Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jul 17, 2004 03:40 AM

Any good bagels??

  • d

East Coaster. Have yet to find comparable bagels to what I grew up on. I like a bagel that is chewier, not white bread in a circle. Einsteins, Brueggers, Manhattan, West Coast - all mediocre chains. Does anyone have any independent good quality, NY / East Coast style bagel places with chewier bagels? If it's in the South Bay, it's even a bigger plus for me...

Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. t
    the BIG Orange

    Although I am NOT a bagel expert, I hear from many people that there just aren't any REAL bagel places here. I think the bagel shops out here steam them instead of boil them [or vice-versa]. Thereby the difference in quality

    9 Replies
    1. re: the BIG Orange

      It's not true whatsoever that there are no great bagel places in LA. As a frequent visitor to NYC I would say we don't have near the number of good ones but Brooklyn Bagel Bakery is at 2217 W. Beverly Blvd and is as good a bagel as you will find in Manhattan. You can watch them boil and bake right in front of your eyes. While they don't emphasize water or egg bagels they do wonderful Blueberry, jalapeno, Poppy and everythings. East coasters seem obsessed with water bagels which don't seem to catch the fancy of Californians. What is deemed the essential bagel in the Big Apple is judged ho hum here.
      Also at the Santa Monica Farmers market there is a stand called Bread Man that has superb fresh bagels. It's a shame that I and Joy went down because their bagels were excellent too. Of course the city is full of Easterners who seem to never tire of complaining about our bagels and pizza.

      1. re: Cleats

        I've had the The Bread Man's bagels at the Santa Monica Farmer's market - you may as well eat a slice of Wonder Bread with a hold in the middle.

        1. re: Cleats

          Cut my teeth on water bagels, which are second only to poppy.

          1. re: Cleats

            As a NY transplant from a line of NY bagel eaters leading back to the boat from Russia three generations ago, I would testify that, far from setting store by "water bagels," they are an alien concept, insofar as a bagel, by definition, is a circle of dough boiled in water and then baked. Anything else may taste fine, but it's not a bagel. I grew up with poppy seed, sesame seed, garlic, everything, and the occasional egg or cinnamon raisin. Jalapeno and blueberry are the kind of flavors I would use as a joke to signify, "not real bagel territory."

            That said, that Brooklyn Bagel place on Beverly is worth checking out. The bagels are decidedly NOT equal to the best in NY, but they are as good as an okay bagel place like H&H-- yeah, not great, okay. The only reason I know of to get H&H bagels in NY is that they're located right near Zabaar's, which is where you've gone to get your appetizing. The idea of paying to have them shipped across country seems peculiar to me. One hypothetical explanation for a market for H&H bagels in LA (beyond the "exotic" cache), is that, like Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, H&H comports with what is apparently the LA taste in bagels: bigger, less dense and chewy, more like a bagel/kaiser roll cross-breed. Not that I'm complaining, really. When in Rome...

            I'd vote Brooklyn Bagel Bakery over imported H&H.

            1. re: Anna

              Man's got a point. H&H are over rated. Best bagels in NYC right now are probably in Brooklyn (Windsor Terrace Bagels and 5th Ave. Bagels in Park Slope)

              1. re: pablo

                I concur. H&H are overrated.

            2. re: Cleats

              Anyone know the nearest cross street to this Brooklyn Bagel spot? thanks

              1. re: Cat'sChow

                Looks like it's a block-and-a-half west of Alvarado:


              2. re: Cleats

                Brooklyn Bagels as good as any in NYC? I'm a native new yorker who returns often to the city. NY bagels are not what they used to be, but IMHO, they're still a hell of a lot better than Brooklyn bagels

            3. I'm from New Jersey. From what I understand, Barneys Greengrass in Beverly Hills (the deli on the roof of Barneys department store) flies in H&H bagels from New York. So basically day-old New York bagels is as close as you're gonna get.

              Mr. Taster

              P.S. Don't believe anyone who raves about Brooklyn Bagel Bakery... adequate by LA standards, but not for us.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Mr. Taster

                The bagels at Barney Greengrass are H & H flown in the night before, not all the way completely baked. And, they are finished here.

                The Peninsula Hotel in BH also offers H & H (only in the plain). But, it's $3.50 a bagel, or something crazy like that.

                1. re: Frank

                  "The Peninsula Hotel in BH also offers H & H (only in the plain). But, it's $3.50 a bagel, or something crazy like that."

                  You'd be much better off ordering direct from H&H via their website. Two dozen for $50.00.


                  1. re: Chino Wayne

                    Actually, unless you are buying a huge amount it is cheaper to buy them at BG then ship when you take into account shipping costs.

                    1. re: JudiAU

                      I recently was in BH so I sprang for 3 H&H poppyseed bagels. Yes, they're bigger than the classic NYC, but it was the densest, chewiest, most flavorful bagel I've had since I lived in this bagelforsaken town. I had literally forgotten what bagels taste like til I took a cream-cheese-loaded bite. The rapture...

              2. Nathan's, in West LA.

                1. No good bagels here. So we started making our own. Somewhat easy if you use Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice recipe following the authentic NYC retard, boil and bake method. You will no longer pine for H&H and Ess-a-bagel!

                  1. We used to make bagel runs to various outlets of the bagel chain I & Joy, closest we could find to NY style. But that was many years ago, don't know if they are still good.
                    As poster below noted, Barney Greengrass has NY bagels, but don't know if they sell them by the dozen at affordable prices. In NYC, Barney's are OK but in truth most on upper Westside prefer H&H or Zabar's.
                    One thing we have never found is a true NY style bialy (or 'biali'), crunchy upper crust with just the right amount of toasted onions. Yum. Around here nothing but lame imitations that don't come even close.
                    Waiting for my friend Margaret to tell me to hightail it back to NYC where I belong. But as the song says, while NY may be home (the motherland) it sure ain't fine.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bernardo

                      I think I & Joy was bought by Manhattan. In any event, they aren't around anymore.

                      1. re: bernardo

                        Barney Greengrass bagels (in both the NYC and LA stores) are provided by H&H.

                        1. re: bernardo
                          quiz wrangler

                          We used to make I&Joy runs as well. Scooty's right, it was bought years ago by Manhattan. The bagels taste good, but they have lost a lot of the texture of the old I&Joy days.