Sunday, June 27, 2021


Dear Readers:

I tried. Many of you tried. The Friends of Taix tried.

Taix has been "landmarked", but it has also been marked for annihilation. Go while you still can.

And never, ever, ever stop fighting like hell for what we do still have. 


Now that I've said that...time to make like my peasant ancestors and bring on the proverbial beheadings. (Who needs a guillotine when words will do?)

J'accuse, Mike Taix.

I know certain things about you that come from reliable sources. But I don't want those sources to get blackballed from the restaurant industry. So while I won't be listing them here...know that I know. And I am not the only one who knows. 

I know you wanted to sell the restaurant previously, in the '80s. I'm well aware that demolishing and redeveloping is part of your family's long history in LA along with that famous bread. 

But if all of this were really about the building being too big, the building could be adapted. Alternately, there are plenty of other commercial restaurant spaces in LA that are smaller than Taix.

Can you really blame anyone who thinks you only care about what money you can make off of Taix? You haven't lived in LA in years. Your continued involvement with HPG looks suspicious to anyone with common sense. You sold out your own family's legacy. I won't speculate on whether your grandfather would be proud of you.

You got your $12 million. I suggest you sell the business end of the restaurant to someone who DOES give a damn and butt out of Echo Park's future.

J'accuse, Holland Partner Group.

I know you asked Mitch O'Farrell to modify the landmark nomination. It's quite literally on the public record, so don't even think about trying to gaslight me.

You people don't live in LA - you don't even live in California. Your contributions to the city consist of luxury apartments (we have had more than enough since the 1970s, thanks) and illegal short-term rentals. You are not part of the community, you are carpetbaggers.

Making money, in and of itself, isn't wrong. Making money at someone else's expense is. And your short-term rentals drive down occupancy and drive up demand in LA. Ultimately, that's harmful.

You have baited-and-switched us with different renderings. The most recent plan for the Taix site bears little resemblance to the first one. Was the revised (and frankly uglier) design the plan all along?

Two signs and a bar top are salvage, NOT preservation. You and Mitch have effectively gutted LA's historic preservation ordinance, all for profit. That takes away meaningful protection and opens the door for wrecking more of what makes Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

If you insist upon gutting a city for profit, I ask that you confine it to your own hometown. LA does not belong to you. It belongs to Angelenos.

You, and Mike, have also based your argument for the proposed development upon a lie: that Taix can't be incorporated. Fairfield Residential is doing just that with Dinah's in Westchester. If they can do it, so can you. (Fairfield's design looks nicer than yours, too.)

J'accuse, Mitch O'Farrell.

I know Holland Partner Group spent six figures buying your influence. Don't bother trying to deny it.

You promised not to seek re-election. You broke that promise after the Taix vote.

Silverlake Heritage was mysteriously not able to get a meeting with you. Were you busy, or were you too cowardly to face them?

You have been caught on video running away from a constituent who intends to run against you. You locked the bathrooms at Echo Park Lake during a pandemic. The lake is now nearly inaccessible, with even the wheelchair ramp blocked off - surely you've heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act? Or do you just not care?

Your actions indicate that you don't care about the homeless. While I realize the encampment had serious issues (although the sanitation issue could have mitigated at least somewhat by, oh, unlocking the damn bathrooms), I have concerns about how it was handled and I have concerns about how inhumane and dangerous shelters can be. I am also concerned about food vendors getting cited in the area, despite their long tenure in Echo Park.

You are hurting your own district, and you are hurting Los Angeles. I can swear in English, French, Spanish, and Italian, and there are not enough curse words in all of those languages combined to fully express my disgust for you.

J'accuse, everyone else on the Los Angeles City Council.

You played along with Mitch and HPG's little plan. Or was it playing? You're politicians, after all. Scratch his back and he'll scratch yours, right?

You violate the Brown Act on a regular basis. Specifically, you violated the Brown Act at the landmarking hearings and landmarking vote regarding Taix. Multiple people, myself included, were mysteriously never called upon. That's illegal and you all know it.

You have now set a precedent gutting historic preservation in LA, effectively marking everything special about the city with an X. Do you really think that will endear you to fed-up voters?

I have news for you - voters ARE fed up. It's why Nithya Raman beat incumbent David Ryu.

Some of you seem to think you will never face a consequence. While that might be true under Garcetti's watch (my ire for Garcetti is a much longer topic for another time) are still being watched by the Feds.

Remember your colleague Jose Huizar? He played a little too nicely with greedy developers too. He's facing RICO charges. The DOJ is still actively watching some, if not most, of you.

I won't be the one who cuts the thread holding up Damocles' sword. I really am just a pissed-off Valley Girl who blogs about dead French people. But the sword is there. It's only a matter of time before someone cuts the thread. 

You have all sold out LA's heritage. You are all, arguably, doing more harm than good. Los Angeles deserves better than this, and Los Angeles deserves better than all of you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

LAST CALL to Save Taix!

The City Council is meeting today (Wednesday, June 2) to vote on the Taix HCM nomination.

Here's the problem: Mitch O'Farrell and his ilk have amended the nomination to make it essentially useless.

The amended HCM nomination wouldn't preserve the building at all - only two of the restaurant's signs and its bar top. That is not preservation at all.

If accepted by the City Council, this bastardized nomination would set a dangerous precedent for future preservation efforts.

But we can fight back. We can say no. There is no real reason Taix can't be repurposed or incorporated into a mixed-use development (Acres of Books' facade is being incorporated into a new development in Long Beach, although Onni Group chopped off quite a bit more than everyone expected).

The LA Conservancy has compiled a list of what to do

At the last hearing re: Taix, an untold number of would-be public commenters (myself included) were never called upon - indeed, very few calls were taken in regard to Taix. That's a violation of the Brown Act, but as per usual, no one has had to answer for that. (I have my suspicions about Mitch's role in all of this, but first things first.)

This is it. We lost the original Taix in 1964. We need to speak up NOW if we're going to have any chance of saving the Taix we still have.

(Mike, if you're reading this: you've been an absentee owner for years and I know you tried to get the city to buy the place for a freeway extension years ago. Do you even still want to run the restaurant? It's okay to sell the family business and retire - Philippe Mathieu did. If your heart's not in it, what are you even doing? You got a great price for the property. If you don't want to deal with the restaurant, passing the reins is an option.)