Clifton's Cafeteria, Serving Kitsch Since 1935

Jell-O dominates the dessert table at Clifton's in downtown Los Angeles.

Jell-O dominates the dessert table at Clifton's in downtown Los Angeles. Shereen Meraji, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Shereen Meraji, NPR

Clifton's Cafeteria, one of Los Angeles' oldest and largest restaurants, is a legacy of a very different era — a place where Jell-O desserts are still king, and lunch specials come with a big dollop of kitsch.

Opened in 1935, the landmark dining establishment is decorated like a redwood forest inside, complete with a waterfall, a stuffed moose head and a fishing bear.

Self-proclaimed kitsch historian Charles Phoenix takes Madeleine Brand on a tour of what he says is the city's largest restaurant, which has seating for more than 600 guests.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.