photo credit: Holly Liss

Forma review image


$$$$(424) 231-2868

Italian restaurants on Montana Avenue are like actors in Los Angeles: They’re everywhere. All believe they have talent. Few become George Clooney. But in the already packed Italian scene that is Montana Avenue, it’s safe to say that Forma is well on it’s way to locking down a hot British lawyer wife and a vacation home in Lake Como.

Like most Italian joints of its kind, Forma nails the staples. But what makes this modern, unstuffy spot such a rarity is that it also satisfies that annoying friend who’s trying to be “good,” when all you want is a straight carb-fest.

Because at Forma, there’s hardly a weak spot on the menu. Everything from their starter charcuterie/cheese combos, to authentic al dente pastas, to main entrees is worth ordering and will keep everyone (even always-on-a-diet Marissa) happy. And despite its contemporary feel, Forma still exudes plenty of quirkiness. There’s a guy walking around solely dedicated to scraping cheese from gigantic blocks onto your bubbling feast, known simply as the “cheese scraper”. Go figure. We tried to talk to him and he only responded with “Milano.” We guess that’s Italian for don’t question my f*cking cheese cred.

Something about Forma’s casual, not-cheesy vibe has quickly made it one of the most popular spots with locals. Perhaps it’s the joyous absence of screaming kids and belligerent cougar moms, but the energy inside Forma is appealing. Is this the best new date spot in Santa Monica? Well, it certainly beats the wait-and-hover situation at Father’s Office or the Viagra jacuzzi that is the neighboring Hillstone restaurant. So yes. It is. Definitely make a reservation beforehand as the space is small and fills up quickly. Attention: The spot for young people on Montana Ave. has finally arrived.

Take us now, George.

Food Rundown


Basically hot grilled rustic bread doused in oil with an oil spread. We know, weird to pay for bread, but it’s worth it.

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Fresh Mozzarella Knots

Mozzarella tied into tiny knots topped with a shitload of seasoning and oil. So yeah, you’re ordering it.

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Because we needed to feel healthy. And so does your friend.

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Pizza Bread

Don’t let its name fool you, this is pizza and is loaded with delicious prosciutto.

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Spaghetti “Cacio E Pepe”


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Filet of Sole

Bread crumbs, crispy (i.e. fried) artichokes, and that perfectly sweet and buttery sole. A surprising must-order.

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Applewood Grilled Faroe Island Salmon

Rice crust, red and white quinoa, dill sauce. Your friend just died and went to heaven.

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Banana Tart

And now so did you.

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