The historic Formosa Cafe is back, and the cocktails are better than ever.
After a two-and-a-half-year closure and renovation, the longtime celebrity haunt reopened in June with an updated menu and design. But it’s still the kind of Chinese restaurant your Jewish grandmother would take you to on Christmas Day.
The drink selection leans tiki, and the clear front-runner is a cocktail called the Yee Mee Loo. It was inspired by the now-closed bar with the same name in Chinatown, where co-owner Bobby Green salvaged a part of the bar and installed it as shelving under the pagoda roof in the back of the Formosa.
The Yee Mee Loo glows an electric teal, like the color of a friendly Disney movie monster. But it’s not as sweet as the color might suggest. Instead, there’s a bitter wallop of rum, courtesy of Rum-Bar White overproof rum and Clément Agricole. It’s rounded out by the nuttiness of orgeat syrup and a hit of spice and vanilla from the crème de cacao. Imagine your favorite tropical popsicle, melted and spiked with rum.
If you’re looking for a food pairing for this teal tipple, I suggest the egg rolls. And to make it yourself at home, head to recipes.latimes.com.