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Non-Mutant Bagels

omotosando Sep 1, 2006 06:02 AM

Okay, I've been a bit carb-phobic these last few years and haven't had a bagel in about 6 years. Today, I decided that a few carbs can't kill you and that it would be nice to stop on my way to work for a bagel for breakfast. Stopped at a small kosher bagel place (forgot the name) on Westwood Blvd., between Santa Monica and Wilshire.

Well, not only were the bagels not sufficiently crusty or chewy, but they were the largest bagels I have ever seen in my life - perhaps three times the size of the bagels I remember from my youth. Of course, Americans are so fat, since they seem to have supersized all our food.

Is there anywhere in L.A. (preferably on the Westside) to buy a normal size bagel? (True, one could only eat half and throw away the other half or save it for later, but I just prefer to buy my food non supersized).

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  1. w
    WestsideLisa RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 02:08 PM

    I like Western Bagels the best. There's on on Santa Monica Blvd. between Barrington and Federal...it's in the same strip mall as Nook.

    1. l
      love2chow RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 03:47 PM

      i love the ny bagel company on san vicente blvd in brentwood, its in the small little strip mall as front runners shoes, i love the rosemary bagel the best, its got so much flavor and they make all the bagels there homemade, they also serve all types of food like a whole deli menu so theres plenty to choose from as to what you want to put on the bagel. new york bagel is my fave!

      1. David Kahn RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 04:44 PM

        Maybe too far east for you, but my favorite is Bagel Broker (7825 Beverly Blvd., just east of Fairfax, (323) 931-1258). My favorites are their corn rye, which is extra dense and chewy, yet has a slightly crisp crust, and their sesame bagels, particularly when still warm from the oven. (A warm sesame bagel, with cream cheese, a sliver of lox, summer tomato and a thin slice of red onion, is truly a thing of beauty.)

        1. c
          Capybara RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 05:39 PM

          I've given up on finding a regular-sized bagel with a real crust in Los Angeles, though I've haven't tried everywhere. In fact I've given up outside of NYC. There are bagel places with nice flavorful bagels of a different sort, and they have their satisfactions, but if anyone can particularly point me to an old-fashioned bagel with a real crust, I'd appreciate it. (I'll give bagel broker a try.)

          1. omotosando RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 05:45 PM

            All the suggestions sound good, but my question is are the bagels at the suggested places supersized? (Of course, I guess if you are young enough, you don't remember what a normal size bagel is). I'm definitely against this unfortunate trend of supersizing.

            2 Replies
            1. re: omotosando
              Clare K RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 08:15 PM

              Western bagel actually sells a low-carb bagel (I've only seen it in stores) which is the perfect size. For being low-carb, it's not bad...I'd actually say it is quite good.

              1. re: Clare K
                bijoux16 RE: Clare K Sep 4, 2006 02:30 PM

                I've tried the blueberry low-carb bagel from Western bagel. (I think they sell a few different flavors of the low-carb kind: blueberry, honey wheat, onion, etc. in packages of 6 at the grocery store). they were better than I'd expected them to be, especially when toasted. and at 110 calories for each bagel (compared to the calorie count of most bagels, which usually exceeds 200), it's worth it in my opinion.

            2. Jennalynn RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 06:03 PM

              They're supersized in NYC now too.

              I was at Ess-A-Bagel, my favorite NY spot not too long ago, and the bagels were as giant as they are here.

              My suggestion? Bagel Broker is the closest to NY in flavor... and then just eat half.

              1. d
                deadorinjail RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 06:08 PM

                The gold-standard of all bagels is H&H... ask any New Yorker. And rumor has it that Whole Foods is now stocking actual H&H bagels. While I have yet to confirm this, I can say for sure that I got one at the Malibu Country Market (or whatever it's called -- the market in the winding minimall on PCH) a couple of months ago. If you're curious about what a bagel is supposed to be, you owe it to yourself to track one down.

                1 Reply
                1. re: deadorinjail
                  igj RE: deadorinjail Sep 1, 2006 06:22 PM

                  Whole Foods - at least the one on Wilshire in SM - has been carrying H&H bagels for quite a while. I always worry about freshness though...

                  I have just simply given up on bagels in LA. LA has its food advantages and I celebrate them; I also use them in my mental calculus to offset the loss of bagels and pizza by the slice that I lost moving here. That's OK - in NYC, I use bagels, Greek diners and slices of pizza to offset the loss of Oaxacan food, great and plentiful neighborhood sushi, etc.

                  One note: I have heard many who swear by the bagels at Barney Greengrass in the Barney's in Beverly Hills. But they also say, prepare to empty your wallet - bagels flown in from New York???

                2. Chowpatty RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 07:39 PM

                  Yes, they have H & H at some Whole Foods. I never see them in Glendale, but have found them at Third and Fairfax (I guess that's obvious). They're not the freshest, but still seem better and more normal-sized than the giant type of bagels.
                  I find that the bagels from the non-chain or local places like Brooklyn Bagel and Western Bagel, while not chewy like New York bagels, are still more reasonably sized than the ones from chains like Noah's.

                  1. ipsedixit RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 07:52 PM

                    I used to like I&J Bagels, but alas they are no more ...

                    1. PaulF RE: omotosando Sep 1, 2006 07:54 PM

                      You should try Bagel Factory.

                      There is one on Sepulveda near National and one on Robertson at Cadillac.

                      1. c
                        ciao_ny RE: omotosando Sep 4, 2006 06:40 AM

                        Great small bagels, (1950's NYC style) at a place on San Vicente & Hauser. These are Montreal bagels and great tasting. I think the place has a French sounding name,(whatelse)!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ciao_ny
                          Das Ubergeek RE: ciao_ny Sep 7, 2006 06:18 PM

                          Do you mean Pasquale's?

                        2. n
                          nosh RE: omotosando Sep 7, 2006 06:08 PM

                          The Bagel Factory bagels are as good as I've found in L.A. and are normal sized. The one I know is in the Vons minimall on the SE corner of Sepulveda and National, near the 20/20 Video. Their fresh bagels can be warm, especially in the early morning, but are on the pricy side. If you aren't going to eat them immediately or are going to freeze them, their day-old bags of a dozen are a great buy.

                          1. e
                            estone888 RE: omotosando Sep 7, 2006 07:04 PM

                            Brooklyn Bagel on Beverly Blvd, just west of Alvarado has very good, non-mutant, good crusted bagels. As the state of the bagel seems to have deteriorated in NYC lately as well, I think their's can hold their own with most of what I've had in New York.

                            1. j
                              Jonah RE: omotosando Sep 7, 2006 11:58 PM

                              Western Bagel's bagels are pretty small. I like them, but I think that they tend to be on the hard side.

                              Bagel Nosh on Wilshire and around 17th(?) are some of my favorite, especially with their special with eggs, bacon and hash browns for around $6.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jonah
                                Das Ubergeek RE: Jonah Sep 8, 2006 12:11 AM

                                The owners of Bagel Nosh started out in New Jersey and managed to keep the same kind of bagels when they moved out here. I used to eat Bagel Nosh bagels as a kid, so when I moved to 14th and Wilshire, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

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