Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Cassell's Hamburgers -- Koreatown, Los Angeles
Shopping in Beverly Hills, or waiting to get into the latest club on the Cahuenga Corridor, you'd never know of Angelenos penchant for burgers and fries. However, drive any of our major surface streets and examine the strip malls, or ask a roomful of life-long SoCal residents to name their favorite burgers and you'll realize ground beef patties are central to this city's gustatory consciousness.
Cassell's, an anachronistic lunch spot in the heart of Koreatown, regularly lands on lists of "LA's Best Burgers", yet maintains a low profile. Perhaps its limited hours (lunch only) and location relegate it to remain in the shadow of its more talked about fellow travelers--Apple Pan and Pie 'N Burger. Or perhaps its that the burger just ain't that great.
I really wanted to love Cassell's--instead I settled for mild appreciation. You order at the counter, choosing a whopping 1/3 lb. or 2/3 lb. burger, with or without cheese. The rest of the toppings you get to add yourself once the burger is grilled and on its toasted bun--options include lettuce, tomato, thousand island, ketchup, mustard and homemade mayonnaise.
These burgers are fairly flat, making anything other than medium to medium well difficult to come by. They are made from freshly ground meat and hand-shaped, which should lead to a bomb-ass burger, yet mine was just a bomb. What it lacked in flavor and juiciness, it made up for in size, but a 1/3 lb. burger makes for an unproductive afternoon of work.
The french fries, however, were another story. Golden and fiercely potato-y, crispy outside, soft inside, and magically salty all the way through, these were a revelation. Usually I'm strongly anti-thick fries--most are mealy and lacking flavor. Not these. I'd go back for a basket right now, if Cassell's stayed open just a bit later!
3266 W. 6th Street
Los Angeles CA
open 10:30 AM to 4 PM, Monday-Saturday