If you thumb through the latest installment of Saveur's annual 100 issue, you'll learn about Georgian dumplings, the best whisks, and extra-virgin fish sauce from the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc. Squeezed in there at 51, you'll also find Jane and Michael Stern sniffling into their Jello salad cups over the slow decline of America's great bastions of cafeteria-style dining. From Northern Ohio to Georgia though, they celebrate the stalwarts still standing — and send a special gravy-soaked prayer winging over to Los Angeles's historic Clifton's Cafeteria.
As the piece notes, Clifton's has closed and is set to re-open later this year under new ownership. In late September, the new head honcho, Andrew Meieran, started a $3 million renovation, promising to restore the facade and update infrastructure while retaining the charming faux-forest theme and 1935-era spirit.
The Saveur piece comes with a luscious photograph of a phalanx of pie slices marching along the old buffet line. You will have to wait a little while longer to bury your face in one in the updated setting, but, for now, consider swinging by on January 12 at around 8 p.m. During the Art Walk, the Clifton's Cocktail Counter will be selling “artisanal” cocktails.