Great meal at Superba Snack Bar
We headed up to Superba Snack Bar last night in Venice. They don't accept reservations and only take walk-ins for the time being. So we took the chance, and I'm glad we did.
Cool little place. Very relaxed setting, and a great wait staff. We got there a little after 6pm and had a choice of sitting out on the patio or inside. We chose the patio. Good choice for people watching while taking in the cool breeze at sunset.
The menu looked great. A pretty diverse variety with sections named Cold Cuts, Snacks, From Our Backyards, and From Our Hands.
Cold Cuts were a variety in-house made charcuterie, chicken liver, and pickles. We selected the porchetta di testa pastrami on rye with dill pickles. Wonderfully crisp rye bread with savory porchetta di testa. Definitely had that pastrami spice flavor, but with a bit more extra, melt in your mouth fat which was pleasantly cut with the pickles. A nice starter.
Next as from the ‘From Our Backyards’ section of the menu, celebrating their fresh fruits and vegetables. We went with the charred figs, burrata, opal mustard, walnuts & mint. Wow. Amazing flavors here. Some of the sweetest figs I’ve ever tasted. Fresh, firm, bursting with lovely natural sugars brought out by the charring on the grill. Matched very well with the creamy burrata, crumbled walnuts, sweet perfumed opal mustard, and pungent mint (I think there was some lemon balm in there too).
On to the Snack section, we had the Superba fried chicken with red wine glaze, pickled chilies and parm, and the chorizo and ricotta meatballs with pickled jalapeno salsa verde.
These were excellent. The fried chicken set in front of us was 2 lucious looking thighs.They were crispy, juicy, and very tender. The chiles added a nice kick without blowing your palate out and the glaze was perfectly sweet.
The chorizo and ricotta meatballs were rich and soft, and well cooked. Topped with the herbaceous salsa verde, they were delicious. My only quam was the portion size of this dish. The meatballs were relatively small, which I can accept, but it’s kind of weird to have 2 balls rolling around on a plate. I think they should have went with an odd number on this one and at least put 3 on the plate. But taste-wise, they were very good.
We then went with a couple pasta dishes on the ‘From Our Hands’ part of the menu. Here Chef Jason Neroni showcases his exquisite pasta making skills.
We had the smoked bucatini “carbonara”, with pancetta, black pepper and egg. Rich and hearty, this dish was the standout! There was just enough smokiness to the perfectly al dente cooked bucatini to really set your tastebuds off. Coated in a creamy egg with an oozy yolk made me want to lick the plate clean.
Along with the bucatini, we had the gnocchi, burrata, braised broccoli necks and vincotto with hazelnut bread crumbs. The fluffy pillows of potato dumplings were spot on, and the flavor of the potato came through beautifully. They were light, yet retained a good chew. The broccoli necks gave a nice vegetal flavor and texture with the creamy ricotta, while the vincotto pulled it all together…it was divine. This was a substantial dish. A meal on it’s own with the potion we got.
The dessert menu looked good, but my girlfriend and I already had our sights set for some gelato on the trip home.
All in all a very nice experience. Comfortable, relaxing atmosphere, good homey food, and great service. We will definitely be going back.
533 Rose Ave.
Venice, CA. 90291
Mon - Thurs: 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri & Sat: 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sun: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Lunch (starts 9/28
Sat & Sunday. 10am-3pm
Here’s some ‘ok’ phone pics. I apologize for any blur.
There last night and it was pretty quiet. Really liked the food (Brussels sprouts, meat balls and bucatini carbonara and focaccia). Wished they had had octopus last night but our waitress said they haven't had any in the last couple of weeks.
My only issues are the tall chairs where we sat are not the most comfortable seating I've ever tried and they like to keep upping the ante with the music volume.
Next time I think I would sit at one of the communal tables if it was as empty as they were last night as those chairs looked a lot more comfortable.
4 of us had dinner there last Saturday night. The intelligence I'd received from this board told me that the food was very good but the portions tended to be small for the price. But, my friend who was treating us to the dinner wanted to order the chef's tasting menu (not just the pasta tasting), which meant that all 4 of us had to get it, at $65 pp. I wouldn't have chosen this option, but it was his nickel. Bottom line, there was just too much food; almost too much to enjoy it all because I didn't moderate myself enough in the earlier courses. We told our server that there were 4 dishes they couldn't serve us because each had at least one unacceptable component for someone in our group (not me), and they were very cool with that - they just don't alter the dishes themselves. And we said we for sure wanted the famous bucatini, and server said that was pretty much a given since it's so popular. We received an incredible array of dishes; 2-3 dishes per course, and the portions were not skimpy. E.g., the protein was FIVE of their fried chicken thighs, which had a great crust, flavor and juiciness; the pasta course was 2 full plates of pasta, the smoked bucatini carbonara and the rigatoni with mushrooms; the opening course consisted of the porchetta di testa pastrami, the braised bacon and the focaccia - the 1st 2 I loved (maybe my favorite things of the night). There also were veggie and dessert courses. Well before dessert, I was pretty stuffed and my companions were defeated, but we struggled through dessert nonetheless, which consisted of three full servings. Seating was comfortable enough, staff was very, very pleasant; the room was loud, but not overbearing, though the music - which wasn't really dining music - seemed to get increasingly cranked up and became somewhat intrusive.
I guess I need to go back to this place.
I went once a few years ago when they were pretty new to try the carbonara and cauliflower t-bone.
I was not really impressed at all at the time. The famous carbonara had not only no smokiness, but just nothing to it...it tasted remarkably bland. The only flavor I remember was egg yolk. And it desperately needed salt/pepper.
Maybe I just randomly hit an off night. Everything sounds so good on the menu...
Have they gotten better over time? Do they deserve a second chance? Perhaps the cacio e pepe for lunch?
If I wasn't "forced" to go with the tasting menu (because of the table-wide requirement), I had already decided that the bucatini carbonara was going to be my selection for my main course. Though, having had it, I think it's a dish better shared. But it was our 4th course (and after the huge chicken course), so I think my judgment was impaired by the fact I wasn't at all hungry and it IS a rich dish. Nonetheless, I kept eating it, so it must have been good; but it would have tasted a lot better had I been hungry. It certainly wasn't bland; there was noticeable smoke and pancetta. I would give it another chance (though I think I enjoyed the previous week's meal at Tar & Roses a bit more).
I was really truly unimpressed. It may have been the most peppered dish I've ever ate. I'm talking choking on pepper needing to drink water to finish this. And it was so rich--but not the good sort of rich. Granted I went for brunch so perhaps the normal chef wasn't there or something.
As a whole I found the place oddly terrible considering all the glowing reviews I've heard about it. The girlfriend had their breakfast sandwich which I had a bite of it and thought was quite pedestrian. They charged five dollars for the smallest biscuit I've ever seen with jam that was much worse than SQRL's or even the apple butter at Nickel Diner (gasp!)
And it was expensive! 55 bucks for a breakfast sandwich, the smoked bucatini, two biscuits, and a coke.
Your experience is weird mostly in how opposite it was of my experience years ago! When I had that bucatini, I tasted no pepper, no pancetta, and not much smoke... just egg yolk over noodles basically. The epitome of a bland dish.
The damn dish LOOKS so good in pictures though I am tempted to return.