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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City)

Several weeks ago, I received an invitation to a pre-grand opening tasting of Fulfilled, a Japanese imagawa-yaki pastry shop in Beverly Hills. Go outside of the San Gabriel Valley? Ack! Because I had to drive so far, I wanted to make it worth my while. So I decided to detour to Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City) 1

I was searching for an Armenian bakery in a neighborhood that's now half Latino because it supposedly offers the best lahmajoun in town. Lahmajoun/lahmajune/lahmacun, however you spell it, according to Wikipedia is an Anatolian dish of very thin dough topped with minced lamb, tomatoes, and spices. It's sometimes referred to as Armenian or Turkish pizza.

Earlier in the spring, I was inspired by this Los Angeles Times article about how Leon Partamian, Abraham's son who never married or had children, left the bakery to his two Mexican workers. Francisco Rosales and Jose Gonzales had been with him for more than 35 years. That two Mexican Americans make the best, and bake upwards of 500, Armenian "pizzas" a day definitely goes on my list of things that are "Sooo SoCal." Not that I'm suprised since I've often seen Mexicans working in the kitchens of Little Saigon restaurants.

The tree obscures the sign so I missed it and had to circle around. The bakery has a small table by the front if you want to dine there, but I think most people just buy a stack of lahmajoun to-go. There's a small shelf of packaged goods. The display cases had mainly paper-wrapped stuff. When I asked the owners what else people ordered, they suggested a spinach pastry, but it was frozen and I wasn't going to be home for hours.

An 8-inch lahmajoun costs $1.75. So I got two to-go, and one heated up for the road.

The next day, I opened my package. The lahmajoun were placed with the insides facing each other.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City) 2

The lamb and tomatoes were thinly spread. I could smell spices, but couldn't detect what they were.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City) 3

The dough was super-thin so I just heated it up in the toaster oven for a few minutes.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City) 4

Here's the money shot. All those glorious spices.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery - Los Angeles (Mid-City) 5

Now, I've never had lahmajoun before, nor since, but I think it'd be hard to beat this version. The lamb wasn't gamey at all. The tomatoes and spices lent just the right touch. The dough was thin, soft, and slightly chewy. Two were just right, but you might want to buy a stack, just in case.

Abraham Partamian Armenian Bakery
5410 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Sundays

1 year ago today, where I've eaten AKA I didn't know I was such a glutton and how you can be one too.
2 years ago today, turkey tetrazzini from my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.


  1. this reminds me of glozeme.. but i think it's different.. hmmm

  2. that looks amazing! i like anything thin crust. i'll have to try to find it in canada!!

  3. I just had this for the first time two days ago. Everyone in class loved it. I like the bread but I wasn't too fond the actual spices/flavor, but I'm such a picky eater I'm sure most would blame it on that.

  4. Daphne,
    What's a glozeme? Google didn't tell me. So curious.

    It'll be interesting if you do find it in Canada!

    I think if you're not used to the spices or even lamb, then it won't be your cup of tea.

    I think the story is more interesting! :)

  5. Oh, I'm sure you get suggestions all the time, but I figured this small mom and pops style japanese bakery deserves it! AND it's in SGV! Haha!

    Little Crescent
    250 W Fairview Ave
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 289-7312

  6. Benson,
    Thanks for the tip. I've driven past that bakery before and had NO IDEA it was Japanese. Will have to stop by some time and check them out.


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