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"Italian Bread" in West LA?

I'm trying to help out my sister-in-law's boyfriend who moved here from Rochester, NY a couple of years ago. He says he hasn't been able to find what he knows as "Italian Bread" anywhere in the West LA area. So that raises two questions, I think:

1. Just WHAT is Italian Bread? I would think there are likely a whole lot of different answers to that questions, so any specifics relatable to upstate New York would be most helpful........ but all ideas are welcome.

2. Where, hopefully in West LA, can I send this guys to try to find what he's been longing for. He's tried Italian Deli after Italian Deli with no success. Worse............. he doesn't seem to be able to describe exactly what he's looking for except to say that it is "chewy".

All help happily accepted. I may also post this in General Chowhounding but thought he'd be better served with more suggestions on where he can go to find this bread.

Thanks............... and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!

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  1. Have you sent him to Bay Cities? Have him buy a roll (very cheap) and a fresh loaf (reasonable). If those are too dense or crusty, try Victor Jr.'s on Washington across from the big studio in Culver City.

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    Victor Jr's
    10113 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

    1. Bay Cities' Italian bread (filone?) has nice complexity to it. The crust has a crispy bubbly veener that gives way to a nice chewy texture. Its body is a bit on the lighter side (as opposed to heft), but has a chew factor too. The taste has a bit of sourishness to it, but not so much like a true sourdough. Fresh batches usually come out about every hour. They're usually available toward the left/back portion of the store from the entrance.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        Bay Cities is the best and when it's still hot...so good.

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        Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
        1517 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        1. re: wienermobile

          How many times have you walked up to the basket and grabbed a warm loaf to only put it back to grab a hot loaf coming straight out of the oven? :)

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Many times. You can smell it coming from the back.

          2. re: wienermobile

            Agreed. This is my favorite bread in all of Los Angeles.

          3. re: bulavinaka

            wonderful description of a great loaf. thnx bulavinaka

          4. Dolce Forno in Culver City is Celestino Drago's bakery, and has wonderful Italian breads of all varieties; distinctly the best Italian bakery in the L.A. area.

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            Drago Restaurant
            2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

            Celestino Restaurant
            141 S Lake Ave Ste 102, Pasadena, CA 91101

            1 Reply
            1. re: condiment

              Is that the one on Willat in Culver City?

            2. What about the bread at Al Gelato in Beverly Hills? It's crusty and it sounds like what bulavinaka describes. Very soft inside and something reminiscent of sourdough, but not with the sourness.

              Get some gnocchi and a meatball, plus some bread, and you have food for about 2-3 meals.

              1. Sorento's Italian deli In Culver City on Sepulveda has daily fresh Italian and French breads.