As we see places like Trader Vics and the Spaghetti Factory disappear from the Los Angeles landscape, its nice to know that The Southern California Restaurant Historical Society exists to keep the memory of former restaurants alive while commemorating those that still exist.
Next Saturday, May 26th, at 10am they’ll be holding a “Salute to Cafeterias!” at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown L.A. Chris Nichol’s gives us a heads up to the event:
There is no charge and of course, dining at Clifton’s has always been “Pay What you Wish, Dine Free Unless Delighted.” Our special guests are D.J. Waldie (Author: Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir) on postwar dining in the prototypical suburb of Lakewood, Charles Perry (LA Times Food Writer and president, Culinary Historians of Southern California) on the origin of the species: the first cafeterias in Los Angeles. And me, Chris Nichols on architect Wayne McAllister – including his work for Ontra and Cliftons Cafeteria. . ALSO joining us will be special guest Robert Clinton, third generation owner of this grand and glorious restaurant.
Nichols, an editor at Los Angeles magazine, also recently wrote The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister, about a man who’s “Fred-and-Ginger nightclubs and glinting-steel-and-blazing-neon circular drive-ins brought Hollywood to life.”