The Formosa Cafe is a Hollywood hot spot that is completely unique and filled with history. This cafe first opened its doors in 1939 and while they did close for three years they have finally reopened! It was the close proximity to the Samuel Goldwyn Studios that most likely contributed to the stars flocking to this place. Similar to the Smoke House in Burbank, The Formosa Cafe was a place that the stars would stop by during or after work. Patrons could potentially catch a glimpse of John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, and many other icons of that time.

During the Covid 19 Safer at Home time period the cafe is open for take out and delivery.

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the formosa cafe

I have only visited the cafe post-renovation but wow, it is a really special place to visit. The same group that restored the Highland Park Bowl did the work here as well. They worked with historians to craft a cocktail menu to help ensure that they have recipes and ingredients that are fitting for taking visitors back in time. This is one of those places that you come because you want more than just good food and drinks. You come to The Formosa Cafe for an experience. I love visiting places like this with old Hollywood pictures and newspaper clippings lining the walls.

formosa west hollywood

I came here while I was waiting for my reservation at The Good Burger pop up located right next door. My boyfriend and I walked around to take some photos and soak in the atmosphere. He ordered a beer and we sat down at the bar in the back. I found the place both intriguing and charming. On my next visit, I would love to get a look at the rooftop bar.

the formosa cafe hollywoodI cannot get enough of restaurants that have just as much for me to see as they do for me to eat.

historic formosa cafe

Do you see the red trolley car pictured above? This place has so many incredible little details!

What To Know Before You Go

  • Unless you are able to find street parking, the closest lot is the Target parking structure.
  • Happy Hour is from 4 pm-7 pm
  • The food is Asian fusion so while it is very good it is not quite as authentic as what you’ll find in other places around town
  • Going before the sun goes down but leaving after it darks will give you great photos inside and out.

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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