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Is Westside Pasta Player Forma Getting Fresh With a New Location in Venice?

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All signs point to yes, though ownership won’t confirm

Forma Brings All-Day Italian Excellence to Santa Monica’s Montana Ave. Strip
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Forma Italian restaurant and cheese bar in Santa Monica is looking to expand further south. Per some state-filed paperwork, it seems the crew is ready to take over at the closed Chaya address in Venice some four years after first opening on Montana Avenue further north, though ownership won’t confirm at the moment.

Despite a big rebrand and interior redesign not that long ago, Japanese restaurant Chaya still closed in Venice last fall. That ended a thirty year run for the company at that location, but now it seems that Forma might possibly take over.

An ABC license dated this month shows a Forma-named LLC as having control of the building at the corner of Navy Street and Main, and one of the members of said LLC is none other than Mario Sabatini, who is the co-owner and general manager for the original Forma up on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Sabatini said in an email that he could not “confirm or deny” his involvement, despite the paperwork, for unclear reasons.

If indeed Forma does end up transplanting its exact restaurant specs to a new address down in Venice, locals can look forward to lots of pasta (including a cacio e pepe prepared inside a cheese wheel), salads, pizza, and wine, spread across lunch, brunch, and dinner. The restaurant would follow other big names already in the area, including Dialogue chef Dave Beran who is putting a new spot called Pasjoli just up the street. Got more info on Forma’s next move? Send Eater an email, anonymity guaranteed.

Forma. 110 Navy St., Venice, CA.