Welcome Cassell's to the Hotel Normandie, slated to open on December 22 in Koreatown. After leading the way with premium burgers for decades just a few blocks down, the iconic diner has found a complete resurrection in the hands of Christian Page, who previously led the kitchen at Short Order. But Page isn't changing too much here.
The famous meat grinders are still grinding whole chuck pieces daily while those legendary broilers that add a serious char to each patty are back in the kitchen. The sleek space is lined with almost all of the original signs from the Cassell's down on 6th and New Hampshire, though prices are a bit higher here. It's understandable because the bread's higher quality, the cheese melts a little better, and the overall package is in line with the best burger shops around town. According to Page, the prices are in line with the early 1950s prices, adjusted for inflation.
Just like the original, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles come on the side, meant to be built into the burger, or eaten on the side like a makeshift salad. And a small cup of potato salad is included in the price, as well as that famous house-whipped mayo. Other sandwiches include a superb grilled ham & cheese (using nitrate-free Beeler's ham), tuna melt, egg salad, and patty melt.
To drink, enjoy classic sodas, or upgrade to house made bubbly like the sarsaparilla-rich root beer. Those nostalgic for the greatness that was once Cassell's will be be happy to see the legacy continued at this expansive new hall.
When it opens next Monday, Cassell's will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., with breakfast items and coffee available in the corner.