Clifton’s is hard to describe but it’s a part of old LA history (Ray Bradbury and Walt Disney were regulars). It was a well-known chain of cafeterias, with the original location founded in downtown LA in 1931. This location was reopened in 2015 under new ownership. It’s much more than a cafeteria. There are multiple levels with the cafeteria, a ballroom, The Monarch Bar, the Gothic Bar, Pacific Seas tiki bar, gift shop and interesting décor.
People come because of the over the top fantasy décor. There’s a huge redwood tree in the center, more trees, a waterfall, taxidermy (buffalo, bear, peacocks, foxes, etc.), and a rock like chapel you can enter. The place is like a forest meets lodge, meets natural history museum. The interior is dark and it feels like you’re stepping into a different world.
The cafeteria is pretty amazing – so many options and it’s nicer than it used to be (prices are higher too, but not crazy). They serve free range chicken and use quality ingredients. There’s a salad/soup station, carving station, pizza/sandwich station, fresh baked pastries, breakfast bar (we were there on brunch), dessert station (cakes, jello, pies), PINKBERRY station, Stumptown Coffee, Rishi tea, housemade lemonade, etc. Grab a tray and get what looks appealing. Some of the items are cooked to order.
And yes, they have frozen yogurt. They used to serve soft serve ice cream and switched to Pinkberry a few months ago. This is the only place in the downtown core to get Pinkberry!!!! And you can serve yourself. There aren’t as many toppings. Toppings included gummy bears, nuts, coconut, yogurt chips, peanut butter chips, crumbled Oreos, mini M&Ms and granola. A small is $4.95 and a medium is $5.95, flat rate. Sadly, the machine didn’t have a sign saying frozen yogurt and the flavors, original and pomegranate, weren’t even labeled. I didn’t get the feeling that they ever offered other flavors.
* Pinkberry original and pomegranate frozen yogurt: The texture was icier than usual but the flavor was definitely Pinkberry!
This must be the most interesting place to get Pinkberry and the only flat rate, self-serve location that I know of. If you have good swirling skills, you can get a lot for $5 plus tax.
I still have to visit the Pacific Seas, but I doubt it has frozen yogurt.
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
* CLIFTON’S REPUBLIC: 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles (Downtown), CA 90014
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