We met Mark when he and Nancy gifted us a fabulous lunch long ago at the Campanile to celebrate their son Ben's college acceptance. Just as the LA Times piece suggests, he preferred to see himself as a cook, not a chef of mercurial extravagance. What was extravagant was a bouillabaise that was part of lunch.
When we extolled its many virtues, he just shrugged, understating, "it's a little fish soup."
When we moved to LA, we'd see him at the Wednesday Santa Monica farmer's market, personally collecting the items he'd transform at the Campanile into great Calicooking. We would linger behind him and buy tiny amounts of anything he was acquiring, always ending up with the best produce. As my wife said, "follow that zucchini!" We'll miss his important place in the LA food scene very much. Our sympathies to his family.