Bread Lounge Serves Up Great Sandwiches on What Could Be L.A.’s Best Bread
Is it really that shocking that it’s a chore to find amazing bread in Los Angeles? Anytime there is a portion of your restaurant-going population who pretends to have celiac to avoid eating carbs, I’m pretty sure you cede your right to being a hub for great gluten. What makes it even harder for me is that I lived around the corner from the Sullivan St. Bakery factory in NYC for 5 years before moving to L.A. Not only did they supply bread to well known restaurants all over the city, but they also had a small takeout counter where they peddled sandwiches, breads, and pastries in a relatively industrial part of Hell’s Kitchen. I miss it.
Or I should say, I missed it. Bread Lounge in Downtown L.A. has filled my void, serving up sandwiches, breads, and pastries in an industrial part of Downtown (sound familiar?) And the best part is, their sandwiches make it a perfect lunching destination.
Located on 7th and Santa Fe, in the industrial outer reaches of the now hip Arts District, Bread Lounge is a large but sparse storefront, with more floor space dedicated to the production of bread than the serving of it. The front door faces Sante Fe, just south of 7th Street, but if you follow the alley that runs alongside 7th, it leads to small private parking lot with a back entrance to the bakery. There’s also a nice outdoor seating area in the back. Even though the space is less than a year old, Bread Lounge itself has been around a bit longer. I remember trying their stuff over two years ago when they first popped up at Wally’s Cheese Shop as a homeless private bread supplier. Good bread tends to stand out in this city.
If you ever had a sandwich at Wally’s, you’ll recognize the floury ciabatta. But at the store there is also an olive version, and an olive stick that tastes great on its own.
There are also sweet and savory croissants, and a line up of pastries that taste as good as they look.
There are also savory boreks filled with andouille, or spinach and cheese.
The sandwiches are divided into two sections: sandwiches and panini. The sandwiches are cold and range in price from $7 to $11, but the $11 sandwiches come with house pickles and baby greens. The $7 and $8 sandwiches come by themselves, but you can add the pickles and greens for $2. There’s a turkey sandwich and a tuna sandwich, both of which sound pretty fancy. As well as a roasted veggie sandwich, a ham and cheese sandwich (black forrest and emmenthaler), a proscuitto sandwich, and a fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwich. All pretty standard, but made with top notch ingredients. Where they really shine is in the bread. You can get any sandwich, on any kind of bread, but there are natural combos. The roasted veggie or mozzarella on ciabatta, the proscuitto on a baguette seems right. The counter person will be happy to direct you to the perfect match.
Looking for something warm? Go with the panini, which are both $11 and come with greens and pickles. There’s a roasted turkey w/ gouda and sun dried tomato pesto, or a really excellent grilled cheese with emmenthaler, gouda and a sweet onion marmalade. Once again you can choose any bread, but the sliced breads tend to work better with these.
Want something super hot? They also have a soup of the day.
Of course, on your way out, you’ll want to buy one of the baguettes off the lincoln log’ish display case tower to take home. If only I lived right around the corner.
Bread Lounge, 700 S Santa Fe Ave. 213-327-0782