Mike Taix has it right when he marvels about his three employees: Fernando Gomez, Bernard Inchaupse and Jose Fragoso.
They've come to work at his family's restaurant Taix with a smile for 50 years. And they intend to keep doing so.
Immigrants all, they were hired soon after they came to America--around the time was moving to Echo Park from Commercial Street downtown.
Such longevity isn't usual in the volatile restaurant business.
But is at Taix, where businessmen, old-timers, families and hipsters continue to mix it up quite comfortably.
Mike formally took over day-to-day management of the restaurant when his father, Raymond, died in October 2010.
He organized the dinner to honor the men who'd watched him grow up.
Customers, alumni, local politicans and business owners turned out for a grand meal in the Taix style, featuring Scottish salmon, rack of lamb and chicken.
Former L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti, State Senator Kevin DeLeon and J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopalian Archdiocese of Los Angeles all provided remarks.
Taix's legendary bartender, Jean-Claude Etchegaray, was also in the audience.
Gomez, Fragoso and Inchauspe were also honored with cakes and the gold watches you can see in the photos above, by Gary Leonard.
Taix moved to Echo Park in 1962 and will celebrate its 85th anniversary in August.
Keep an eye on the site for details about that celebration.