Like most cities not named New York City, Los Angeles seems to suffer from a relative void when it comes to good bagels. Sure, maybe it's that perfect pizza/bagel-making holy water that flows like manna from the pipes of New York City that does the trick. I won't deny the magic capabilities of New York City's drinking supply, but I do think part of the great bagel dilemma comes from a lack of freshly baked options, plain and simple.
My first time at Bagel Nosh involved a little embarrassment. Stepping up to the counter, I had ordered a 'toasted bagel'. "Toasted?" the employee scoffed back at me. The bagels were fresh from the oven. He wasn't kidding. A plume of steam greeted me as I opened the two halves of my bagel. It's certainly been a while since I've made that pleasant discovery. I spent two years looking for a decent bagel in D.C. (okay, I may have been doing other things in addition to that, but you get the point) but my efforts turned up only bunk.
Okay, so yes, this salted bagel (below) is clearly toasted. Subsequent visits have returned bagels that were further removed from the cooking process, so I've settled for the toaster. Yet there's still something to be said for a bagel that hasn't had to journey through all of Middle Earth just to arrive in a plastic basket on my table. In the age of Starbucks, I've nearly forgotten how amazing a freshly-made bagel tastes. That's not to take a knock at the coffee conglomerate, even the most well-meaning cafes have their bagels outsourced.
On my last visit, I had to convince Angela just to try one. She's not exactly the bagel enthusiast that I am, but someone had to keep my company while I scarfed down two of their warm, golden bagels.
Angela sprung for a bagel sandwich with sausage and pepper jack cheese. While her sandwich earned obligatory points for freshness, the combination of ingredients came off surprisingly bland. The plain bagel could've used a little more salt, and even the pepper jack seemed lacking in seasoning. But there's no denying the tastiness of the bagel itself.
I may have had better bagels (namely in and around New York City) but gotta give Bagel Nosh credit for doing it right. If it isn't fresh, it's just a dried out waste of carbs. Anyone have a favorite bagel in Los Angeles? A place where I can satisfy my cravings at the source. I've noticed that Salt's Cure has freshly made bagels in their window every morning. If they're as good as everything else we've had from their kitchen, perhaps that will make for a future post.