Dear Mr. Gold:

As a native New Yorker, I have yet to find a decent bagel west of the Hudson River. Most of the so-called bagels here don’t deserve to be called by that name. Is there anywhere in L.A. that sells something approaching a New York bagel: chewy on the outside, dense and a little tangy on the inside, boiled in malty water? Your answer will fill a big hole in the center of my culinary world.


Dear Annie:

Don’t kid yourself. There really aren’t decent bagels in Manhattan either, with the possible exception of the ones at Kossar’s. The sweet ’n’ puffy H&H syndrome has thoroughly infected the five boroughs — if you look hard enough, you may be able to find something better than Noah’s in Manhattan, but not a lot better.

That being said, in Los Angeles, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery stands out. The factory may have largely succumbed to the H&H thing too, which is a relatively new development, but if you go to the plant, just west of downtown, you can get the real thing: dense, chewy, crunchy hearth-baked bagels, boiled for proper tautness, that are really something else. 2217 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (213) 413-4114.

—Jonathan Gold

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