I don't know why no one talks about BLESSED KING BAGELS on Fairfax, directly across from the CBS entrance. (only one or two people have posted on this place here). Just went there this morning, and they're really good. I'm sure for many bagel snobs it's heresy to say this, but the bagel I had there today was about as good as any I found in NYC. (including H & H, which is totally overrated in my opinion).
Of course in NY you pay a little over 2 bucks for a bagel and cream cheese, whereas the same thing at BKB knocks you back around $4. But if you're really desperate for a good bagel, I'd say it's worth it. Fresh (I went in the morning, though), nice and chewy, excellent flavor. Hopefully you won't be put off by the kind of strange, almost-ranting sayings and messages the proprietor has posted all over the place inside the store. I find them charming.
On citysearch someone mentioned that the guy behind the counter is a veritable Bagel Nazi, on one occassion supposedly bringing a tourist customer almost to "tears". But I found him to be perfectly nice. And even if I caught him on a good day, I figure the presence of a grumpy, semi-psychotic bagel-mongerer may possibly lend some authenticity to the place. LA should have a bagel nazi.
Yes, it's overpriced. Yes, the guy is ripping off the tourists waiting across the street trying to get into the Price is Right by renting them chairs at exorbitant prices. But the bagels are good and the overall experience is kind of hilarious. Maybe it's just me, but I think they deserve more of our business.
Yes, the "sayings and messages" are indeed charming, as is the bus-stop-derelict chatter of the proprietor, but the *only* reason I'd find myself here would be after forgetting to turn left at Beverly to get to THE BAGEL BROKER which is far superior. And by superior, I mean better quality product, lower prices, faster service (even when packed), on and on.
I've found BKB's bagels to be large, doughy, and yeasty-tasting. Seem to be 100% dependent on Price-is-Right contestants in that weird line across the street. What a remarkable ecosystem.
I did like how BKB had that sign that screamed "BBQ" a couple years ago, and was that a little gas grill jammed inside the windows (with the piles of chairs...arrrrgh)? (or was it all a dream).
Ok, rant over.