If you give Ran Zimon a bread kitchen, chances are he'll want a lounge to go with it.
For the past two years, the Israeli baker, who previously worked alongside Susanne Goin, supplied bread to restaurants and specialty stores throughout the city, including Cookbook, Wally’s, and the pop-up restaurant Wolvesmouth.
Now, in addition to the wholesale business, he has a retail bakery of his own: Bread Lounge, a rather inconspicuous joint adjacent to his workspace at the edge of the Arts District in Downtown that opened in late May.
Dozens of loaves line the back shelves--fig-walnut ($4.50), multigrain ($4.50), potato-rosemary ($4.50) and ciabatta ($3)--and sandwiches are slowly creeping onto the menu, although Zimon hopes he won't have to cave to the standard tomato-basil-mozzarella. Lemon-dill aioli, albacore tuna, harissa, sliced tomato, Kalamata olives and arugula comprise a smart, tangy tuna rendition called Plenty of Fish ($11).
By midmorning, those seated inside along the kitchen window and on the patio out back are sipping coffee ($2.50) and pulling apart Zimon’s pretty pastries. It's his ricotta Danish ($3.50), with white chocolate and cranberries, and his feta-cheese croissant, an elegant knot of dough speckled with poppy and sesame seeds (pictured; $3), that earn the bakery its place among the neighboring artist studios and galleries.
Bread Lounge, 700 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown; 213-327-0782