Another Shade of Red

Old Hollywood and modern Vietnamese combine at Red Med at Formosa Café

Hollywood loves its remakes (see: Planet of the Apes, Footloose–or maybe don't).

Now restaurants are getting in on the action: The team behind Red Medicine has given a makeover to the menu at Formosa Café, West Hollywood's historic bar and diner.

Opened in 1939, Formosa Café was for decades a glamorous bastion of Old Hollywood. Its red walls are still decorated with hundreds of black-and-white headshots–Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando–recalling a time when white mink coats were en vogue and "Oriental cuisine" was exotic.

The famous Formosa Café

While the décor remains true to history, you'll no longer find sticky ribs and chow fun on the bill of fare. They've been replaced by bowls of nuoc cham-splashed chicken wings rolled in crispy rice ($11) and chewy Shanghai rice cakes ($15) sautéed with bacon XO sauce and basil leaves.

As the original Red Medicine's menu shifts away from its Vietnamese roots, Red Med at Formosa Café–as the project has been dubbed–neatly preserves some of chef Jordan Kahn's most sought-after bar snacks, like springy lemongrass chicken dumplings ($12) and crab-filled spring rolls dotted with lime and Kewpie mayonnaise ($15).

Don't worry; not all the kitschy charm of Formosa has been scrubbed away. You can still get cozy in the dim, lantern-lit leather booths, order a frothy Singapore Sling ($11) or a gleefully bastardized Mai Tai ($10) made with pineapple juice and amaretto, and swap Swingers quotes with the table next to you.

Pork belly Bánh mì ($12) and Cachaça Negronis ($11) served until 2 a.m.? You're so money, baby.