Sunday, May 12, 2013

Superba Snack Bar: Brunching Beyond Abbott Kinney, Venice

Venice, CA can seem like a tale of three cities to a non-resident: the grungy, need-a-shower-desperately-after, only-ondemand-by-outoftown-visitors side pretty much all along the boardwalk; the post-college, now-in-possession-of-disposable-income-yet-still-very-indie-spirited-locavore side on boutique-filled artsy Abbott Kinney; the semi-suburban-but-heck-no-we-are-not-cookiecutter-Santa-Monica side pretty much the remainder of Venice.

Superba to me fits in somewhere between that second and third city. One of my dear friends subliminalrabbit recently moved to an apt a few blocks from there.

A few weekends ago we decided to get together for brunch, along with subliminalrabbit's hubby and Ms Sassy - and when I posed the all important question of where to eat, to the general Twitter population - Superba came recommended by almost every person who answered.

The only problem with Superba was, they don't take reservations for brunch (because chef Jason Neroni's inspired take on casual Californian has justifiably driven reliably large crowds every weekend) - my friend is in her 3rd trimester, and we didn't want her to be on her feet waiting around the notoriously packed brunch seekers here for a table.

That's when Wagstaff, Superba's PR agency, came to the rescue - they had seen my tweet and very kindly reached out to help set up a reservation (thank you Wagstaff)!

The open, airy casual chic space immediately set us at ease - and because it was the morning of St. Patrick's Day, the place was actually uncharacteristically laid back - only a few tables were occupied when we arrived.

I started with a Hibiscus Iced Tea which was delicious served with simple syrup on the side!!! (Yes, I am a bit obsessed with this:  there are two types of iced tea servers in the world: those who know who to serve it properly (with simple syrup) and those who are too lazy to boil water with sugar (serving as they have for decades, sugar packets which for the ^&*^%th time, does not melt into COLD tea no matter how much you stir - YES this is a pet peeve...).  So count me impressed with Superba's iced tea service, from the start.

Ms Sassy went for the eggs benedict, poached eggs, broccoli leaves, buttermilk biscuits, smoked ham, herb hollandaise ($15) - beautifully plated with the ham and the sauce very much more refined, lighter than many other restaurants that serve this brunch staple - which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Subliminalrabbit, happy that Superba has vegetarian friendly options, went for the salad of black kale, jalapeno pickled raisins, pine nuts, pecorino & crouton  ($12) - a skillful balance of textures, colors and flavors.

We all wanted to try to the Short Rib Hash topped with fried eggs so I got that as a 2nd entrée...not realizing that Mr. Subliminalrabbit had already ordered the same.  In any case, the tender, juicy, flavor packed short ribs were perfectly tempered by the fried eggs, especially its liquid gold centers!

So what was my 1st entrée then? Something unexpected for brunch (also available on lunch and dinner menus): wakame spaghettini, uni, Dungeness crab, miso butter & pickled jalapenos  ($18) - delicious waves of briny umami enfolded seaweed infused pasta that you can taste is fresh made (once you go fresh made pasta it's unimaginable to have it any other way), with the sour-heat of the pickled jalapenos coming through as a pleasant surprise.  I loved that there were hefty chunks of fresh crab in there as well - brunch of champions.

All in all, a fantastic brunch and we will definitely be planning a trip back soon!


Superba Snack Bar
533 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Ph: 310.399.6400



Superba Snack Bar on Urbanspoon

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