                Best Italian kitchens in town are manned by same folk.

                1. re: CharlesDarwin

                  They're all folks who got rejected by Din Tai Fung.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    But I know some of "them" who do a better job of replicating DTF than the natives!
                    of course, ymmv!

                  2. re: CharlesDarwin

                    Perhaps Le Cordon Bleu does not emphasize charcuterie. Or maybe they had a lot of sliced turkey. Or maybe this is New World charcuterie?

                    1. re: mc michael

                      Maybe this is too obvious, but here it goes anyways:
                      Restaurant quality is not based on the guys in the kitchen, it's based on management in the office writing the checks.

                  3. re: mc michael

                    At this point, a huge swath of the best cooks in LA and the United States are Latinos.

              2. Last time we were there both in-laws were still alive and fairly perky, so it would have been early 2009 at the latest. Maman was a Parisian until 1949, Papa had been to Taix when it was still near downtown, so this was the sort of "French" they were familiar with. Maman always defaulted to Moules Frites no matter what else was on the menu, as I tend to default to Steak Frites, and we both found our dishes satisfactory; though I agree that the fries would look more at home next to a burger, they were cooked properly.

                We have not been back since, though not so much because of its status as a genuine throwback as the fact that we just don't eat like that anymore as a rule. And if we do crave French, Bistro de la Gare is much closer to home, and though the menu is limited the cooking is more careful.