Mom&pop food businesses such as this help make Los Angeles an exciting and delicious place to live.
As everyone notices, our diversity is possibly our greatest asset and we should make sure we encourage it and directly contribute to it with our patronage while enjoying fantastic food, generally at a much lower price.
It took a while for me to choose something from my own heritage and I pick http://sasounbakery.net/ . Named for the warrior who defended our lands from crusading hordes this place is operated by a sweet old man with hands of gold. The menus at all Armenian bakeries are small and to the point. They’re experts who do a few things well and stick to them (except for the bakeries that have become franchises whose quality is 2nd tier)
His precise movements are responsible for several baked goods, such as these spicy boureks https://i.imgur.com/qQvJVpC.jpg or these cheese boureks, warm and comforting inside, golden brown outside https://i.imgur.com/4WHhIkC.jpg. Maeishe are also an item of note, bread baked with a heavier spice blend and wrapped with veg and herbs. http://sasounbakery.net/wp-content/uploads/photo-gallery/Maneishe.JPG
But the #1 reason to go is the Lahmajune https://i.imgur.com/gWxFjQC.jpg . Spellings may very to complicate things but I’m making it simple. La ma joon. These are crazy when they come out fresh from the oven and they’re always fresh at Sasoun. Crust is super thin and crispy around the edges. Topping is always the same. Meat/spice/aromatics/herb blend balanced and light in flavor and feel. They smell great and taste even better. There are many bakeries around town to grab these flat breads but Sasoun is my favorite. It takes me back to being asked to run up the street in Yerevan to bring back a stack from the local bakery. You buy a stack and quickly fall in love with them… You’ll also realize it’s immediately one of the best beer foods on earth. Can be eaten wrapped with herbs and veg with a squirt of lemon but I keeps them just plain. Bonus, they’re only $1.25.
While it may not feel that people are being most welcoming when you’re at our bakeries, I assure you it’s just a cultural difference to provide no nonsense service and unless I’m friends with someone behind the counter, I get the very same ‘what you want’, “thank you bye” level of hospitality. Make no mistake. You are welcome there and you should go there all the time. Enjoy being the only one there who’s not Armenian and have fun with the language barrier.
Outstanding report. Keep up the great chowing!
I was wondering if the dude on Reddit who always has food recs ever posted here…
That’s not me. That’s my assistant.
back me up on that damn Crossroads topic
Have you tried taron? I usually go to both in east hollywood depending on which street I’m on.
Interestingly enough the lady owner of mini-kabob told me years ago to not go to sasoun, I never asked why but I’ve always enjoyed both.
lol… sounds like family drama. I’ve been to taron in the valley, including this past weekend… but no not the one in holly
there’s a sasoon/sasoun in pasadena that apparently is not part of that series of associated bakeries.
i found it interesting that no one blinked at how you described the service much like the way we associate service with chinese restaurants - although at the sasoun/sasoon bakery in pasadena that i’ve frequented as an obvious non-native to their culture, certain people behind the counter have been very helpful in explaining/describing all the items available for sale and even made recommendations. i guess the point is that service is perhaps also dependent on the expectations one has going in as a patron. i tend to choose to try new places at off-peak hours because i’ve come to understand that when it’s busy you shouldn’t expect gracious responses to a lot of questions. OTOH, when it’s not busy and you come in with an attitude of wanting to learn, people tend to respond more positively.
Ooh, thank you for this! I remember wandering into one in Glendale a few years back and really enjoying the lahmajune - it’s nice to know there’s one closer to me in Hollywood.
At Taron in E Hollywood I really like the tahini breads and the cheese in a puff pastry (forget the name of those).
i think you’re right, but it’s very different from the khachapuri I’ve had elsewhere (specifically Pink Orchid). It’s more like a turnover.
There are many different types of khachapuri. I believe the one you are referring to is khachapuri Imertian. There is Adjarian khachapuri, the open boat style with eggs, and a version stuffed with Rachian beans. IMERULI (IMERETIAN) KHACHAPURI | Georgian Recipes
About Food – Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) | Georgia About
I’d say a fresh lahmajune from Taron on Hw’d just beats out Sasoun. Sasoun has the better spinach boureks (more sumac, tangy-er somehow) but Taron’s potato and dill bourek is a weird, inexplicably amazing thing.
They’re just cheesepuffs… in georgian they’re khachapuri… in armenian turkish etc they’re boureks
I’ve never had the potato and dill borek or seen it on the menu wall, will definitely have to check that out next time.
they don’t always have it, so look out for it on the bourek tray:
That borek could use an egg wash.