Tag Archives: Venice California Restaurants

Snack Attack

Superba Snack Bar is full of surprises, starting with its name since it’s not a snack bar (at least not in the traditional sense) and it’s not on Superba Avenue, but several blocks north, on Rose. It has savory chocolate pasta, as well as cauliflower masquerading as a t-bone steak. Its funky/chic exterior was inspired by French cafes, as well as Jeff Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” But the biggest surprise is that this self-described “neighborhood joint” is so good, it has quickly become one of the best new restaurants in the city.

The food is all small plates with an emphasis on creative pastas. I recommend getting the tasting menu, but if you want to a-la-carte-it, I suggest ordering from each of the four sections of the menu: “Cold Cuts” (which are not all cold and include the excellent Superba Smoked Bacon & Membrillo), “Snacks” (the Fried Chicken is a must-have), “From Our Backyards” (vegetables and salads) and “From Our Hands” (pastas such as a surprisingly good Chocolate Papardelle and a delicious Chestnut Agnolotti).

As for vegetables dishes, I finally have an amazing recommendation for the vegetarian and vegan followers of this blog who keep reading every week despite my endless posts about bacon. The aforementioned Cauliflower T-Bone, which is topped with a parsley puree and an orange and olive pistou, looks and tastes like a juicy, well-seasoned steak. It’s one of the best things on the menu and one of the best vegetable dishes I have ever eaten. For dessert, I love the S’mores in a jar with smoked marshmallows and the Chocloate Peanut Butter Lava Cake.

Superba Snack Bar is located at 533 Rose Ave., Los Angeles (in Venice). They don’t take reservations except for parties of six or more ordering the tasting menu. UPDATE: Superba started going downhill and not surprisingly it is now closed.

Pan con Tomato, Olive Oil & Sea Salt

Superba Smoked Bacon & Membrillo

Superba Fried Chicken, Red Wine Glaze, Pickled Chilies & Parmesan

Cauliflower T-bone, Parsley Puree, Orange & Olive Pistou

Chocolate Pappardelle, Oxtail, Cherries, Olives & Ricotta

Chestnut Agnolotti, Black Truffle Puree, Poached Quince & Sage

Pumpkin Pie, Gingersnap Crumble, Burrata Gelato

S’mores, Chocolate Pudding, Graham Cracker, Smoked Marshmallow

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Almond Crumble

Superba Snack Bar on Urbanspoon

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Taster’s Choice

Bike riding on the beach with friends in Santa Monica, summiting Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills and taking in the stellar views, strolling down Abbot Kinney in flip-flops with your dog and an iced latte; this is the Southern California good life and I love it. One restaurant that I think really epitomizes this lifestyle is The Tasting Kitchen in Venice. This place exudes casual elegance. The decor is both modern and rustic chic with a tree growing in the middle of the dining room. The plates are cool and vintage-looking. The atmosphere is fun; relaxed yet sophisticated, like a great dinner party at a friend’s beach house. And most importantly, the food is across-the-board excellent.

You should start your meal with a cocktail or two. Bartender Justin Pike was named LA’s top mixologist last year and prepares killer libations such as the Staycation (tequila, watermelon shrub and soda), the Summer Assassin (bourbon, allspice, maple and cava) and Coco Joe’s Punch (a tiki-style drink with rum, cardamon and citrus). The dinner menu, which changes daily, features rustic, seasonal and ingredient-driven cuisine from super-talented chef Casey Lane. I suggest that you take your cue from the name of the restaurant and order one of the tasting menus. If you order a la carte, I recommend the Beets with Creme Fraiche and Horseradish, the Gigli Pasta with Luciana and Squash Blossoms, the Tortelli Pasta with Hen Sauce and Maitake Mushrooms, and the Salt Roasted Branzino if available. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Doughnut with Buttermilk Gelato, Figs and Walnuts. The restaurant also has a great weekend brunch.

The Tasting Kitchen is located at 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Amuse Bouche: Lobster Bisque

Porcini Crudo with Prosciutto and Cherries

Aragosta alla Griglia (Grilled Lobster Tails)

Beets with Creme Fraiche and Horseradish

Butter Lettuces with Tarragon and Point Reyes Cheese

Lentils and Rapini

Tortelli Pasta with Hen Sauce and Maitake Mushrooms

Gigli Pasta with Luciana and Squash Blossoms

Salt Roasted Branzino

Roasted Chicken

Cherry Almond Gelato

Deconstructed Ricotta Cheesecake

Caramel Bread Pudding

Doughnut with Buttermilk Gelato, Figs and Walnuts

Chocolate-covered Cookies and Sugar Cookies

Great cocktails

The Tasting Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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