Travel Bargain destination
in Los Angeles
Hip Hollywood never gets old
for “Old Hollywood”, that
land of magic of bygone days when stars like Clark Gable and Rita Hayworth
used to hang out at
Ciro’s to the big band music. The world presented in movies like “Hollywoodland”, “The
Black Dahlia” and “L.A. Confidential”? Well, why not
go where the movie makers go to find the memories. Like a line from the
Sondheim song, “I’ve been through good times and bum times,
but I’m here” some of the past survives. Now with a brand
new coat of paint!
somewhat garish red and ebony building at the corner of Santa Monica
Boulevard and Formosa Avenue surrounded now by a new shopping mall is
the Formosa Café. Originally built as Jack's Steakhouse from an
old trolley car across the street from the silent era United Artists
movie studio of Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith, the Formosa Cafe opened
in its familiar red and ebony Chinese restaurant form in 1939, after
the studio had been taken over as the Samuel Goldwyn Studios (later Warner
Hollywood and currently just known as "The Lot"), and became
instantly popular with movie stars and Hollywood gangsters like Bugsy
Siegal. The Formosa has been a bonafide Hollywood star hangout ever since.
The dark and intimate interior with Chinese lantern and vinyl booth décor
has been used as a filming location for “L.A. Confidential” for
the scene where the real Lana Turner is mistaken for the movie star look-a-like
played by Kim Basinger. The Formosa Café was an
actual hangout for Lana Turner and her boyfriend Johnny Stompanato before
by her daughter in one of Hollywood’s most famous scandals. The
director, Curtis Hanson, even met the actors in the café to sell
them on doing the movie.
walls of the Formosa are lined with over 250 autographed pictures of
movie stars through the decades, James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman,
Elvis Presley, Jack Benny, Marilyn Monroe, Humpfrey Bogart. Even today,
the Hollywood landmark is a watering hole for Hollywood’s young
hipsters and hopefuls who come hang at the two bars (a new section was
added a couple of years ago) and sample the neuvo asian cuisine.
7156 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA.
if you’re into bar-hopping, across the corner of Santa Monica
and Formosa is Jones, official Jones Café. In a city where hot,
hip bars last about 18 months before they grow cold and go under, Jones
has been a popular hang-out for the Hollywood showbiz industry for almost
15 years. A former notorious West Hollywood gay bath in the 70's, the
space became an immediate hit on the celebrity hungry L.A. bar scene.
Though not as hot as the current it spots that rise and fall around Hollywood,
it has remained a lasting staple of the young industry crowd, where stars
can still be found in its concealing dark interior out on the “down
low”. © Bargain
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