Belle’s Bagels

Last year, around this time, I had bagels on my mind. Remember this post? But then again, I have bagels on my mind every minute, of every hour, of every day. I mean, there’s this, that, and this, and that. Okay, for some reason, I’m feeling the need to prove how strong my love for bagels really is. Anyone who has ever been across a table from me, looking into my eyes when I put an everything bagel in my mouth knows–my eyes actually start sparkling and sometimes, little butterflies appear out of nowhere and land on my shoulders. 

Also, anyone who has spent more than 14 minutes with me has likely heard me go on a tear, on top of my teeny soap box, about how there are no great bagels in LA–let alone a place that even has okay bagels on the east side of this city. Well, a ray of light named Belle’s Bagels, has burst through my dark bagel-less clouds. And we can pretend for just a second that the company named was chosen in honor of my bitchy lady cat, Belle. 

JD Rocchio and Nick Schreiber take proud credit of this operation, one that is on the verge of so much more to come. Friends since they were in middle school, JD calls himself the administrative half of the duo, signing his emails with “CBO”, which I can only excitedly assume stands for “Chief Bagel Officer.” Nick is the maker and baker and was the first to agree with my gripes about a lack of access to great bagels in LA, with a level of passion that surpassed my own. 

Starting out last year, these guys were at the helm of an Underground Bagel Brunch that popped up in an article in the LAist and almost exactly a year later, they are closer to being behind the counter of their own retail space. Currently, they are sharing both oven and selling space with La Perla Bakery in Highland Park and are baking four days a week in the temporary storefront, fulfilling pre-orders made on their website. Oh, and originally I hoped to show some photos of the rolling and baking process but due to a catering order that Sunday causing an earlier start for Nick, I would have had to be at the bakery at 2 am and that was just ungodly, even for this early bird.

We won’t name and names but Nick told me about how the bagels shops we do have in LA, that I have frequented, use dough conditioners. I learned that dough conditioners are basically synthetic additives that make the product last longer. Belle’s Bagels never use these and beyond that, they are rolled by hand and contain only a few of the best ingredients. The bagels are chewy and dense, have a perfect crust, and are (eee!) seeded on both sides. I would say a cross between a New York style bagel and a Montreal style bagel, for those bagel-heads who need further clarification.

They offer everything, poppy, sesame, and plain varieties in either a half-dozen ($9) or dozen ($18). You can add on Sierra Nevada cream cheese ($4.50 for 8 ounces, $7 for 12 ounces)--which is a plain whipped cream cheese that really was some of the best I’ve ever had. And further proving the “nothing but the best” mindset, they have Michel Cordon Bleu Lox ($8.95 for 4 ounces), which is beyond description good.

Because I am a creature of obsession and habit, I took home a dozen everything bagels only–no variety for me. My neighbors and I got the bagels, cream cheese, and lox together with tomatoes, red onions, coffee, a toaster, and Law & Order episodes to make for a pretty perfect Sunday morning. 

+ Belle’s Bagels // Pick-up location: 6645 N Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90042 // instagram, facebook, twitter


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