In one swoop, the new Superba Food + Bread has taken Lincoln Boulevard in Venice from cheap to chic. With a few sharp twists on the neighborhood bakery and café, this recent (April 11) addition to the area conspires to serve local residents, as well as draw outliers with the delicious food and airy atmosphere.
Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Jason Travi in the kitchen and Lincoln Carson baking savories and sweets, Superba’s food is both simple and directional with lots of options for nearby foodies.
For eating in, indoor and outdoor seating is available in a gorgeous, open space designed by Design, Bitches. The lot used to house B&S Auto and a vacuum repair shop, and the interior maintains a bit of an industrial edge.
Other options for hungry patrons include baked goods and pizzas at the counter – two kinds will be made daily – and a separate coffee counter for those who want to pop in quickly.
For vegans, a Hazelnut Latte is available with fresh hazelnut milk, maple syrup and a little salt. In fact, this results in such a wonderful and deliciously nutty flavor that it would behoove non-vegans to dip their toes in the lactose-free pond.
Serving food with fresh and seasonal ingredients, Superba Food + Bread provides simple pleasures, like lemonade and BLTs, with important additions such as cardamom to the juice and salmon belly to the sandwich. The chef manages to take familiar dishes and change them just enough to refresh them without going so far as to make them unrecognizable.
The playful way Travi works with food is perhaps best exemplified in the Rabbi’s Day Off “not so matzo ball soup.” Substituting bread for matzo and adding lard, Travi’s quite un-kosher dish gleefully defies convention.
One of the most delicious things I tasted was Kaya, a toasted bread slathered with coconut jam and garnished with pickled fresno peppers and cilantro. I first tried this at Susan Feniger’s defunct Street, on Highland Avenue, and found this version just as yummy.
Daily specials abound from the baked goods to the sandwiches to the salads. When I went for lunch, an amazing almond croissant had recently been added to the menu. It was “twice-baked,” resulting in a ridiculously flaky, buttery treat. The sandwich was filled with pulled pork and fresh apple-cabbage slaw, which nearly blew my mind.
The café goes out of its way to offer choices for just about everyone. Whether gluten-free, vegan or everything-atarian, no one will walk away unsatisfied. The salads alone are varied and often substantial, from the Farro, with its greek salad elements such as feta and cucumber, to the Frisee aux Lardons, with its juicy, slow-cooked egg.
Something for everyone seems to be the order of the day at Superba Food + Bread. Owner Paul Hibler, along with the help of Travi and Eng, has succeeded in creating a place that is poised to become a Venice institution.
Superba Food + Bread is located at 1900 South Lincoln Blvd., Venice. For more information, call 310. 907.5075.