A lot of us remember Clifton’s Cafeteria as a wonderful place for good, American food. Probably we went with our parents, as they shopped at Bullocks or other downtown stores, or if our folks had offices downtown, or relatives nearby to take out. If you worked or studied downtown, it was a great place for a meal.
They used to have a waterfall in the cafeteria, and stuffed animals, and it was considered spectacular in the 1930s. They helped the poor in the Depression, letting them eat without charge. I believe they have the policy of not turning away those who can’t pay, although I don’t know how that works.
For good, solid roast beef, pork chops, beef stew, spaghetti, lasagne, fried and broiled chicken, fish dishes, mashed potatoes, gravy, scalloped potatoes, a variety of vegetables, fresh dinner rolls, soups, a variety of desserts, puddings, Jell-O and ice cream, and more, plus maybe breakfast, it was a wonderful place. Relatively inexpensive, and a great family place.
It was blocks south of the City Hall, and of course the demographics have changed considerably since the 1950s and 1960s. It’s been mighty crowded on the sidewalks there since the 1970s. Plenty of the tall post-1950s office buildings are nearby.
I guess about 2 miles north of USC, and our USC parents could take the J Line to downtown, have lunch at Cliftons, see a movie in a traditional movie palace, shop and take the streetcar back to school.
You can be sure private eye Philip Marlowe stopped in for a bite plenty of times, but they don’t serve alcoholic beverages.
Yes, there was a Clifton’s Cafeteria at the Broadway Shipping Center in Anaheim in the 1960s, too. Same owner, same format.