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Letters to the Editor: Will Taix restaurant be flattened by the ‘affordable housing’ lie?

Taix restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park
Taix restaurant, which has been in its current Echo Park location since 1962, was sold to make way for a mixed-use development.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Taix restaurant in Echo Park has been a joy to so many of us. But even such wonderful sites are fragile, and I respect the owners’ decision to sell the building and move the restaurant to a smaller location where the business can survive. (“Au revoir, Taix. Los Angeles shouldn’t value buildings over people,” editorial, June 2)

But let’s be honest: The assertion that affordable housing is the core reason we need to say goodbye to Taix and other memorable sites is simply a lie.

Affordable housing? For whom? Millionaires? The reality is that the rents in the new development will be beyond the income of those we think of as needing “affordable” housing. Oh, sure, there will be a percentage of units that fit the affordable category, but that percentage is always outrageously tiny.

This is important because the phrase “need for affordable housing” has been used to destroy neighborhoods, not just historical sites, in the service of greed. It is simply manipulative deception to fill the already wealthy coffers of dishonest developers.

The title of your editorial needs a bit of adjusting: “Au revoir, Taix. Los Angeles values buildings over people.”

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Dorothy Clark, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The so-called Taix building in Echo Park was not originally built by or for the Taix restaurant.

Before Taix moved there from its beloved site in downtown L.A., where it was renowned for serving family-style meals, many of us who worked for the County of Los Angeles in the then-new Hall of Administration enjoyed delightful meals of whatever Taix was serving that day.

The building to which Taix moved more than 40 years ago was previously Botwin’s Restaurant, where the mother of my friend worked as a waitress. It was there that I had my first hamburger — actually my first non-homemade sandwich of any kind.

I do not know who built the Sunset Boulevard building, but certainly it was not the Taix family, who created a delightful French-type restaurant that was a far cry from the original family-style Taix in downtown Los Angeles.

Phil Tamoush, Torrance

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To the editor: As New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote in a piece about restaurants for people over 50, “What you want from restaurants ... is a proxy for what you want from love and from life. ... Loud is no longer exciting; trendy is overrated.”

Although Taix seldom overtly welcomed you, at least it was cozy and the food was reliable. Taix returning as a “smaller, more-cost-efficient space” is not enticing.

Who wants to dine on black leather banquettes and in blinding white, high-volume walls? Pas moi, merci.

Kay Tornborg, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Change is good, but the proposed building on the site of Taix is massive. It is way too big and way too tall for the neighborhood. Half the size would be appropriate.

Echo Park is a village; it is not a “corridor.” We in Echo Park do not value profits over community, and neither should the planners at L.A. City Hall.

Sarah Starr, Los Angeles


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