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.