Dean Kinski, a transplant from New York running from his Eastern European domineering mother, an over-achieving sibling and an imploded 4 year relationship. Dean arrives a couple of years ago on the LA scene set to leave his mark and get a break in SHOWBIZ. After 2 years of auditions, small plays and fading hopes of ‘breaking in’, he is struggling to find new ways and strength to carry on, as his job at SOFI’s is beginning to drag, his mother is on the offense again and Doris weaves her web of making him the next restaurant manager. Romantic and trusting at heart Dean frequently gets ‘girl’ advice from his co-worker friend Kate Kostas about his new dates and his attraction for the successful and emotionally unavailable patron at SOFI’s – Sports anchor Sonya Reade.
Kate Kostas, A southern belle. Reserved innocent and sheltered 20 something from a huge Texan Oil Family. Married off to a much older George Kostas in a kind of a ‘business deal’. After moving to LA Kate begins to find her inner voice and starts reassessing her real needs. To avoid the monotony of her sheltered life, if only so that she’d have something to do (the housekeepers do everything else at her home) she has Doris persuade George to let her help at the restaurant 3 evenings a week. As a traditional Greek male, George is absolutely opposed to his wife doing any manual labor, let alone as a waitress, yet somehow Doris’ persuasion and his wife’s sudden coming of age make him step back and reluctantly concede (for a while at least). A newly found fondness for cooking is on the way of defining Kate’s future and burden her still new (and fragile) marriage. This is being carefully (and deviously) nurtured by Doris who’s been encouraging Kate to assert her independence, knowing that this will cause conflict within.
Tom Besian, an offbeat Jewish Brooklynite intellectual, estranged from his high-achieving academic family. He works at the restaurant as a rebuke of their lofty plans for him and equally as a way station for him to figure out exactly what it is he REALLY wants to do with his life. Despite his somewhat disguised fondness for his co-workers, he truly feels like he’s a genius among pinheads and his frustration shows in nearly everything he does at the restaurant — from co-workers to customers. This behavior does NOT endearing him to DORIS who has given Tom many, MANY warnings for his standoffish and haughty behavior.
Nikos Tsarras, a fresh transplant from Greece, arrived a year ago on the LA scene to pay his dues for shooting the ‘soft core porn’ movie PIRATES – THE LEGEND OF JACK’S PARROT. His involvment with the project will ultimately lead to his dismissal from the Greek soap opera Vera sto desti and shame him in front of his colleagues and family. Nikos is determined to redeem himself in Los Angeles, leave his mark and get a break in SHOWBIZ.
Doris Pappas, Her family arrived from Greece in late 70′s. Doris is the astute business woman owner SOFI’s family style restaurant in West Hollywood. She is mercurial even on her best days. She can scream at you and pull you into a warm bear hug within the same few minutes — the staff alternately fears and loves her. After a more “‘traditional” 15 year childless marriage to a Greek artist, which has left her embittered toward the “male populace,” she’s still reveling in the freedom of exploring her newfound (nearly voracious) sexuality since her recent divorce. Prey to which has fallen one of the ex-waiters Henry, and now the aim’s on Tom. Alienated from her mixed race son after a one night stand in her youth, ridden by embarrassment, guilt and remorse and a dose of racial bias her motherly feelings are spent on the staff. Yet do not try to cross her path… The ‘untimely’ marriage of her long time crush, friend and customer George Kostas to the young Kate (right before her divorce) fuels an unrequited secret fascination (bordering on obsession) with him and cunning ‘liking’ for Kate. Very craftily she manipulates Kate to stand up for herself knowing that this will not fly well with George and may ultimately result in a divorce.
Jimmy Kottas, Doris’ second cousin who manages SOFI’s. Jimmy is every guy’s guy, who besides managing Dori’s restaurant also has a couple of his own business transactions on the side. Great at diffusing arguments and a true gift at judging and sometimes using people, Jimmy craftily tries to twist Tom’s predicament to his own advantage.
Chef Manny ‘Paquiao’ Perez, The ferocious Chef of SOFI’s Manny was the sub chef in the early days when Doris’ mother Sophia was the cook at the restaurant. His knowledge of Greek Cuisine does not stretch farther than making a ‘feta’ salads and when Sophia’s Greek Recipe Book (his Greek Bible) mysteriously disappears and the customers begin returning the food his job falls in dire jeopardy. Luckily during crunch times Kate is able to help him to recreate an authentic Greek dish. Think the guy who used to put firecrackers up cat’s asses who now has a family to take care of. Afraid of losing his job he plays tough in his role as the head of the kitchen although lacking the real skills. Gregarious with a penchant for sleek fire-arms Manny will defend his dignity… and kitchen.
Betty Frears, the powerful executive producer of the Grey’s Anatomy TV series. A patron at the restaurant, Betty regularly makes an incognito reservation for herself and her husband Greg under ‘Mrs. GREY’. She prefers a quiet table at the rear of SOFI’s where she won’t be disturbed. Her strict diet of no dairy for fear of unpasteurized milk is dictated by her early stages of pregnancy.
Greg Frears, British, the husband of Betty Frears, Greg is a director of TV Episodes and Commercials. He is a little suspicious to see his pregnant wife flirting with Nikos at the table, but keeps a stiff upper lip.