the spot: Cassel’s Hamburgers 3600 W. 6th St Los Angeles CA 90020
the eats: Cheeseburger featuring 1/3lb Meyer Angus Beef with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and Thousand Island dressing
the bucks: $11.75
the full nelson: A burger sequel that is better than the original
Once upon a time hamburgers were a simple affair. The very best ones were anointed so mostly because of the size and quality of the beef. Cassel’s Hamburgers was such a place, especially in its first four decades of service(1948-1998), when it was considered the best in town by the likes of Pulitzer Prize winning author Jonathan Gold, legendary food writer Calvin Trillin, Jane and Michael Stern among other luminaries. By the time I came around to visiting Cassel’s in the early 2000s I suspect the glory days were in the rearview mirror. Though sold by original owner Al Cassel in the 1990s, the torch was supposedly passed to good people. Sadly my experience was less Los Angeles Burger icon and more “I think I just died and went to Fuddruckers”. By the time I tried Cassel’s, Los Angeles was in the early stages of a burger Renaissance and Cassel’s Hamburgers seemed like a fading burger relic.