And by "Date with the Devil", I mean with myself to the amazing Clifton's.
Clifton's Cafeteria is downtown, and while I had never dined there, I'd heard so many amazing things abut it. The crazy faux creatures in their environments! The whacko lighting that makes everything look red or yellow! The buffet style, ever-changing menu!
I knew that if I was gonna have a schmate (a date, essentially) I was gonna check out Clifton's. I finally got around to it last Friday, and it blew my mind!
While I was by myself, I started talking to an elderly woman in line, named Marie. Marie invited me to sit with her while we were grabbing for the same cucumber salad. She teased me about my eyes widening when I saw all of the food choice for the day. Different breads, tons of slice of pie (berry, chocolate mousse, oreo, and tons more to choose from! I DIE!), soups, drinks, fish, huge enchiladas, I could go on and on! SO MUCH FOOD. I really took my time choosing because there was so much going on. I could barely get a grip on it!
I ended up with an enchilada, the cucumber salad, a diet coke, and a slice of plain pumpkin pie. This is more than enough food. The servings were generous.
Marie told me that she eats lunch here pretty much every day. Once noon hit, the place filled up with older people--groups, couples, a few solos. It reminded me a lot of Cosmo in Fresno, in that people seem to be loyal and return. When I'm receiving an AARP magazine, I want to be reading it while noshing on a piece of cheesecake at Clifton's.
I had been told that when the Depression hit, in the 1930's, people could essentially pay what they could and get a meal, in what was called the "Penny Cafeteria". I imagine lines pouring through the place. Nice. I love this stuff. I love knowing that people were trying to and being active in being positive and helpful.
I also really love Los Angeles because of all the hidden treasures, and that's how I feel about Clifton's. You won't find it in any other city, and the one downtown is the only one left.
If you decide to eat at Clifton's (which, if you visit me, I will be taking you there!), here are some tips:
*Take the public transportation (Red Line), don't bother with parking
*Be prepared for a comforting, greasy, filling meal. It's not going to be decadent or shake-inducing, it's gonna be a chance to roll-down-the-street in about an hour.
*Come on your birthday with four friends, and they'll hook you up with a cake of your choosing. I was told by a Clifton's "expert" that there was white cake with strawberries, chocolate with bananas, and a carrot cake. I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! GO CLIFTON'S!
*Be conservative on upon going through the first line of food, because there is a LOT more coming! Your meal is a la carte, so everything you put on your tray adds up.
*Dine upstairs. There are pictures around on the second floor. Take the time to check em out. Also, this gives room downstairs for those that have a more difficult time moving around. You are a nice person. Be nice!
*My Clifton's "expert" advised that you should totally get the fruit cocktail jello. I didn't know this while visiting, but the next time I go back, I will be partaking.
*Sadly, the cafeteria is only open til seven thirty pm! Get there while you can and party!
I want to go back! I want to have business lunches here! I want to do a photoshoot with Jenn! Who's with me?!