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L.A.'s beloved Formosa Cafe has suddenly closed

Formosa Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Richy Formosa Cafe

So long, farewell, Formosa. 

After 92 years, it seems that the West Hollywood icon has closed up shop, leaving behind a historic dining destination where lanterns hung from the ceiling and where movie stars dined on Chinese food in large, red booths. Opened in 1925, the restaurant (known at the time as the Red Spot) was founded by prize-fighter Jimmy Bernstein, with chef Lem Quon at the helm (Quon went on to take over the restaurant following Bernstein's death). For years, Formosa Cafe served Americanized Cantonese food to Hollywood royalty, like Ava Gardner and Clark Gable. 

The Formosa began to fade with time—and with an oversized mall built practically on top of the restaurant, many people didn't even seem to notice it was there. A remodel in 2015 didn't help things, either. Its kitchy charm was stripped, avocado toast was added to the menu and a bizarre mural went up inside. 

Now, without any fanfare (the most official statement seems to be a bold "CLOSED" stamp on Yelp), the Formosa appears to have shuttered for the long haul. 

Will you miss this old WeHo standby? Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

2 comments
STUART W

Shockingly gutted by cultural vandals. Ignorant of the magic kept alive in the original interior. God help Hollywood, it's going fast.

Britt R

Very sad to hear. By the time I went inside, they had already remodeled the interior. I heard how beautiful and fun it used to be. A real loss.