Photos by Elizabeth Daniels
Visionary Venice restaurant developer Paul Hibler knows no end. His latest effort, which will absolutely be anything but his last, takes form as Superba Food & Bread, an enterprising community-centered place to refuel that will be open all day from 8 a.m. to midnight and feed, caffeinate, or intoxicate depending on one's needs. Hibler brought on Design, Bitches, who he worked with on nearby Superba Snack Bar (and who are also helping Andre Guerrero with The Oinkster in Hollywood), and at first glance it would be easy to overlook the nuances and intricacies in the restaurant's minimalist, mod Japanese aesthetic.
Take, for example, the interior banquette coverings, colored blue and green. Those, in fact, are made from the protective material used when shipping or moving furniture. Note the mirrored circumference of the coffee bar, which is meant to give the illusion that it and it's lemon yellow La Marzocco are floating. Next, head over to the bar which, in the morning, will be covered in pastries and baked goods, and at night clear off to function as a wine bar. But wait, look up. Check out those tiny holes in the ceiling. During the evening the LED lights above will stream through casting tiny rays of light down below. And did you catch Superba's exterior? That waved gray matter is concrete roofing from Germany.
Hibler and The Bitches have overhauled Lincoln's Boulevard's 115-year-old auto body shop into an elegant yet comfortable modern Japanese bakery and restaurant. It's a place for pretzel croissants, tomato jam/fennel biscuits, and orange blossom cannelles in the AM, meanwhile lunch will take form as rotisserie chicken with bitter greens plus walnut-maple dressing and a burrata sandwich. An a la carte dinner menu plus family-style set list will be on offer during the evening, as conceived by chef Jason Travi (littlefork) with help from Superba Snack Bar's Jason Neroni.
Superba Food & Bread carries a license for the sale of beer and wine, and Hibler has tapped wine queen (and GM) Ashley Ragovin (Scopa) to helm the list. Hibler's all-star team also includes head baker Jonathan Eng (Le Pain Quotidien) and pastry whiz Lincoln Carson who has quite the impressive resume, most recently serving as Michael Mina's corporate pastry chef, but who has also worked with chefs like Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, and Eric Ripert. He's no rookie.
Though it's not immediately evident, much of Superba's space is devoted to a massive back of house kitchen equipped to turn out high volume amounts of bread. Hibler has a handful of other projects in the works and his future plan is to use Superba as a baking hub to make bread that will service his other restaurants. Plus, Superba will offer bread by bicycle delivery within a two and a half mile radius.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, snacks, wine, need a tee shirt to go? Superba's got you covered. In style. The fresh and funky contemporary Venice canteen (don't miss the faux "community pool" on the patio) is poised to be a hit. It's a place that seems not to take itself too seriously, but under its chic getup lies some serious talent on all food and drink fronts. About a year and a half after acquiring the turf, Hibler is almost ready to open. Give him another few weeks and sour dough bread pudding with bananas, brown butter, and toffee can be yours.
· All Superba Food & Bread Coverage [~ELA~]