CASSELLS HAMBURGER JOINT AT THE HOTEL NORMANDIE- A THROWBACK TO 1948
By Michael Hepworth
The Hotel Normandie in Koreatown is now host to Cassell’s Restaurant, a place that has been around since 1948 but not in the same location. It has been open since December 2014 at the Hotel Normandie, a hot new spot in Koreatown which is still a work in progress as they are seeking to upgrade the spot for more events and parties. Cassell’s brings a touch of now to the place despite all the old signs on the wall brought from the old location. The atmosphere is very lively but quite noisy since the tables are very close together, but the staff couldn’t be more welcoming and I for one look forward to returning.
The menu is fairly simple and straightforward, and if you go for a simple hamburger or cheeseburger you will be extremely satisfied. The meat comes from Aspen and yes it is grass fed and is Angus chuck, and the buns from La Brea Bakery really nail it. Chef in charge is Christian Page who is bestowed with the task of maintaining the Cassell’s reputation which started in 1948 by Al Cassell. He specialized in fresh meat grinding and also came up with homemade sides such as the world famous potato salad, chips and coleslaw.
Even though the crowd seemed to be of the younger ilk, many old timers who missed Cassell’s specialty burgers have found their way to the new space, and unless the loud classic rock has put them off; they should be back for more. Prices for the burgers with all the trimmings are $10.9 to $15.99 and burger weight is from 1/3 to 2/3 pounds. The chef in charge of the cooking is Christian Page who likes to make it perfectly clear that he did not re-create the 1948 Cassel’s, but did in fact bring it back to life re-worked the care and effort that Al Cassell took in setting up.
The Cross Fire Broiled Burger has Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and you can add bacon or fried egg if you wish at an extra cost. The cheeseburger is equally as popular if not more so, and they also have a Burger Patty minus the bun, and a Patty Melt with cheese served on a toasted rye bread.
Cassell’s also has a full bar and are actively building up their cocktail menu where house versions cost $10 each. The English mixologist has selected some creative base spirits such as Luksusowa vodka, Union Mezcal, Bulliet rye, Fords gin, Evan Williams bourbon and Matusalem rum. Milk Shakes are also a big deal here and they use only McConnell’s ice cream from the prestigious Santa Barbara venue at $5 for the chocolate and vanilla versions and $6 for the seasonal, although malt is 75 cents extra, The pies are also pretty good here, in particular the lemon meringue version
Location: Hotel Normandie-3600 West 6th St, Los Angeles.
Hours: 11:00 AM-3:00 PM (Lunch), 5:00 PM-10:00 PM (Dinner)