Formosa Cafe

4.6
90 Reviews
$30 and under
Asian
The Formosa Cafe is a restaurant and bar founded in 1939 and located at 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard at the intersection with North Formosa Avenue, in West Hollywood, California.

The restaurant has a long history of movie star and film industry patronage due to its close proximity to studio lot across the street, which began as the United Artists lot and was later owned by Warner Bros. Generations of movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable have eaten meals at The Formosa. Frank Sinatra is reputed to have spent many nights at the Formosa in the 1950s, pining over Ava Gardner.

After a brief 2 year hiatus, a complete refurbishment, and a tremendous menu update The Formosa Cafe has returned to serve the Los Angeles community once again.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 90 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DK
vipDannK
Minneapolis
14 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Modern retro classics in an amazing space. It's fun too!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Thought it would be fun to try the famous Formosa while on a college tour with my son. It was overpriced and underwhelming. The food was expensive and bland. Honestly, Pei Wei or PF Chang’s is better and they have gone down in quality over the years. Also, they required proof of vaccination! Otherwise, you could not go in. At the same time, my waiter put a straw in my water with his bare and uncovered hands!
They also have no parking. You have to park in the parking garage for the next door Target. It’s already a sketchy area but the underground parking garage, Coupled with having to walk through the homeless people outside the neighboring liquor store, added to the pricey parking, is just the straw the broke the camel’s back.
Not worth the hype or the price. Save your money and go elsewhere.

MO
MaryO
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

It was great to have a nice outside area. And - we were very pleased that the restaurant asked for proof of vaccination before entry. This was very welcome! Nice front of house and bar staff. Tasty comfort food.

MS
MattS
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner, great service, great ambiance. We had a blast. BBQ pork was a hit. Will be back during our next trip to LA.

HF
HiFrances
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great; food was very tasty and arrived in shifts so nothing ever got cold; tasted great. Had a "dirty" martini cocktail which was the best I have ever had! Great slice of L.A. /Hollywood history. A must visit place for a drink, appetizers or the full experience. Will return again after knocking some other historic eateries of my list.
:)

FF
FrankF
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic as always

BM
BMerritt
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall4food3service2ambience5

Loved the decor and the sesame noodles but our server was very slow.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I were in LA for a fun weekend getaway. We were eating at Breakfast Republic across from Formosa and decided to try it for dinner. We sat outside, which is their upstairs area, complete with heaters (when needed) and full bar. Our server was Sunny and she was absolutely fantastic. Our drinks were delish and the food was awesome. I highly recommend the Chinese BBQ Pork…but it’s definitely one for sharing! We are already looking forward to going back to try other things!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Last entree came out 45 minutes after the first. Waitress was rude. Not once did she check on table, ask about more drinks, fill water cups, etc.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Service was so slow and really awful

JM
JamesM
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Great place but no Happy Hour?! Not busy at all and with all the other restaurants within a mile that have great Happy Hour, I don't see Formosa will stay in business.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Waiter we had provided awful service however Alex a waitress I had about purchasing T-shirt’s was so friendly and helpful she even went out of her way to check us out! I gave her a 15 dollar tip and gave our waiter 1 dollar next time maybe he’ll think twice about giving his customers a half assed insincere apology ask for Alex she’ll take great care of you!

CH
CarrieH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Formosa Cafe always delivers. Good food, service, + ambiance. Also, fun cocktails and easy parking!!

NU
NULou
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food and atmosphere were great. Service was a little slow but still well worth the trip.

DP
vipDonP
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall3food2service1ambience5

The experience started out strong but as soon as the food came, we were forgotten about. The table was way too small for the number of dishes we ordered. But I don’t want to put that blame on the servers. I don’t know if they are understaffed and overworked but it took 30 min to get our check. I still tipped appropriately because everyone seemed to be working hard and all of the staff was nice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Twin night

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely experience. Really great food.

BH
BridgetH
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Spent a dinner with friends - yelling over the music. We ordered Asian Greens (too al dente and bland), Orange Chicken (very tough and overcooked - you can get better at Panda Express), Walnut Shrimp (quite tasty), and Cold Peanut Noodles (very tasty). We sent back the Orange Chicken and we were given a credit. Service was good. Interior is charming although too dark to see your food... Doubt I will ever come back.

RK
RebeccaK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved Formosa! The vibe was so cool and loved seeing all of the photos of Asian Americans who have influenced Hollywood and the film industry! We got the chow fun, veggie bao, walnut shrimp and greens- everything was delicious and service was great. There’s an old train car you can sit in and the place has such a cool history. Definitely would come back for a special occasion or to take out of town visitors!

JS
JohnS
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was named Drake and he was so helpful. My feeling was place was known as a legend. The food was amazing. It was self parking which was not a problem in the least. It was my daughters 15 th birthday and one that was made special by the staff of the Formosa Cafe.👍👍👍

KS
KerryS
Cleveland
7 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loooovvvved this place! Great Hollywood landmark and one that represents LA well. So cute inside and the food and drinks are worth it. The don’t skimp. Not overrated like so many other places. Go!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

It wasn’t too busy, but they appeared short staffed so drinks and ordering food took a while, but it came out fairly quick. One dish as accidentally entered wrong, but they quickly came our with the correct item.
Had a great cocktail, and our waitress and host were great, I’d def go back again

TB
TaylorB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Took 10mins for a server to touch the table. The food came out suspiciously fast. Apps were dropped with no silverware or chopsticks and sat there until mains were dropped when they finally realized we had not been marked at all (share plates, Chopsticks)

AC
AlejandroC
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Food was Amazing, Service not so much. Mixed drinks need some work everything tasted the same.

PS
PaulS
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was good -- although we didn't feel it was as good as the previous two times we ate here. Potstickers were kinda "blah" and unexciting. But, overall, there are several dishes that are truly fantastic!

M
vipMaddy
Los Angeles
66 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The cocktails were delicious as was the chow fun, walnut shrimp and Chinese Chicken salad.

The renovation at Formosa Cafe is tastefully done and beautiful . We were in awe! So much history to see, it was difficult to take it all in during one visit!

Our server Jordan was amazing!

Looking forward to returning to Formosa Cafe soon!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The table they gave us was terrible ver uncomfortable. There were other tables available. Tables in middle of back room duck. Food and service were very good.

SN
ShawnN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience5

The food & atmosphere were fantastic. The service was, quite literally, the worst I've ever had at any dining establishment in my entire life. As in, unbelievably, indescribably bad. Our waiter had to be asked to bring each of our 6 dishes 2-3 times, didn't remember a single thing we ordered, still brought the wrong things after we "re-ordered" them, and then we even had to basically beg to have our check brought. It was so bad it was almost comical. I can only imagine he must have been very high or something. Also, not one single acknowledgment or apology for not getting right 6 out of 6 things (or our drinks).

CC
CarlaC
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Formosa cafe has such good cocktails and food and vibes. I made a point to come back here after my first visit on a work trip. Best darn fried rice in the game. Also love the fried tofu and chile wontons!!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joey is the best!

MM
MeganM
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This place is a Hollywood classic. The decor is amazingly restored, the drinks are great and the portions are huge - great for a group of friends or a small party!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience4

Poor service

MS
MichaelS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Cuisine is reminiscent of a Chinese food court in a casino. But it’s a NICE casino.
Sunny the bartender is top notch and Jordan our waiter could not have been nicer or more attentive.
The vibe is priceless.

I’ll be back, but I’ll sit at the bar and order a tasty beverage and perhaps an appetizer or two. But I’ll eat my diner elsewhere.

RF
RandyF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The Kung Pao Chicken was very good. The service was excellent. We discovered the roof patio after our dinner and will ask to sit up stairs on our next visit. The upstairs patio was quieter than the bar and dining room.

d
dudafyah
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food and historic location. If you have never been, you should give it a try.

R
vip90210Realtor
Los Angeles
49 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I'd been dying to come here for decades...since my 20s when I was partying across the street in the Jones Bar. I FINALLY came...very nice staff and the food was surprisingly good...not a huge menu but just enough for some variety and you can't beat the ambiance. Thumbs up!

PH
vipPaulH
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Freezing cold in there!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Chinese food in a fantastic setting.

C
jenniferC
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service!! I highly recommend the Steak & Broccolini and the Formosa Chow Fun. Both were excellent!!

KS
vipKShah
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Courteous server couldn’t tell us anything about the food. Mediocre meal at best.

FAQs

Formosa Cafe is rated 4.6 stars by 90 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.