Tired of watered down cocktails?
Hate waiting in line for the trendiest club among screechy girls in short dresses and dudes with popped collars and too much cologne?
Sick of $40 cover charges and $20 valets?
Then check out Formosa Cafe at 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., just west of La Brea. Once frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, and Elizabeth Taylor, the local landmark recently celebrated its 74th birthday.
Unless you have poor eyesight, you can't miss the bright red exterior and neon green sign. Venture inside and you'll feel like you've stepped into another world- a fun mixture of old classic Hollywood and spunky Japanese accessories. Rows of black and white photos adorn the walls, a veritable "who's who" of actors, musicians, and other recognizable faces.
The low lighting and cushy booths make for a cozy and comfortable experience. Glance around and you'll be amused by the glass-encased Elvis and Marilyn Monroe figurines. And the big-bellied Buddha statue is sure to make you smile.
But you may want to bring your EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recorder- Formosa is rumored to be haunted.
If you stroll past the vivacious red booths and dark wood shelves behind the bar, you'll enter the back section, which is a converted train car. This is the area that's allegedly seen the most paranormal activity. If you dare to sit back here, you'll notice the air is noticeably more still and eerie. Or you may not notice if you've had a few of their spectacular cocktails.
Speaking of which, the bar is managed by a team of talented mixologists, including local legends Alex Goode (a brand ambassador for Cointreau) and Joseph Brooke (a regular on Spike TV's Bar Rescue). They whip up hauntingly tasty spirits, so make sure you try the whiskey honey concoction.
If chatting with the adorable bartenders (or ghosts) has worked up your appetite, be sure to try the salmon entrée or the beef and broccoli, or any of the delicious bites from the appetizer list.
So do yourself a favor, bid farewell to the bland clubland of Hollywood and immerse yourself in the classic pizazz of Formosa. You’ll be glad you did.