One of my favorite places in Los Angeles is Clifton's Cafeteria, an establishment I take all of my friends to and eat alone at on many occasions. I love downtown Los Angeles and venture there nearly every weekend. I’ve had people who live here tell me they never go downtown -- they think it’s depressing. Too bad for them. Sure, there’s scores of homeless people, crack addicts and a few creeps (like, you know, in Beverly Hills) but there’s also lots of nice people, lots of bizarre shops and loads of cultural flavor that people hiding out in the "nicer" areas forget about (you don’t see many fake breasts downtown).
There's also, of course, all of the historic architecture (the Bradbury Building just one example) and then my beloved Clifton’s Cafteteria. Opened in 1935, the three story cafeteria located on Broadway (amidst all the beautiful old movie theaters) showcases a redwood forest, a chapel, waterfalls, babbling brooks and an entire upper level adorned with red velvet wallpaper. The food (that I always eat entirely too much of) ranges from delicious to so-so (their deserts are great -- don't let anyone tell you different) but it doesn’t really matter. Finding this kind of old Los Angeles ambience is rare. And I love the Moosehead -- it reminds me of my childhood.
And a serenade? This was one of the greatest restaurant experiences of my life.