It tasted of Cal-Italian gloriousness.

If Tasting Kitchen is farm-to-table bougie American comfort, Superba is Farm-to-Table bougie Italian-American. Only after everyone gets over the hyphens, we can seriously enjoy the amazingness that is Jason Neroni’s pastaria.

To be absolutely fair, only a few dishes Neroni previewed at Pitfire Pizza Fairfax are carried into Superba Snack Bar’s opening menu: chicken liver mousse, Eclectic Acres greens, and the lamb bolognese pasta. The chef had already promised no pizza, despite teasing the table with a ridiculous version of Hawaiian pizza, perhaps the only remotely “gonzo” dish to be found at Pitfire Pizza, ever. It is possible, though, to extrapolate the essence of Superba Snack Bar from the half dozen plates: the chicken liver mousse is pureed, and quenelled. It is served with pickled fruit, and perhaps some sour cherries. At the new sit-down on ever congested Rose Ave, choosing 3 charcuteries ($18) is probably the best bet. I’d do the chicken liver, the porchetta di testa pastrami, and the duck rillette. Just be glad the lardo quenelle is OUTTA here. A ramen bowl topped with some kotteri is sexy, but a mini NERF of pure lardo is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Just be glad a few brave souls ate this and booted it out of the menu.

The most surprising and delicious item was a super off-the-menu papas bravas with shaved bottarga, (yes, a poor man’s caviar) cured ham and topped with a poached duck egg [Above right, bottom]. Break the thick yolk, toss it all about a bit, and be prepared to not share. This dish transforms itself on opening eve to “fried duck egg, papas bravas, truffle vinaigrette & tuna prosciutto”. Eat this even though it resembles not one iota to any regional patatas bravas of Spain. Perhaps rename it as… Ultimate Neroni fries. The lamb bolognese rigatoni was well cooked and seasoned to the Nth, but the chef has promised “no tagliatelle, no pappardelle, no angel’s hair”, so it’s probably safe to assume the rigatoni was 86ed before the restuarant even opened. The unadventurous noodlewhore can find solace in the fantastic fruity (seasonal) apricot chardonnay beer sangria, which serves up a Cali summer buzz in no time.

It’s also worth mentioning the “Electric Acre” salas was just phenomenal, and shows the dedication of Pitfire Group to the local farmers. Just like Tender Greens, Pitfire, despite being a chain, is practicing localvorism while still maintaining year-to-year profit growth and physical expansion. Love these guys, they can simply do no wrong right now.

Another Superba report, by Stomach Life.

And here’s a gratuitous Pitfire Pizza shot since there will be no pizza at Superba. Thank goodness. Note the pineapple ham pizza, which we shall simply name “Hawaiian”. Despite having attempted all of Pitfire’s various pies at the DTLA location, it’s safe to say nothing comes even close to this Neroni-fied Hawaiian pie:

Now, can someone explain to me how to buy a bag of espresso beans from Superba Coffee?

[[ Dinner courtesy of Pitfire restaurants ]]

Superba Snack Bar
533 Rose Ave.
Venice Beach California. 90291
Phone: 310-555-1212
Sunday – Thursday: 5p – 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 5pm – midnight
Twitter: @superbasnackbar
Superba Snack Bar on Urbanspoon



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