great place, good memorable food, great atmosphere, great drinks, particularly nice filet sliders, terrific service, unique dish
The first thing you'll notice at the Formosa Cafe, once your eyes adjust to the dark vibey interioor, are the signed headshots of celebrities on the wall. Movie stars and studio heads have been eating and drinking (but mostly drinking) here since 1925. Come for the mai tais, stay for the lobster truffle mac-n-cheese. Formosa Cafe, now a preserved L.A. landmark, has a great happy hour from 4 to 7pm.
A hollywood classic, the re-vamped cocktail program at Formosa makes this historical restaurant a new must-visit in LA.
Run down condition.
April 05,2011 No hay Remedio,
This establishment is charming and the atmosphere is good. The general state of the place is shabby and overdue for a face lift. I was not too impress by the quality of the food, the service was great & friendly. I do not beleive that too many movie stars are visiting the Formosa.
Good for drinks, bad for food. The atmosphere is cool, albeit dark. The staff is great and attentive and the drinks are well made. However... do yourself a favor and don't eat there. It's pretty bland and poorly made.
Saturday Nights. Saturday nights can be packed inside and out. The patio area and roof get very crowded. Last weekend we left the roof as there were far too many people for safety. Parking, try valet if they are available. Otherwise, get there early or you will be very frustrated in finding parking. Do NOT attempt to walk alone to and from car in this area. Food has improved. Drinks always strong and service excellent. Fun place when not so crowded. Great atmosphere.
Seedy - just the way I like it. This place was probably awesome in 1950. Now it is seedy. That's exactly what I was looking for - a little cheesy, a little run down, but mostly fun. Drinks are decently priced. Food is edible. Staff is nice enough. A good place to go to when you want to go out but don't want to deal with typical Hollywood BS.
Ah tradition -- check it out for a cheap happy hour.
Check out the review of this and many other happy hours at: happiest hours(dot)blog spot(dot)com - no spaces between words, but City Search won't allow it any other way. I've been to this Happy Hour twice now and I have to say, the first time, I was so pleasantly surprised by the food not sucking (as it has at Formosa in the past) that I viewed it with rosier memories than it merited. That said, the food doesn't stink. It's tasty and very cheap. All appetizers are $4 during Happy Hour, except the shrimp tempura, which is $5. Both times I've had the sesame fries and the ribs and both have been very good, although the sesame oil in the fries tends to give them a bitter aftertaste.
On the most recent trip, we also has the chicken satay and chicken shu-mai. These were not good. The peanut sauce on the overcooked satay was bland and the shu-mai was like a processed chicken meatball. Gratefully, our very good waitress told us that the shrimp tempura and veggie eggrolls tended to be VERY greasy, so we didn't order those.. However, the $5 mai-tai was great. My companion just drank water, and the glass never went empty, so that's nice.
Two of us ate well, one drank, and we got out of there for $28 (after tax and big tip). For Happy Hour, this is serviceable, but not compelling. Still, if you have folks in from out of town, and want them to get a true Hollywood experience, why not. It's a cheap thrill.
Great atmosphere and Service...baaaad food.. The waitress was better than most I've encountered in Los Angeles, the drinks were great- they did not unfortunately get me drunk enough to enjoy the food. The Calamari was cooked nicely but the weird sweet-pesto(ish) sauce that came with it was well, weird. I had the truffle-lobster-mushroom macaroni & cheese which sounded good but came out smelling like movie theater popcorn and tasted the same. My boyfriend had the chow fun which appeared to be missing a few ingredients (but it was too dark to tell) and was cooked in the same butter flavored oil that my food was drowning in. This my friends is called Grill-on, anyone that's worked in a low to mid end restaurant will probably be familiar with it - bleh..... go for drinks but stay far far away from the food.
Railroad Car. A bit of old Hollywood. Great food with an eclectic asian flavor, reasonable prices and amazing desert. A relaxed place to go with friends. (try the Molten chocolate volcano thing)
good times. I heard horrible things about this place but I loved it. I think they may have a new chef. Good food. Great drinks. I like that it is a little seedy when its not busy. The first time we came here we had the best waitress not the second but hey I have had worse.
Cool atmosphere. The atmosphere at this old Hollywood joint is really cool. The walls are plastered with movie stars photographs and the whole restaurant I think is in a train car. The food was good but I didn't think that it was fantastic. My ahi was way over cooked and chewy. The wasabi-spiced mash potatoes beneath it however were delicious. I also liked the lobster macaroni and cheese.
Classic Old Hollywood. Be nice to the bartenders and you'll have great drinks. Don't bother anyone with your screenplay or movie idea, and you'll have a good time. The food is good [kobe burger, truffle fries and sliders are particularly nice]. Don't expect a scene, don't complain when you don't find one. Classic, classy old watering hole for anyone who appreciates late nights and Hollywood's golden age. That said, Formosa is not a nursing home for old LA. It's a testament to the staying power of good things. Bring good company because you never know if you'll be drinking alone with a Hollywood ghost or waiting for a table amidst a throng of modern-day Hollywood royalty. Far from the tabloids, near to the soul of the city.
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