There was never any doubt, but bikes, beer and food most definitely mix. On October 25, Pat Saperstein (Eating L.A.) and I built on the May success of May’s inaugural Bike Bender by co-hosting Bike Bender #2 in east Hollywood. We rode through Little Armenia and Thai Town, showcasing a slice of the neighborhood’s culinary range, both indoors and out.
5114 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, 323 661 1868
Artisan baker David Yeretsian has owned Sasoun Bakery for over two decades. One of L.A.’s top Armenian bakeries now has branches in Glendale and Reseda.
We were hoping to try maneishe, a puffier flatbread topped with a zatar spice mix that includes oregano, sumac and thyme. Sadly, there wasn’t a single maneishe in Sasoun Bakery. Instead, we opted for the tangy spinach and onion triangle known as a spinach boerek.
5183 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, 323 661 5311
Tashyan is from Kasseri, Turkey, but is quick to point out that the best basturma makers are of Armenian descent, like him.
We passed around plates of the thin-shaved dried, spiced beef with an almost pepperoni-like rind.
Bhan Kanom Thai
Our bike tour culminated with two beers apiece at Blue Palms Brewhouse, one of L.A.’s leading beer bars. Proprietor Brian Lenzo had just hosted Marin Brewing for an L.A. Beer Week event, so their beers were in full effect on the always-changing menu.
Thanks to all the riders who helped to make Bike Bender #2 a success. Since people are gearing up for the holidays, Pat and I are holding off on Bike Bender #3 until January, when we’ll invade Alhambra and San Gabriel to enjoy some Chinese culinary treasures. Everybody who rode on the first two Bike Benders will get a $5 discount.