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Clifton's Cafeteria, Serving Kitsch Since 1935

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Clifton's Cafeteria, Serving Kitsch Since 1935

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Clifton's Cafeteria, Serving Kitsch Since 1935

Clifton's Cafeteria, Serving Kitsch Since 1935

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5690041/5690042" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Jell-O dominates the dessert table at Clifton's in downtown Los Angeles. Shereen Meraji, NPR hide caption

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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.