a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

FORMOSA CAFE – A CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD JOINT

Update:  You won’t find this gorgeous and eclectic interior any longer.  It was gutted and turned modern.  However, they realize this was a mistake and are doing fundraisers to bring back the classic joint we all love.  With a storied history dating back to 1925, the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood is a place with a lot of star power.  Just a stones throw from The Lot, a studio that has changed hands and names over the years, the Formosa was in a prime position to serve the clientele working at the studio

Formosa Cafe

Formosa Cafe old interior

 

Formosa Cafe old interior
The Lot was originally known as the Jesse Hampton Studios and was subsequently, known by various monikers such as the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios, United Artists, Samuel Goldwyn Studios, and Warner Hollywood Studios. Movies such as Wuthering Heights, Some Like it Hot, West Side Story, The Great Escape, The Social Network, and The Green Mile were all filmed just next door to the Formosa.  Naturally, as a result, the restaurant had its fair share of celebrity clientele visit.  Elvis, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Bono, Frank Sinatra, Nicholas Cage, Quentin Tarantino, just to name a few have dined at the Formosa and hundreds of photographs of celebrities who have visited the site line the walls. The restaurant itself has been used for films such as L.A. Confidential, Swingers and The Majestic, to name a few.

 

Formosa Cafe old interior

 

Formosa Cafe old interior

 

Formosa Cafe old interior

While it has been threatened with demolition in the past, the converted red car trolley has stood the test of time to remain a favored Hollywood night spot.

Formosa Cafe old interior

We visited just as it was opening for the evening, and so were able to photograph it without many people about. Soon, however, the place was full of guests having cocktails at the bar or being served from the restaurants Asian-oriented cuisine.

 

Formosa Cafe old interior

 

Formosa Cafe

 

Formosa Cafe

Since we were starving, we decided to try something off of the menu.  The wonton nachos were delicious and different, with edamame and black beans, cheese sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. The Formosa burger featured, along with the patty, caramelized onions, white cheddar, a kimchi aioli and arugula. Both were scrumptious. I am a true sucker for a mai tai, given my enduring fondness for all things Hawaiian, and theirs was very tasty.

Formosa Cafe
The Formosa Cafe is a destination you will want to visit again and again.  It feels small, homey, and approachable, yet is infinitely trendy and classic.

Formosa Cafe
7156 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA

SHARE:


0 comments so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *