Sure Beats Flowers…

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Cassia is a critically-acclaimed Southeast Asian brasserie in downtown Santa Monica that largely celebrates Chef Bryant Ng’s Chinese-Singaporean roots, with some playful nods to French cuisine and his wife Kim Luu-Ng’s Vietnamese heritage.

Located within the Art Deco-era Telephone Building with its soaring ceilings, long, white marble bar and expansive patio, guests are treated to the kind of family-style feast that Owners Bryant and Kim consider a hallmark of any gathering. Towers of fresh, raw seafood, platters of wood-grilled satay, bowls of spicy dan dan noodles and comforting fried rice, as well as French twists on familiar Chinese dishes like Hainanese chicken confit and spicy lamb frites, adorn the menu. Cassia also pays homage to Los Angeles’ immigrant community and Bryant’s family, who have a long history of running restaurants—from his grandparents’ Polynesian-Cantonese joint in Culver City during the 1950s Tiki hey-day to his parents’ 1980s-era, Chinese-American restaurant in the San Fernando Valley to Bryant and Kim’s first spot, The Spice Table, which earned national accolades and helped usher in the city’s new wave of Asian cuisine, before shuttering in 2013 due to eminent domain.  

As a member of the Rustic Canyon Family of restaurants, the team also sources the best, seasonal ingredients from local, organic farmers, ranchers and fishers. This extends to the bar program, which features fun, South Asian-inspired cocktails and General Manager & Sommelier Marianna Caldwell’s comprehensive and intriguing wine list that showcases smaller, planet-friendly producers from around the world.

Since opening in 2015, Cassia has earned a James Beard semifinalist nomination for “Outstanding Restaurant” (2023) and “Best New Restaurant” (2016), been featured in Los Angeles Times’ “101 Best Restaurants” list every year and in the MICHELIN Guide California (2021-2023), and garnered acclaim from New York Times, Bon Appétit, GQ and more. Bryant was also a 2022 James Beard Finalist for “Best Chef – California” and a semifinalist in 2017. 

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