I moved closer to Glendale right before COVID-19 shut down California. This brought me closer to L.A.’s highest concentration of flatbreads from the Caucasus and Middle East, which I’ve enjoyed for 20 years, but explored in more depth throughout the pandemic. Glendale is loaded, but it’s still worth driving to places like Hollywood, Pasadena, the San Fernando Valley and Anaheim’s Little Arabia to find different varieties and versions due to diverse populations and inspirations. Learn about 10 of my favorite Los Angeles flatbreads with roots in the Caucasus and Middle East.
Ararat Bakery (Tujunga)
Tujunga, located along the 210 freeway corridor that connects Pasadena with points north, has a healthy Armenian-American population. The owners named this bakery for Armenia’s tallest peak, featuring European pastries, Armenian flatbreads and packaged baklava. They’ve been in business over a decade. This is Ararat Bakery’s second address.
Ash’s Grill (Reseda)
Ashot Togramajyan was born in Armenia and moved to Turkey when he was two years old. A sign touts “Mediterranean food,” but Ash flies an Armenian flag and dots his menu with Turkish dishes. His eponymous restaurant replaced Halal Boys last fall and now houses a charcoal grill and bakes pita and flatbreads in-house.
Broadway Bakery (Glendale)
I’d seen Broadway Bakery’s truck parked in a strip mall parking lot across from Georgian restaurant Havlabar many times before committing. This Armenian bakery opened in May 2019, featuring blackboard menus and a flame-licked oven.
FurnSaj Bakery (Glendora)
Charlie Succar and brother Mel expanded from Granada Hills to Glendora in 2019 and just added a Calabasas outpost. FurnSaj Glendora features a mural of traditional Lebanese sajj baking and an incubator for their vast flatbread selection.
Koko’s Bakery (Pasadena)
Mike Saghbazarian runs the front of the house at Koko’s Bakery, which his parents Koko and Houri started 1991 amidst Pasadena’s vibrant Armenian community. They only sell flatbreads in pairs or larger bags, and have a cookie case in back.
Kozanian’s Ranch Market (Glendale)
Mary Kozanian and family have run this grocery store, bakery, and prepared food emporium in Plaza de Verdugo strip mall since 1988. They sell several different flatbreads. Call ahead to make sure their special “blossoms” are available.
The Lahmajune Factory (Glendale)
This Armenian bakery has been a neighborhood hub for flatbreads and socialization since 2012.
NOVA Market & Catering (Glendale)
This Armenian & Persian market opened in 2016 and houses a butcher shop, deli, bakery and small patio.
Old Sasoon Bakery (Pasadena)
Joseph Geragosian presides over his family’s bakery, which dates to 1948 in Aleppo, Syria. Any round flatbread is available to help form a sandwich, which gets rolled with mint leaves, tomatoes, green olives and crispy raw onions.
Pita House (Northridge)
Rabir “Rabi” Ayash is from Shouf in the Lebanese mountains, but has lived in L.A. for 31 years. He runs six other restaurants in L.A. To bring Pita House to life, he once again hired Lena, a talented chef who is Armenian from Lebanon and previously worked for him at two other restaurants. Ayash also opened Pita House in Santa Monica before the pandemic, but that location doesn’t serve flatbreads, so visiting Northridge is the stronger play.