There’s a change in the wind, said I, matey.
When you have been around as long as Formosa Café, there is bound to be a change or two over the years. Formosa has been a Hollywood staple for longer than many of us can remember, and has been the ‘IT’ spot for celebrities like Humphrey Bogart, Clarke Gable, Bono, Nick Cage, and even mob boss Bugsy Siegel. The non-celebrity patrons have come to know it as a great watering-hole, but with the help from Restaurateur Adam Flesichman, and Chef Jordan Kahn of Beverly Hill’s Red Medicine, Formosa Café will hold true to it’s roots, and carry on into the ever-after as great restaurant, foodie paradise, and a Los Angeles Institution.
The new late-night menu has Vietnamese, and Chinese food influence with a striking pizazz that distinguishes it from the elegant fine dining experience you’d get at Red Medicine. The foods are fun, and festive making them perfect for sharing. They create an excitement at the table, and some even speak for themselves.
Snap. Crackle. Pop., the sounds most familiar to us from those Rice Krispy commercials we saw as kids. The adult version of this is the prawn crackers that accompany the Rock Shrimp. The entrancing sound heard as you spoon the ceviche-like dish onto the crackers brings you to a couple places: childhood memories of rice krispies, or something a bit more mature like the ocean breeze heard when cupping a seashell to your ear. The first bite of the Rock Shrimp is capturing, the sweet yet tart flavors brings you to a comfortable, and calm place as peaceful as standing middle watch on a quiet morning in the Gulf-Pacific. Then unexpectedly like a torpedo missile, the heat and spice from the aguachile attack. General Quarters. General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations. The alarms sounds, you are alert, armed and ready, for the next bite.
The Asian influence on the menu is apparent with many of dishes being sweet, tart, spicy, or a combination of all. The chicken wings are savory and different, they are not fried but are battered in rice, something that confused my palette yet kept me interested. The Poached Farm Egg is a delight to anyone who loves egg yolk. The boiled peanuts hidden within yield a breakfast-dinner sensation that you wouldn’t expect from bar-food.
The new menu is filled with updated dishes that fit perfectly with the atmosphere. There are salads, rice cakes, whole fish, pork belly, 36-hour braised beef brisket, beef tartar, bánh mì, chicken dumplings, and several other amazing treats. For your hair of the dog needs there’s Vietnamese-styled iced coffee, as well as, elegantly brewed hot coffee selections, and teas. Red Med at Formosa, a modern itinerary menu for your exploratory adventure around the world. It will certainly will fill you up, please your taste senses, captivate your mind, guide you through an culinary and cultural experience, and of course, cause you to drink more. All the things you could ever want in a sophisticated bar-restaurant.
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