A small bakery in the Arts District, located a block west of the L.A. River next to an old firehouse, Bread Lounge is the brainchild of Ran Zimon, a lifelong baker who previously worked alongside Suzanne Goin at A.O.C. and Lucques. In 2008, Zimon turned down an offer to head the baking program at Tavern in Brentwood in order to pursue his dream of opening a hyperfocused artisan bakery like the kind he enjoyed growing up in Israel. After a short stint selling wholesale, word spread among chefs and restaurateurs, and Zimon opened his retail space in May 2012. The bakery is a sparse affair, with vaulted ceilings and a large window looking onto the kitchen, and its menu is equally sparse, consisting of a variety of pastries, a few sandwiches and about a dozen or so selections of bread. That said, there are sugar-dusted Danishes filled with rich almond paste, pain au chocolat laced with bittersweet dark cocoa, a croissant whose flaky outer shell gives way to a golden center as light and fluffy as fresh-pulled cotton -- and Balkan-style borek, triangular pastries stuffed with a dense and gooey mix of feta cheese and a bit of roasted eggplant. Bread Lounge roasts its own coffee blend, and plans to start selling beans in the near future.