Saturday, December 13, 2008

Clifton's Cafeteria of Los Angeles: Happy trays to you!

My brother-in-law's brother, "Uncle" Stephen, always shows a great time when we visit him in L.A. A fellow eccentric traveler, he knows just the kind of places that will float our boat. On our last visit he took us to Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria on South Broadway in downtown, and the place does not disappoint. Like many other great downtown metro areas around the USA, this once-great neighborhood is a little rough around the edges, but the Clifton Cafeteria remains steadfast, serving up poached haddock, potato leek soup, pickled beets, jello with stuff in it, and enough pie and donuts to choke a horse to its loyal denizens who have been patronizing the place since 1935. The decor is to die for. Original owner Clifford Clifton wanted the place to resemble a redwoods lodge. A 20-ft. waterfall cascades into a quiet stream that meanders through the dining room. The interior has a "lived-in" look, to put it kindly, as do the customers, making it all the more homey. They have elaborate terrazzo inlayed sidewalks depicting scenes important to California history that you won't find at Applebee's or TGIFridays, and tiled exterior walls feature display cases bragging of salad samplers, children's plates and quality desserts. I miss cafeterias like this. They remind me of fun childhood visits to my see my grandparents in Florida and I hope Cliftons never goes away. Here's their website: Go here for a well-written review from Randy Garbin's Roadside website:


Kaitlin said...

this is an awesome site!! I love roadside America and you have certainly collected a bunch of great stuff. I might be interested in using some for the Preservation in Pink newsletter. I'll get back to you shortly!
thanks! -Kaitlin

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Thanks Kaitlin!