These 6 Bakers Are Saving L.A.’s Bagel Reputation

Suddenly, L.A. is rolling in great bagels, and our breakfasts have never been better

For decades our bagels were the butt of Woody Allen jokes. How times have changed. Armed with quality flour and yeast, the city’s bakers are reviving old-world traditions by slow-fermenting, hand-rolling, and kettle-boiling their way to enlightenment.

 

Nowhere has this been more evident than in northeast L.A., where a carb scene once dominated by O.G. Brooklyn Bagel Bakery (currently under renovation) has been flooded with chewy-crusted specimens not quite New York-y (thick and puffy), not quite Montreal-y (thin and dense), but somewhere in between—call it the L.A. style.


Friends & Family

East Hollywood

Veteran baker Roxana Jullapat offers a full spread of artisan pastries at the homey all-day restaurant she runs with husband Daniel Mattern, but nothing has transfixed locals like her chewy, barely-sweet bagels. Jullapat serves them toasted with ale-cured salmon and herbed cream cheese; Mattern, who eats one daily, prefers a swipe of peanut butter.


Yeastie Boys

Silver Lake


Best known for colorful carb wheels encrusted with things like cinnamon sugar and Hot Cheetos, Evan Fox’s hip-hop-inspired operation specializes in pillowy, super-moist bagels that are hand-rolled and baked daily. Yeastie Boys’ music-blasting food truck posts up in Silver Lake on weekends, but a brick-and-mortar along Melrose is in the works.


Clark Street Bread

Echo Park

Having grown up on bagels at a Jewish day school in L.A., Zack Hall drew from traditional Eastern European recipes while engineering Clark Street’s tangy, long-fermented bagels. Once he figures out how to fit a giant boiling kettle into the kitchen, you’ll find them at the sprawling Echo Park café-bakery he plans to open this month.


Maury’s

Silver Lake

After years of research and tweaking, Gjusta alum and East Coast traditionalist Jason Kaplan arrived at his ideal bagel: plump but not too plump, with a supple chew and thin crust. Flavors like onion or salt-and-pepper are sold by the dozen or topped with smoked whitefish at the weekly Hollywood Farmer’s Market and at Maury’s soon-to-open bagel shop in Silver Lake.


Belle’s Bagel

Highland Park

Doing business from a tiny take-out window attached to The Hi Hat club, Nick Schreiber and J.D. Rocchio sling hand-rolled bagels starting at 7 a.m. until they sell out — which is usually before noon. Try the beet cream cheese or smashed avocado with hot sauce for a twist on the standard schmear.


Courage Bagels

Echo Park

Home baker Ari Skye roams northeast L.A. on her red beach cruiser, hawking organic oval bagels from a wood crate. Though not an adherent, she gives her bagels a Montreal-style tilt, shaping them leaner than a New York bagel and poaching them in honey-accented water for a hint of sweetness. Look for her on weekends in front of Intelligentsia Silver Lake.


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