Memorable | One of the Best
Cassell’s Hamburgers | Classic Burger Diner | Los Angeles
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
21st Century Cassell’s
Cassell’s is an updated classic burger diner that paid attention to the important parts of what made its nostalgic bites great. Being a restaurant that re-opened in 2014, it necessarily caters to current Los Angeles mores. The new menu touts vegan alternatives, line-caught tuna, and craft beers. But, being a restaurant that originally opened in 1948, Cassell’s also serves hearty scoops of potato salad, overflowing milkshakes in tall frosty glasses, and ham sandwiches with jagged skirt cheese poking out of the bread.
Go For the Classics
We say, order a patty melt and a sarsaparilla and re-live simpler times. If you must, get sweet potato waffle fries and a zesty fried chicken sandwich with Southeast Asian inspired “crack sauce.” You wouldn’t have a bad time with these choices. But you would be enjoying only a marginal improvement upon what every other 21st Century Americana restaurant serves. Pay attention to Cassell’s old menus on the wall. They offer guidance as to which of the kitchen’s dishes are time-tested classics.
Thick, juicy, and well seasoned with salt and pepper, Cassell’s hamburgers have earned it high honors. French fries emerge from a dip in peanut oil light gold. We prefer the skin-on chips, which have kettle-cooked crunch and clearer peanut oil flavor. The patty melt suits us even more than the burger. Your preference will probably depend on how much you like onions. We never say no to a layer of soft, grill sweetened onions on a burger patty.
No matter what you get, make sure to get something that touched the grill. It was rescued from the original Cassell’s, and it has decades of flavor sizzled into it. We also recommend the wonderfully smokey ham and cheese, even if its meat is a bit scant. Iowa smokehouse Beeler’s makes the delicious, nitrate-free ham. It reflects a delicate pickling spice; you taste this same complexity in their pickles as well. House-made herbal syrups make excellent sodas. They grind the meat in-house to make hamburgers. We appreciate such artisan flourishes; and they help justify the 21st century pricing.
Dessert in this classic burger diner is important, too. It even has its own menu. The first thing you see when you enter the restaurant is an impressive display of pies. Get the lemon ice box pie. It blends cream cheese and lemon curd. The compound is a nice twist on lemon meringue. It balances perfectly against a browned buttery Graham cracker crust.
Directions & Hours
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|