In a true Hollywood tale of strange bedfellows, the team from Red Medicine is teaming up with the ownership from Formosa Cafe. Where the historic Formosa used to serve slightly pan-Asian comfort food (kung pao chicken, sauteed catfish with wasabi mashed potatoes), it now will serve the Vietnamese-influenced but highly conceptual food of chef Jordan Kahn.
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The Formosa, of course, is one of the staples of Old Hollywood. Opened in 1925 in a Red Car trolley, the restaurant expanded and became the Formosa in 1939. The list of famous patrons from Hollywood's golden age includes Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Lauren Bacall, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable and many more. It's rumored that once Elvis tipped a waitress a new Cadillac. It's that kind of place.
What's interesting from a food perspective is that "Red Med at Formosa Café" (as they're calling it) will be an outlet for Kahn to continue his affair with Vietnamese flavors, even as he's turned away from that influence at Red Medicine. "Vietnamese flavors are what inspired me to create Red Medicine," Kahn says. "From the time we opened, we always had a late-night and post-work bar crowd who loved that food. Red Med at Formosa Café now gives us the perfect setting to keep that alive while Beverly Hills continues in a more naturalist direction."
Leading the kitchen at Red Med at Formosa will be Mark Tagnipez, who has worked at Red Medicine and Trois Mec here and Momofuku in New York. The new menu is expected to launch by the end of January. Dinner will be served from 4 p.m., and a late-night menu will be served until 2 a.m.