Venice’s Superba Food + Bread has had an interesting year so far, shuffling nearly all key back-of-house staff in the last couple of months–check Eater LA for the blow-by-blow details. Having an unexpected Saturday evening free a few weeks ago, I decided to see whether the food was worth all the backroom drama.
Pain d’Epi: Complimentary bread is available upon request at Superba Food + Bread. I assume the type varies daily. I was served a pain d’epi, a classic French bread in the shape of a wheat stalk, which was nice and crusty on the outside, while being soft and moist on the inside. The butter was pretty good too; I think had a little cracked pepper in it.
Jidori Chopped Liver Toast, pink lady apple butter, pickled shallots, truffleberts: Of course, I’m not going to pass up an offal dish if I can help it. My first impression, when the toast was set in front of me, was that it seemed pretty skimpy on the liver. However, I actually found the the dish to be well balanced. The apple butter was sweet, but not cloying and contrasted well with the mild bitterness of the liver. Anyone know what “truffleberts” are?
Octopus Salad, frisée, arugula, celery, fingerlings, whole grain mustard, lemon: I wasn’t sure what I was going to get for my second dish; the online menu had not been updated to match the menu I was given on my visit, and did not have this item on it. However, when I saw it on the print menu, I knew I had to try it. The octopus was slightly warm, and relatively tender, and didn’t overshadow the super-fresh veggies, including some wonderful asparagus not listed in the dish’s description.
Verve Coffee Caffe Latte: Since I wasn’t in much of a hurry, when offered a coffee at the end of my meal, I gladly accepted. Since sunlight was quickly fading, as evidenced by the image below, I would have preferred a decaf, but alas they did not have any decaf roasts that night. I opted for a straight latte, which was competent and comforting.
Coconut Panna Cotta:, strawberry gelée, candied pistachios: Panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts, and I’ve had some interesting and wonderful ones, including one made with yogurt and passion fruit at Gjelina, also in Venice. I do like the sweet, creamy dessert to be paired with a more tart fruit, but the strawberry gelée was great with it, as was the pistachios for some textural contrast. Apologies for the quality of the image–the sun had set by this point and I snuck a flash shot in, which I almost never do.
While armchair commentators have been predicting the demise of the restaurant for months now, any time I drove by that stretch of Lincoln Boulevard, the parking lot was full, and the place seemed hopping, so I guess business has not been affected much, if at all. Things seemed to have quieted down–as far as staffing news goes–in the past month, so hopefully the restaurant can settle into a nice groove. I hear that, with the new executive chef, and the transition from spring to summer, the menu will be changing, and I enjoyed this meal enough to go back again!
Superba Food + Bread
1900 S Lincoln Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291