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Clifton's Cafeteria Buys the Building

Amidst the recent hullabaloo (Curbed: guilty as charged) about Downtown's array of new restaurants, we almost missed an equally exciting story regarding one of downtown's oldest eateries. And what's more, it has a happy ending. We love happy endings.

Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway, a staple in the downtown food scene since 1935, has purchased its own building, thus assuring that future generations of downtowners can nosh on meatloaf and mashies in a surreal faerie forest setting.

The original Clifton's on Olive was decorated in a tropical motif, with a waterfall on the facade and thrice-hourly indoor monsoon shower. The Broadway location adopted a more faux enchanted forest / western bordello flavor. We're talking wicked crazy here, people. Like Liberace-meets-Bambi-on-the-way-to-Gene-Autry's-bachelor-party crazy. Subsequent locations in Century City, Lakewood, Whittier, Woodland Hills, and West Covina continued the fanciful themes, but have closed over the years as the national palate has shifted away from cafeteria-style fare. Clifton's on Broadway promises to survive and even thrive as Downtown is repopulated with folks for whom the high kitsch quotient is a boon.

And where else will one find their fill of chicken teriyaki and cacciatore, enchiladas, lamb shanks, and a selection of jellos and tapiocas?

· A Home of Its Own [Los Angeles Downtown News]