In 1973 (a scant 30+ years ago) there was a Spanish restaurant on Whitsett in now Valley Village but back then North Hollywood. It was called the Espana.
The restaurant specialized in Paella made by a very tall and imposing basque chef by the name of Mendi. The paella may have been the best I've ever had including my trip to Spain.
I do know that Mendi really did not want to cook any longer and wanted to be a dental technician (no, I'm not kidding).
I really wonder whether anyone else has ever run across him and whether by chance he may still be cooking in Los Angeles. He would have to be in his late 50s early 60s, but I'm not a good judge of age.