Cassia is a French-Asian fusion restaurant run by a team of two husbands and wives: Bryant & Kim Ng and Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan. Ng previously ran another restaurant, Spice Table in Little Tokyo, which he was forced to close in 2013 when he found out that the building was to be demolished to make way for a subway station. Although, like Spice Table, Casia has South East Asian influences, Cassia isn’t a re-opening of Spice Table but an entirely new venture.
While the menu does have those South East Asian influences that fans of Spice Table came to enjoy, it combines flavours from the West as well, and in particular flavours from France. The Charcuterie Platter for example, which is obviously a very French concept, consists of dishes like Sichuan Lamb Ham, Smoked Curried Duck, Vietnamese Meatloaf and Singaporean Candied Pork. Similarly the Clay Oven Breads & Spreads includes French-Asian dishes such as Chopped Escargot (snails in lemongrass butter) and Vietnamese Pâté.
For main courses there is a tempting range of seafood, meat & poultry, and vegetable-based dishes to choose from. Of these, the Vietnamese Pot Au Feu is one of the most popular choices. Pot Au Feu, which means “pot on fire” is traditionally a French beef stew. When it was introduced into Vietnam during the French colonial period, it became the precursor to Pho, and so lends itself naturally to a modern take on the dish. Ng’s take on Pot Au Feu uses a Pho broth with nuances of cinnamon and star anise combined with pickled shallots, Dijon mustard and bird’s eye Chile sauce.
Cassia has an extensive wine list that includes wines from both California and France, as well as Germany, Italy, and Austria. Beers, both draught and bottled, are also available. The majority are from the United States, although the beer menu does include Baird Wabi Sabi (Japan), Mikkeller It’s Alive (Belgium), and Tiger Beer (Singapore).
Casia is open from 5pm every day except Monday. Since opening the restaurant has been extremely well-reviewed by critics from LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. Reservations are recommended.