Sunday, March 2, 2014

Red Medicine Revamps Formosa Cafe's Food Menu (Hollywood)

Formosa Cafe in Hollywood stores a long history of old Hollywood glamour. It was opened in 1925 and now preserved as a historical landmark. To keep Angelenos interested, though, they decided it was time to spice up the food menu and got the Red Medicine team to move in and take over the menu, resulting in Red Med at Formosa Cafe.

While Jordan Kahn is revamping Red Medicine itself to move away from Vietnamese dishes, the rest of the team brings old favorites and more of the Asian flavors to Formosa. Find dishes like Oyster mushrooms, oyster sauce, haricot vert (green beans), espelette ($12)

You can't see the oyster mushrooms buried underneath, but trust when I say that the mushrooms with the crunchy bits are one of our favorite dishes here.

Shanghai rice cakes, bacon x.o., shishito, Thai basil ($15)
While $15 seems a little expensive, it was so good we couldn't stop eating it! That bacon x.o. sauce was pretty amazing with the chewy rice cakes. Formosa Cafe's kitchen is also open until 2 am so I think when I am tipsy I would happily pay $15 for this ...

Another great dish for a group are the Chicken Wings (confit, then fried crispy) with fish sauce, lime, thai chili ($11)

The "Group Effort" section of the menu features large portions of protein (recommended for groups of 4) served with lettuce wrap, fish sauce, and the appropriate vegetable garnishes.
For this you can either get the Crispy whole market fish (market price)
Or a 2-lb Wagyu beef brisket, braised for 36 hours ($59)
I personally really like the fish, but the brisket was tender and had good flavors as well.

The bar program is still under Formosa Cafe's regular bartenders. If you have time to chat with Billy Ray at the bar, please do. He has some great stories about old Hollywood, from illegal booze being smuggled in one of these ceramic heads you see below, or John Wayne making breakfast while drunk (apparently his food kept getting sent back, though, I guess he's not that good of a cook).

The cocktails here are solid, from the peppery Callie Belle (Aviation gin, bell pepper, lime, agave, $11) to a Cachaca Negroni or a Margarita variation with thai chili-infused Cointreau.
The Red Med menu is definitely a step up and brings more excitement to the old Formosa Cafe. The fact that the kitchen stays open until 2 am also means it's probably one of the best late night dining options in the neighborhood.

Formosa Cafe
7156 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 850-9050
Formosa Cafe on Urbanspoon


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