Larry King is my spirit animal. When my brother and I were at El Rodeo Middle School and Beverly Hills High School, respectively, we would often ditch our morning classes and go instead for lox and bagels at Nate & Al’s. If we saw Larry King, we knew it would be a good day. Don’t tell my Mom we ditched, although I’m sure deep down she would have approved. Nate & Al’s was a Concord jet to New York in the middle of Beverly Drive. In fact, I once threw a party in New York and my mother insisted on ordering the hot dogs all the way from Nate & Al’s.
Besides the point, but there was a large fiasco that involved my Mother and both her sisters concerning the foot-long hot dogs that arrived with the lack of foot-long hot dog buns. My Aunt who was hosting the party had a nightmare that the end of the hot dog sticking out of the too short buns would cause ketchup, mustard and the like to spill all over her flawless living room. It was fun without responsibility, and not the kind of party she wanted to be having, so she called their eldest sister to get involved and solve the problem. “I’ll take care of this,” my one Aunt assured the other, and sure enough, the next day a box from Nate & Al’s arrived at my Aunt’s door. But inside were 100 foot-long hot dogs and packs and packs of standard size hot dog buns. So now we had 200 foot-long hot dogs and zero useful hot dog buns, for a party for 35 people. My Mom promptly called Juniors, who referred us to their bakery, and the next day a guy showed up at my aunt’s door with 200 foot long hot dog buns delivered straight from Brooklyn. He didn’t even charge us, which I don’t understand, although if you knew my family stranger things have happened than a guy in coveralls delivering 200 foot long hot buns from Brooklyn on a Saturday for free.
And that’s sort of how I always imagine Brooklyn, lots of delicious processed dough that gets sent to various parts of the world to ultimately end up in my stomach. So all stars aligned when Larry King opened a franchise of The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co on Beverly Drive this year. A sit down restaurant with a take out line that snakes around the back alongside a floor to ceiling glass wall so you can watch the step-by-step process to baking tens of varieties of fresh bagels.
I ordered an iced coffee, and the cashier asked me “Large or Xtra Large?”
“Those are the only two sizes?” I asked. “I like this place already.”
She gave me an Xtra Large cup and directed me towards three different dispensers. One that dispensed ice cubes made of actual iced coffee (I am in heaven at this point), the second dispensed the iced coffee (which isn’t cold brewed but it’s excellent and reminiscent of Dunkin’ Donuts’ iced coffee) and the third dispensed the cold Skim, Whole or Soy milk.
The bagel itself was decent. Not out of this world but it was definitely a New York bagel. They served it with cream cheese and avocado, my favorite. My one complaint would be that they only spread the cream cheese on one side of the bagel, which isn’t the classiest move in the book of bagel etiquette. I am definitely coming back, probably often.
The best part of the experience was my Spirit Animal himself was sitting at the front table, wearing an LA Dodgers jacket and surrounded by an extremely eclectic group of men. A perfect Beverly Hills morning. It’s definitely going to be a good day.
The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.
262 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 786-7400
Hours: Open daily 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
by Kitty Kaufman