There wasn’t enough to room in today’s column to do justice to the Formosa Cafe, this week’s “Restaurant of the Week.”
So let’s visit some of the legendary stories.
Owner Max Gold purchased the Red Post Cafe in 1939, added a Pacific Electric Red Car and renamed it the “Formosa Club.”
Gold reportedly lost the restaurant in a poker game. He was reportedly found murdered in a phone booth on Santa Monica Blvd. in 1947.
Mob figures Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel were regulars at the Formosa and Siegel’s safe is supposedly still in the floor of the restaurant.
Another celebrity story told by owner Lem Quon was that billionaire Howard Hughes asked to borrow $20 to pay a debt to a drinking buddy.
John Wayne was caught making scrambled eggs in the kitchen one morning, after reportedly passing out in a booth the night before.
Cohen associate Johnny Stompanato would go to the Formosa with actress/girlfriend Lana Turner.
This scene from L.A. Confidential was filmed at the Formosa.