Popular Diner Reopens, Italian Restaurant Expands: Westside Food Scene

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020

By Kerry Slater

Forma Expanding to Main Street

Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma has expanded into space formerly occupied by Chaya in Venice.

On the heels of their fifth anniversary, Santa Monica’s Italian restaurant Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar opened a second location in Venice on Monday, October 12.

In this follow-up to the Montana Avenue flagship, co-owners Mario Sabatini and Piero Topputo leased, gutted and renovated the space formerly occupied by Chaya at Navy Stree and Main Street in Venice.

Spearheaded by Co-Owner and Executive Chef Piero Topputo, the menu remains consistents with Forma Santa Monica, with dishes exclusive to Venice launching in the coming months. Familiar classics include their signature pastas dalla forma, like the Tortellini with mushrooms, light cream and truffle oil, tossed in a wheel of bella lodi cheese, and the Chitarra Cacio E Pepe tossed in a wheel of pecorino romano.

In addition, a the menu features over 70 cheeses with a cheese bar housing three massive cheese wheels, cut lengthwise and used as giant bowls to toss the pasta dalla format.

While the Santa Monica location serves beer and wine only, Forma Venice has full bar and cocktail list created by local mixologist, Vincenzo Marianella, the mastermind behind cocktail programs at Fia and Providence.

Due to Los Angeles County COVID-19 dining restrictions, Forma is only open for dining on the patio.

Forma Venice will be open for dinner from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm daily, with plans to expand their hours for lunch in the near future.

New Indonesian Restaurant Opening in Venice

A restauranteur has opened an Indonesian restaurant in Venice with hopes of fulfilling an area lacking in the local dining scene.

As reported by What Now Los Angeles, Simpang Asia is set to open on November 9 at Lincoln Plaza, the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.

“According to [owner Leni Kumalasari], the Venice community seems more open to eating Simpang Asia’s kind of recipes, which she describes as being similar to that of Thai, Indian, and Chinese. Simpang Asia especially emphasizes things like fried rice, noodles, and curry,” What Now Los Angeles wrote.

The restaurant currently has a location open 10433 National Blvd #2. Check out more at http://simpangasia.com/.

Two Wilshire Boulevard Restaurants Close

An Argentinean restaurant and a Mediterranean restaurant, both on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica have closed.

As reported by Toddirckallen, Malbec Argentinean Cuisine has closed their Santa Monica location for good at 2628 Wilshire Blvd. Signs on the window announce the space is for lease and the location has been removed from the website. The Toluca Lake, Pasadena and Eagle Rock locations still seem to be open.

Nearby Malbec at 3001 Wilshire Blvd, Toddirckallen reported that Mediterranean Luna Grill has closed, saying the windows are papered over while a note on the front announces that they are closed.

Greek Street Food Arrives in Westwood Village

Nick the Greek is now offering authentic Greek street food in Westwood Village featuring rotisserie meats, charbroiled skewers, zesty sauces and more

Diners can expect mouth-watering warm pitas and traditional plates made with seasoned meats, grilled vegetables or falafel, fluffy pita, flavorful sauces and fresh-cut fries. The meat options are thinly sliced gyro meat, souvlaki (cubed & marinated skewers) or beefteki (ground beef with spices and charred).

Fresh salads and sides are also available, including traditional Greek salads and Avgolemono – “lemon soup”. In addition, the “Nick’s Fries” are smothered with feta, garlic, spicy yogurt and any gyro meat or falafel.

Desserts include baklava, loukoumades (Greek beignets) and “Greek Style” frozen yogurt.

“Come enjoy outstandingly fresh and authentic Greek Food with the newest Greek hits playing in the background,” said Nick the Greek co-founders. “We are truly excited to bring authentic, delicious Greek street food to Westwood UCLA.”

Swingers Reopens

Swingers, the popular American diner, is reopening their Beverly Boulevard location.

In August 2019, Swingers closed their Santa Monica location on Lincoln Boulevard. Then in April of this year, the diner closed their 8020 Beverly Blvd location in Los Angeles.

As reported by Eater LA, however, former general manager Stephanie Wilson bought the restaurant from Committed, Inc., the Sean MacPherson-owned restaurant group after the April closure and plans to reopen it in the near future.

According to Eater, when Swinger reopens it will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with outdoor seating and takeout, with the same classic menu of course.

in Dining, News
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