Former Newport Beach restaurateur Sid Soffer — a maverick who lived by his own codes, often not exactly the government's — died Tuesday morning in Las Vegas after fighting leukemia and diabetes. He was 74.
Soffer had been a self-proclaimed "fugitive" since 1995, when he left California for Las Vegas to avoid being arrested for building-code violations. But he always intended to come back and finish the fight.
"I'm definitely coming back," Soffer told the Daily Pilot in 2000. "It's just a question of when."
Known for his beef stroganoff and battles with city hall, Soffer at times owned two popular restaurants — Sid's Steakhouse and the Blue Beet — in Newport Beach, and he appealed a dispute with the city of Costa Mesa over some classic cars in his yard all the way to the state Supreme Court.