Can someone tell me the best place to get bialys in Los Angeles?
I love the ones from Western Bagel. If you want their factory which is open 24/7:
7814 Sepulveda Boulevard
Phone: (818) 786-5847
I gotta chime in! I grew up in the NYC area, and now live in LA. You can get lots of good food in Los Angeles, but as far as bagels, bialys, and pizza go, this city is a total loss. I've tried both of the places mentioned above and then some. Brooklyn Bagels' bialys look like bialys, but that's where the resemblence ends. If you've ever had a Kossar's bialy in NY, you'll understand that they are sour, chewy, and oniony with nooks and crannies and tons of character. Brooklyn Bagels' bialys taste like white bread. They are light and uniform, lacking any crumb structure and tooth. Same with their bagels. Western Bagel is marginally better on the bagels, but their bialys are just bagels (hole in the middle, shiny and everything) with some onion and cornmeal added. The best bialys you'll get in LA, which are still just okay by NY standards, are made by the Back East Bakery. I think they're on Pico, but they are big and distribute to other stores in the area. A phone call or two would probably put you on the trail. I hate to sound down on LA because the city does have a lot of good food to offer, but if you're looking for top-notch bagels, bialys, and pizza, go east, young man (or woman).
There is a reason for that, btw.
I once wrote a long magazine piece on bagels in Los Angeles. Maybe 8 years ago. When Noah's and others made their huge push into L.A. This is part of what I learned:
Baking is chemistry, Unlike cooking, btw. But baking is like chemistry.
And the water in New York makes different dough than the water out here.
Just like the humidity in San Francisco aids the sourdough process.
But that's why bagels and pizza are different out here ... the water the atmosphere are different.
FWIW - My favorite place for bagels and bialys is Bagel Factory, Multiple locations, but the one I go to is at Pico and Cadillac. That's their commissary store. The other once I go to is on Sepulveda and National. The owner was in the bagel biz in New York or New Jersey (I can't remember which) way back when. He still boils and bakes, in the old way.
They are kosher, too. And make their own cream cheese and soup.
But I don't know if they are the best. I just like them best.