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Favorite Chinese Bars in Two Cities

Updated on May 8, 2013
Li Po Cocktail Lounge with the Buddha
Li Po Cocktail Lounge with the Buddha | Source

San Francisco

Grant Avenue, San Francisco, Chinatown

Li Po Cocktail Lounge

I really wanted to go to see this bar. I knew that it was right near my hotel. I knew my way around there a bit since I had worked in San Francisco and with a few Chinese girls. They had taken me to Chinatown before but not there. It was empty when I went in. I was not that sorry as I had not known what to expect. It is a dive bar. It was a little dungy.

I had been reading about it. I read about how it used to be an opium den. Maybe sometimes it is better not to know too much. I ordered a Mai Tai. There was no good luck drink that I had wanted. They had the TVs turned on to baseball. That made it seem normal. But it also broke down any atmosphere or daydreaming.

The waitress that was Chinese or Oriental was fooling around a bit. She was at work and trying to sell the drinks. She told me that one of the drinks was for very special people. She showed me where the bottle was. I was not going to ask her about it anymore than what she said. I had a feeling that it was something. Later I found out what it was. They will wait for someone to order it. It has a whole snake in it. I am glad that I did not keep asking about it. They must tell people that is it. She is quite a card that bartender. Her picture is on one of the reviews at Yelp smiling.

Before that day, I had seen a lot of tourists and a line forming at a bar across the street from it. I noticed that the other bar had a write up in one of the travel books. It may have something going on over there.Now all I see about in the reviews is this bar.

Besides that I knew I had read a lot about people having trouble going downstairs to the restroom. They had complained about it. It had been closed. So I did not try to go downstairs. Others thought on the reviews that it was great fun downstairs. That is with it having been an opium den and all. They thought it was a wild place.

The Good Luck Bar
The Good Luck Bar | Source
The Good Luck Bar
The Good Luck Bar | Source

Chinese Bars in Hollywood and W. Hollywood


The Good Luck Bar

The Good Luck Bar is in a very convenient position there in Hollywood. There is a movie theater nearby there on the corner. There is also a supermarket. Then there is a very nice Fish and Chips shop there down the street. It is a branch of the same one in Los Angeles that Tom Jones went to before. They have a picture of him hanging there.

The special thing about it for me is that it had a Good Luck drink. I wanted to try that. I thought that I needed the luck. It was a white fluffy looking sweet little drink. It tasted good. Actually it really tasted just like good luck going down.

It has very modern color coordinated dark red and black decorations. It looks like the set of a Hollywood movie. It has a big gold Hotei statue. It looked like that to me. But maybe it was a Buddha. It is good luck to touch Hotei's stomach. He has a large stomach. My Chinese co-worker told me that he was for good luck. That is just for Hotei the laughing one.

You do need to try and get the waiters attention when they are busy. It was fairly busy later at night. It was a young crowd. Many of the crowds in Hollywood all look like kids that have just gotten out of school. It is their first job and they are trying very hard to have fun.

West Hollywood

Formosa Cafe

The favorite drink in this bar is the Mai Tai. It is the specialty there. I asked about it. Elvis used to come into this restaurant and bar. He would come in on breaks while he was filming nearby and get the food. There is a little section set aside in the cafe for Elvis memorabilia. I wondered what the guy I had met that knew Elvis would think of it if he was there. The bartender there then did like telling me about Elvis. It may be part of his job. From reading other reviews it seems as if all the bartenders may talk about him. The food is not supposed to be very special.

There is a happy hour that you can go to. It was pretty crowded when I was there later at night. I had just gotten off work. There was a young crowd there. If it was a crowd that were all fans of Elvis they would have been older. I am sure that people do come in just to see it. It is exciting just to be there. But it is not very exciting just in itself. The decorating is not very special.

The bar nearby there is actually supposed to be the in bar now, or it was a couple of years ago. Things change fast there.

Elvis Souvenirs The Formosa Cafe
Elvis Souvenirs The Formosa Cafe | Source


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