“I think I’m gonna regret this.” I thought to myself as I sat in my car.
My hand was on the gearshift as my mind darted back and forth on the decision I was about to make. TJ sat in the passenger seat and had no idea what dilemma I was in. Better yet, what we were in. We had just finished watching The Accountant and the action flick was now continuing in my car. I told myself we should go our separate ways home and end the night on a quiet note, but as I gripped my hand on the glove compartment I knew what was coming.
My dilemma was whether or not we should get dinner at ten in the evening considering I hadn’t worked out the entire week. In the glove compartment was my camera to photograph the food we’d eat. Maybe I built that up a bit? Neither full nor starving I was in a state of eating limbo where I would have been fine going to sleep or I would have been fine stuffing my face with a burger. Walking into Cassell’s in Koreatown, we opted for the latter.
On the ground floor of the Hotel Normandie, Cassell’s has an old school vibe that you feel the minute you walk in. It’s in the deep brown bar stools, the neon Cassell’s sign, and the pies that rotate in a vertical display case. While it has an ambiance circa 1951, you never forget what year you’re in. Thanks in part to the games playing on the many screens and the homeless people that yell at you through the high windows. That actually happened to me.
Focusing my attention on the menu, TJ and I ordered. Uninterested in what he was getting, I kept my dinner simple: Cheeseburger ($9.99) and Fries ($3.50). What’s important to know about the old-school style of Cassell’s is it’s the type of place that gives you your food, but you put it together. This is clear when you look at an almost bare burger that comes with a plate of lettuce, red onions, and a tomato slice on the side. Putting them on top of the 1/3lb medium rare beef patty felt like I was completing a work of art. The finished piece also included cheddar cheese all on a Parker House bun. The cheeseburger was thick and juicy while the bun forming around it was so soft that it almost sank into your hand with each bite. Then there was the lettuce, which was so crisp it cracked with a burst of water every time I dug into it. Fresh would be an understatement to describe it.
Not to be forgotten, the burger was accompanied by 3/8th cut Kennebec potato fries in peanut oil. The huge bag of fries toppled over freeing enough fries to easily feed two people. If you get these for yourself it may be hard to finish. You don’t have to show off and try to eat them all on your own unless you’re a football player. Tim Tebow, you can finish these easily. You, the regular person, reading this review…maybe not. I really loved the thousand-island style dressing that was served to go with the fries and the burger because it had an accent of a peppery relish that offered a nice kick to both the burger and fries.
I may have built up the late night dinner at the start on this review, but considering how full I was when we left, it was a valid decision at the time. The burger was huge and I can only imagine how it will impact wearing jeans tomorrow. Was it worth it? Of course. Will I do it again? Of course. It was a well made decision that I will hopefully follow with a morning jog. Sure, you may not think I’m as cool as I initially led you to believe or even as cool as Ben Affleck in his new movie, but I did sneak some napkins from the restaurant to keep in my car. And you and I both know that’s pretty badass.
Address: 3600 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone: (213) 387-5502
Hours: Sunday through Thursday – 7:00am to 11:00pm and Friday & Saturday – 7:00am t0 2:00am.
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Old school decor
- Street parking or valet only