Cassell's & Marty's
I just returned from lunch at Cassell's for the first time in a few years, and I thought I'd write up my experience, even though people have discussed it before.
I had a #24, a 1/3 lb. burger with Swiss, on which I put homemade mayo, lettuce, tomato and their red relish. Their thousand island and roquefort dressings are also made with their own mayonnaise, as is their potato salad. I skipped the undercooked-looking steak fries (I've never been a fan of steak fries anyway) and went for the potato salad, and I had a cup of their homemade lemonade. The burger was excellent--good meat, well-grilled, and the bun was toasted well, although the top half wasn't warm anymore. The lemonade was respectable but too sweet and not lemony enough. The potato salad, however, was terrific. They put a healthy amount of Colman's mustard in it, and leave big chunks of potato in, which is a texture I happen to like. The mustard gives it a good kick.
That's about all I have to say, except that it's the best burger I've had in L.A., beating out In 'n Out, the Apple Pan, and Marty's, although I haven't tried the Thai American Express in Silverlake that everyone raves about. Cassell's does not, however, beat Bartley's on Mass Ave in Harvard Square (in Cambridge, MA), which is the best-tasting burger my tasters have tasted. I'm comparing pretty fairly here, too, because I had red relish on my burger at Bartley's, too.
Let me give a plug to Marty's, though, before I end this post. They make a damn fine burger, and they invented the Combo, which is--get this--a burger... and a hot dog... in one bun! How great is that? Seriously, it is pretty tasty. My dad has even gotten a bacon chili cheese combo, which I suggested as a joke. He said it was good, even. It also provides all that cholesterol you've been trying to figure out how to fit into your diet. And Howard (Marty's son) and Mario are really nice guys who know all their regulars by name (and they have a lot of regulars). I go there about once a week, because it's walking distance from my house, and like I said, it's a good place. It's at 10558 West Pico Blvd, at the corner of Pico and Prosser, between the gas station and the fire station.
I also have enjoyed the burgers at Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage on Mass. Ave. However, I prefer Cassell's, Irv's and any number of local places, heck even the Hamlet.
I lived across the street from Bartley's, regretted their being closed on Sundays, and adored their onion rings which I will admit to be the best I've had. Also, for a California boy, the burgers with mushrooms, and avocado (etc) were a breath of home.
Bartley's - God. What memories. I lived on the same block for three years.
Friend's discovery: best side dish at Bartley's is actually their fries dipped in their vanilla malted shake.
Another friend, who works there, says: "I'll never eat there again. You know why it's so good? Every morning, we grease down the grilling surface with an extra thick layer of lard."
I don't know, is that normal?