Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 2, 2007 09:36 AM


The one and only time I went I was sort of distracted, as I went for breakfast and started the day off by slamming my thumb in the car door. I think I was 17 at the time.

Anyhoo, is it worth the trip, for fun or nostalgia's sake? Is the food at least edible?

My Husband has been jonesing to go, and since he's been so good recently, I thought I would stop distracting him with Rahel (his fave) and take him there.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's definitely worth the trip! If you choose carefully, there's plenty of edible selections, particularly the baked goods. I had a really good bran muffin stuffed with cream cheese at breakfast; and so-so fried shrimp at dinner. They have some good vegetable side dishes, Mexican fruit aguas, a lovely selection of jello salad...and the decor would be worth it even if you didn't eat anything. Here's some photos of the place:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Thanks! Good pics. Now I'm hungry. Is that the texas toast by the fried shrimp?

      I see they do a free birthday cake. Hmmmmm, I wonder if I could take him now, and then again next February for his birthday.

    2. it's definitely a funky nostalgic place to go to soak in the atmosphere. however, i find the food to be a bit too salty all around (sans dessert obviously) for my taste.

      1. Clifton's is definitely worth the trip, especially as it's the last cafeteria in town. (Not like I really mourn the late Beadle's, whose food was really pretty pathetic in its death throes.) While the food isn't as fantastic or as varied as the two great pillars of Southern cafeteriadom, Luby's (sigh) and Piccadilly, they have solid fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and, when available, oxtails. It's pretty good, if not sublime. And even if you load up your tray, it's hard to spend more than a sawbuck. And that room! Walt Disney would be proud. A running waterfall, faux redwoods, boulders and stuffed grizzlies and the Little Chapel - it's a treat.

        If you can pair it with a walking tour of the Broadway movie palaces offered by the L.A. Conservancy on a Saturday morning, it's even better...

        6 Replies
        1. re: Woolsey

          The bakery counter at the front has some good stuff---wonderful cookies. There's a real luck factor in the cafeteria itself--sometimes everything seems aged and icky and sometimes everything is good quality and satisfying. But the interior is always amazing.

          1. re: keaton

            Very true. It's best to hit the line at peak lunch times, when the food is fresher, and on weekends, with items are turned over with more regularity. If one goes at, say, 2:30 on a Tuesday, the food is much more likely to be on the geriatric side. And it's also just best to pick items that hold up well to a heat lamp: A customer who gets fried chicken is almost certainly going to leave happier than one who gets roast turkey.

            1. re: Woolsey

              This is good advice for Clifton's.

              You've got to go during a high traffic time (e.g. lunch hour); otherwise, there is a good chance you'll get stuck with overheated, caked and dry mac 'n cheese and mashed potatoes that feel like they've reverted back to just being baked potatoes.

              I still miss the Clifton's in Covina at the old Fashion Plaza Shopping Center (now Westfield's). Sigh.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Am I crazy or did I really go to a Clifton's in the Century City mall when I was a kid?

                1. re: lolabelow

                  There in fact used to be one there, near where the Gelson's now is.

                  1. re: lolabelow

                    I went to the one in C.C.,when I was a kid too! I loved it

          2. You must go!! Choose carefully and it'll be fine. The strawberry cake is a famous long-time Clifton's dessert; I loved it as a kid, but now I would get it only for nostalgia.

            1. Haven't thought about Clifton's since my first job at Lakewood Mall. Used to go there on my breaks. If they still have these then I recommend...

              -any baked pasta (rigatoni, spaghetti etc) covered with cheese and garnished with pepperoni, a little bland but delish nonetheless.

              -garlic bread: made on the grill with long dinner rolls. crusty & luscious


              -cheesecake with strawberry topping


              My friend gives a shout out to the mac & cheese. Enjoy and post your report!