FORMA Ups the Cheese Game in Santa Monica


Los Angeles Hospitality Veterans Open Modern Italian Restaurant
with Expansive Cheese Bar on Santa Monica’s Montana Ave

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 20, 2015) Under the collaborative direction of two Los Angeles restaurant veterans comes Forma, a contemporary new Italian restaurant set on Santa Monica’s famed Montana Avenue. Named in honor of the star ingredient, formaggio, Forma is the vision of Executive Chef Piero Topputo and General Manager of Mario Sabatini. Backed by entrepreneur Robert Donnell, the trio has set the stage for simple, Italian dining on the Westside. Set in a sleek yet inviting space designed by Aero Collective, It features a cheese bar, extensive cheese selection and modern Italian menu. The culinary centerpiece of service will be the Dalla Forma preparation in which freshly cooked pasta will be tossed in large cheese wheels of Parmigiano, Pecorino, Romano or Pecorino Gran Cru.

Forma’s team brings over 30 years of experience. Sabatini, most recently the Owner and General Manager of Brentwood’s Pecorino, got his start at Westside favorite Toscana, where he worked with friend and now partner, Chef Topputo. Now, with the help of entrepreneur Donnell, they are able to fulfill their longstanding dream of partnering with the opening of Forma.

“At Forma we highlight the art of simple cuisine by using locally sourced ingredients,” says Topputo. “Whether we are introducing our customers to a new cheese or serving them a fresh grain salad, we’re focused on creating a memorable experience that combines modern and classic forms of cooking.”

The menu features modern Italian dishes that embrace the style and ingredients for which California is known. In addition to a daily charcuterie plate, the Small Plate selections include Artichoke and Fennel “Casserole” with Manchego cheese; Single “Raviolo” filled with broccolini in a light cherry tomato sauce with anchovy “Colatura di alici” (Anchovy sauce); and Grilled Octopus with Lentils. Main courses range from Filet of Sole with crispy artichokes; the House-Ground Ribeye Burger with melted “Raclette” Cheese; to Fresh Tagliolini pasta with heirloom cherry tomatoes and lemon zest. Forma features Dalla Formarisottos and pastas- dishes that are finished by being tossed in a wheel of cheese. The restaurant has five different cheese wheels, and offers dishes including the Tortellini tossed in Bella Lodi Grana Cheese, Risotto tossed in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Pasta “Carbonara” tossed in Pecorino Romano cheese.

Showcasing Chef Topputo’s passion for cheese, an extensive program is offered that highlights a vast selection of semi-soft, semi-hard, hard, soft-ripened, blue-veined and washed-rind cheeses. Guests can choose to order individually with as many varieties as they would like or enjoy a tasting of 3 as part of a wine or beer flight.

Guided by Sabatini, They offers a collection of wines from California and various European regions, as well as an extensive craft beer list highlighting breweries from across the country. In addition to the by the bottle or glass offerings there will be eight wines and eight beers offered on tap.

Designed by AERO Collective, Forma is a 90 seat restaurant that mixes modern, clean sophistication with rustic Italian charm. Comprised of various seating options, guests can pull up to the stunning white Carrara marble bar accented with a bold black and white graphic tiles or grab a seat at the communal table for a more casual meal.  The main dining room features a leather tufted wall and solid walnut tables and chairs by ICFF Award winning designer, Objeti, also responsible for the custom brass lighting throughout the restaurant. To showcase It’s main attraction, the cheese, a custom floor to ceiling glass cheese case and bar were created to set the stage for diners to watch the dalla forma preparation.

The Restaurant is located at 1610 Montana Avenue on Santa Monica, California. They will be open from MondaySunday: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. For more information, please visit or call (424) 231-2868.It also on Facebook at

ABOUT FORMA: Under the collaborative direction of three Los Angeles hospitality veterans, Executive Chef Piero Topputo, General Manager Mario Sabatini and Robert Donnell, comes Santa Monica’s newest restaurant, Forma. Named in honor of the star ingredient, formaggio,The Restaurant offers a diverse, contemporary Italian menu that is modernized to fit its Santa Monica landscape. Forma’s menu features a collection of small plates and entrees, wine and beer cheese tasting options, and a selection of dishes served Dalla Forma- a unique preparation method where freshly cooked pasta is tossed in large cheese wheels, prior to being served. Nestled in the historical Montana Avenue, It is the perfect combination of Californian and Italian cooking. For more information please visit