Bagels may not seem to belong in the Los Angeles all-star lineup of baseball, Dodger Dogs, and Chavez Ravine. But for many fans, the Brooklyn Bagel Bakery is a longtime part of their game-day ritual.
The big, anonymous building on an equally anonymous stretch of Beverly Boulevard west of downtown was on my surface-street return from Dodger Stadium. I would drop in for a dozen, walking past a wall of Dodgers photos from Brooklyn days and into the factorylike space that dwarfed a spartan counter. There the bagel bins await. You won't find a smorgasbord of shmears, soy infusions, blond woods, or any of the accoutrements that boutique bagel joints have deemed essential. Here it's the quintessential essentials: a boiled― not steamed―bagel with a defined crust; onion bagels with shreds of real onions and freckled with poppy seeds.
Brooklyn Bagel has been around 52 years and is owned by Richard Friedman, son of its founder. Friedman is to the bagel born. His dad spent his entire career in the business, and his grandfather was a founder of New York's bagel bakers union. Such a pedigree. So these have become the bagel of choice for top local delis, an upper crust including Art's, Langer's, and Nate 'n Al's. And for good reason. Unlike the Dodgers, Brooklyn Bagel never went Hollywood. Brooklyn Bagel Bakery (7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; 2217 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 213/ 413-4114.) ―Matthew Jaffe