Diamond

This Fairfax cornerstone hasn’t changed much in its 65 years, and neither have the recipes—why mess with perfection? Friday and holiday lines are long as the observant and the discriminating wrestle over possibilities: chocolate-laden babkas, buttery cinnamon rugelach (twisted rather than rolled, with a croissant-like crispness), coffee cakes, cheesecakes, jam-rich palm-size hammentaschen. Diamond’s fluffy and regal challah, which can be employed for transcendent French toast, may well be the best in town. A slight woman named Ruth has been behind the counter for 42 years. She’ll ask how you want your pumpernickel or (excellent) double-corn rye sliced—medium thin or medium—and as she guides the bread through the machine’s humming jaws, it may occur to you that Diamond is the antithesis of L.A.’s image and the quintessence of its soul.