Kid Hit Menu Items: Fresh breads, French pastries, sandwiches, fresh smoothies, daily soups, plus other interesting Israeli and Middle Eastern specialties that make for a great weekend brunch alternative. Along with an extra baguette, get treats like cream-stuffed timbales to eat later that evening. And don’t miss the beautiful Engine Company No. 17 building next door!
Adult Perks: No booze. But coffee. It’s a daytime kind of place, where locals gather and chat.
Pros: I’m kind of obsessed with the Arts District (although it’s becoming much less “arts”), so I’m happy for any excuse to eat and explore the area. As for Bread Lounge itself, parents need not worry to much about the fancy sounding “lounge” part, since in truth it’s a fairly raw, basic space, with a patio out rear that’s ideal for family hanging. No overstuffed chaises or luxurious surfaces on which to lie in repose to speak of. But damn, Ran Zimon’s bread is stellar in a town that suffers a deficiency of quality loaves. My husband, the intense home baker, gives Bread Lounge’s goods the rare thumbs up. (The olive ciabatta is my fave.) I think I got in Zimon’s good graces when I said no way would I want my loaves sliced. It’s also a little terrifying to watch employees use their slicer.
Cons: If you’re unfamiliar with your destination, Bread Lounge’s anonymous concrete block building with practically nonexistent signage is easy to miss. Make a wrong turn and you’ll be on the other sie of the L.A. River. But then again, who doesn’t enjoy cruising over the majestic historic bridges?
Changing Station: No, but big single bathroom.
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Lot behind the building, or street parking.
Other Tidbits: Although I love a buzzing outdoor city scene, it’s also a great feeling to cruise around a neighborhood that doesn’t exactly have signs of life pouring out onto the sidewalks, and find a place that’s a hub of activity. Bread Lounge is totally that kind of community spot that’s a crucial part of an evolving neighborhood ecosystem. And things here are indeed changing at a mighty fast clip in the Arts District (Bestia occupies the same block, and something’s coming to the building next door to Bread Lounge), so before we know it, this will feel like a very different neighborhood, one with or without Vincent Gallo.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.