Any ’90s kid craving salty-sweet goodness with a mouth-scalding sting may feel serious nostalgia for Bagel Bites—an after-school treat whose madcap jingle proclaimed that when pizza’s on a bagel, you can have it anytime. But creators of this Italian-Jewish mash-up knew its savory, rich appeal long before Bagel Bites hit the frozen-food aisle. The pizza bagel likely originated here, in 1974, at the Western Bagel in Woodland Hills. (Yes, Boston, Cleveland, and Miami also claim the pizza bagel, but we’d never side with them.)
Today, L.A. offers compelling takes on the pizza bagel that elevate this humble treat (but, crucially, without the burn). A profusion of spots around the city are putting gourmet twists on other beloved basics, from deviled eggs to s’mores to grilled cheese.
Pizza maven Brad Kent offers pizza bagels off-menu at his new bagel shop and pizzeria. These customizable treats include a choice of crusty, chewy bagels, classic red or vegan vodka sauce, and atypical toppings like house-made sausage and meatballs, roasted wild mushrooms, and pistachio chimichurri.
4751 York Blvd., Highland Park, bagelandslice.com.
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