Cassia in Santa Monica

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” is probably what Cassia, the gorgeous and buzzy restaurant in Santa Monica, would say to its haters. When you look this good in an elegant industrial loft setting, turning out glamorous and exotic Southeast Asian creations, people will try to find fault with you. “It’s so expensive” or “it’s interesting but not as good as the authentic stuff” will be some commonly heard feedback. But pay them no mind.

koda farms chickpea curry
charcuterie fried rice with chinese bacon, lap cheong, salted fish and lettuce

Enjoy the fabulous coconut curried chickpeas on the grilled, buttery pieces of naan flatbread in the pretty surroundings, which are legitimately good whether Cassia is overhyped or not. The charcuterie fried rice won’t be as homey as something from your Chinese diner, but the elegant grains of day old rice coated in the oil slick and heat of lapcheong sausage will still satisfy you.

vietnamese pot au feu – short rib stew with bone marrow, potatoes, cabbage, carrots

The $46 price tag of the pot au feu, which one of my friends described as overpriced, deconstructed pho, is honestly a bit steep for a bowl of soup. If it makes you feel better, there is a lot of volume and parts to the dish. Part one is the broth, which is filled with hearty meat and potato filler, and then part two is the marrow with thick pieces of toast. You will feel very full and that you got your money’s worth by the end, if you’re able to finish it.

So if you’re on the fence about eating at Cassia, wondering if the hype is real or not, know that it does live up to it. Are some of the gripes about prices and authenticity legitimate? Probably. But the execution is good and the mood and setting for an evening out really can’t be beat.

in Santa Monica
1314 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-6699