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Restaurant Diary: Lessons in love at Taix

August 5, 2011 |  6:00 am

JAC
One of my favorite restaurants to go to for the fun of meeting original and interesting people is Taix, the French restaurant in Echo Park that has been open since 1927. It's a sprawling place with many dining rooms and a grand silent-film-era feel.

Although it might have had a bit of a Norma Desmond moment a la "Sunset Boulevard," years ago, it has since experienced a modern renaissance with the popularity of its bar and lounge and the influx of young artists to the neighborhood who like to hang out and play music there.

The mix of young scruff, middle-aged martini drinkers and antiquated regulars ladling soup from tureens into china bowls with napkins tucked under their chins makes for a lively scene. I was there with a few friends Wednesday night when I met a woman named Annie Harvey, who instantly chatted us up and told us one of the most wonderful catch phrases that we have heard in a long time.

Harvey, who is big and bold and blond and has a 24-year-old daughter making art in Europe, began talking about men. What else? We were four girls hanging out on the smoking benches around midnight.

She said she had a young friend who had dated a bad egg for five or six months, and how relieved she was when this woman dumped the guy.

"He didn't have jack," she said ruefully.

We nodded, thinking we understood.

"JAC," she said, holding up three fingers. "Job, Apartment or Car. If you don't have JAC, don't call back."

Incredible! As a single relatively young woman in Los Angeles, I had been meeting a lot of guys without JAC, I just hadn't known what to call it other than lame (and possibly a recent cultural phenomenon). In fact, most of my girlfriends are in similar positions. And here was Annie Harvey, songwriter and mother, magically appearing at Taix to give us a meme we could live by.

I may never know why guys without JAC love me so much, or why I think they are so cute when I first meet them. Maybe because I have a job and will talk to them. But now I know what to say about it.

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-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Victims of JAC. Credit: Emily Wilder

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