A dish can define a restaurant. There are other delectable things on the menu of course, but one dish can truly be the reason why a restaurant was put on this planet and in a vicinity near you.
The frog legs at Taix in Silverlake are that dish. They just don’t serve frog legs; Taix cooks them just right transcending one all the way to the Dombes region of France.
Frog legs are supposed to taste like frog. Don’t let anyone tell you other wise. Chicken is supposed to taste like chicken. Any other kind of poultry, meat, reptile, or amphibian that comes out of the kitchen tasting like chicken is cooked wrong.
Waiters and bussers who have been working for the Taix family for many years say everything is great on the menu (which it is), but their eyes light up when someone orders the Cuisses de Grenouille (frog legs). They smile when they bring an entrée sized pile of anywhere between 6-10 pieces of the ribbit ribbit to the table. The sizzle and smell of melted butter mixed with tomatoes, capers, garlic, and parsley interrupt the conversation. The glossy, light golden brown breading sticks to the skin. The dish sees itself to the center as if it were the grand centerpiece. Trigger happy fingers quiver to snap a pic.
A table setting sits by the side of the dinner plate, but isn’t used. Only limbs are needed. When stood up vertically, the legs look like the bottom half of a marionette doll. Frog legs are meant to be played with first, and then eaten.
A first bite and one discovers that these puppies feel like a delicate piece of well-cooked fish. The ample amount of meat slurps off the bone in a fluid motion like licking up a lollipop. Eat one leg at a time and use the other to scoop up the necessary sloppy seconds of garlic butter drippings.
It has been a four month absence of frog legs on Taix’s menu. With 90 years of experience, they have other staples done well too: French onion soup, escargot, paella, crème brûlée, and rabbit, but the frog legs are their coup de grâce and make such a restaurant have an everlasting legacy in the City of Angels.