Sandi, Mertz and I were on our way back from Bakersfield and it was going to be dinner time soon. We were on the infamous 405 Freeway so we had to put on our thinking caps to see what restaurant was on the way home. Of course we had lots of choices. We thought of Santa Monica. It was almost a no-brainer then to think of Forma; the restaurant where they finish the Cacio e Pepe by pouring it into a large cheese wheel, after some cheese has been loosened from the wheel by scraping and then tossing it to combine. We got there at 5:30 p.m. and the place was busy. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get a table since we didn't have any reservations. The hostess studied the chart on the computer as I said my prayers. She finally informed us that she could take us if we didn't mind sitting at one of the high tables and that we would have to be finished eating and ready to leave by 7:00 p.m. Oh my, of course that was not a problem since we all eat fairly quickly. Thank God for the high tables. I personally would have sat anywhere at that point.
We ordered two Crispy Artichoke Salads to share; fried baby artichokes, walnuts and goat cheese. This is one salad I get excited about because it really is delicious and no restaurant that I know of can make this better. We ordered 3 pasta dishes to share: Cacio e Pepe, Tortellini with mushrooms, light cream and truffle oil tossed in cheese and the Burnt Spaghetti Assassina; arrabiata with dry Ricotta. We enjoyed everything.
Dessert had to be one of our favorites: Banana Pecan Tart with chocolate. The bananas are caramelized and taste so good with the chocolate. Our server, Manuel Luigi, took very good care of our needs. I told him that I thought he served us the last time and his response was: "Yes, I remember your group sat by the window." It must be nice to be young and have such good memory. I asked if I could take his picture and he pulled over one of the female servers to pose with him.
Forma is located at 1610 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, California.