Los Angeles, California: Fake Forest Cafeteria

Faux-nature decor as envisioned in the 1940s, with a waterfall and stuffed wildlife. Discovered behind a wall: "World's Oldest Continuously Active Neon."

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

648 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria. Broadway between W 6th and W 7th St., south of the 101 Freeway.
Daily (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Fake Forest Cafeteria

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Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria.

Fake Forest Cafeteria

From the outside Clifton's looks rather average and unexciting, but be prepared to be wowed by the indoor forest and waterfalls. There are several sections to see, so wander around and make sure you make your way to the cavernous back room, where an enormous fake Sequoia tree dominates the multi-floored bar and lounge. Quirky, delightful, and fun. The food is really tasty, and what a fun place to take a date!

[Deb Miller Marschke, 03/03/2018]


Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

This 1930s cafeteria is beautifully restored, but with hints of well-worn charm intact. Do visit the third floor, closed to guests for many years -- it looks like it belongs in a stately mansion.

While Clifton's is definitely still a cafeteria, the menu has been updated to reflect modern tastes. You can still get Thanksgiving dinner, carrot salad, and Jell-O, but you'll also find pizza, micro greens, vegetarian/vegan options, and a Coke Freestyle machine (There are a couple of bars with limited craft-cocktail menus, but you can buy the souvenir mugs separately). A tiki bar (coming soon, with decor from the shuttered Bahooka) will nod to the former Clifton's Pacific Seas cafeteria a few blocks away.

Good things are worth waiting for -- and that includes the reopening of Clifton's!

[C.C. de Vere, 07/21/2016]

World's Oldest Continuously Active Neon.

World's Oldest Continuously Active Neon

Clifton's "Fake Forest Cafeteria" has the oldest continuously active neon light in the world. It's by the bathrooms, all the way down the stairs, tucked behind a pillar. The light is on and has some detailed history. An excellent surprise to discover.

[Smith Bros., 01/17/2016]

According to its accompanying sign, this neon light was turned on in the 1930s, then covered behind a wall in 1949. When the wall was taken out during a 2012 renovation, the neon was rediscovered -- still lit.

Indoor tree.

Fake Forest Cafeteria

This place has been remodeled and just reopened.

[Lindsey Ferguson, 11/10/2015]
Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

We went to visit Clifton's Cafeteria on the last weekend in February after seeing the tips on this website, but there were signs up that said it was closed for remodeling! The signs said to check their website for information, but on the website, it said the cafeteria was still open for business. I asked around about it and some people said it has been closed for several months. I hope it opens again in the near future!

[Kristine, 03/15/2012]

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