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Great Food, Indoor-Outdoor Issues at Superba Food & Bread

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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels

Superba Food & Bread has been a darling of the Westside since opening earlier this year. At first blush, the all-day eatery doesn't seem to get much wrong, with coffee from Tyler Wells, bread and pastries from Jonathan Eng and Lincoln Carson respectively, mains by way of Jason Travi and a sleek interior courtesy of Design, Bitches. And while there may be a few occasional service hiccups and not everyone is enamored with that indoor-that-lets-in-the-outdoor design layout, most folks — Westside or otherwise — have been happily making the pilgrimage down to Venice. Here now, the Good News/Bad News on Superba Food & Bread.

The Rodell Report: LA Weekly's resident reviewer filed on Superba Food & Bread back in June, doling out three stars, saying: "There's nothing mind-blowing here, no great leaps forward in culinary innovation. Travi is simply cooking the kind of food we want to eat at a breezy Venice cafe, and cooking it very well." [LA Weekly]

A Bit of Everything: More than anything, folks seem to dig the all-day possibilities. Zagat says Superba "is at once a coffee and wine bar, breakfast and dinner spot, a brunch powerhouse and bakery — and it all works." [Zagat]

· "Another win for the neighborhood, and another feather in Mr. Hibler's cap it seems." [KevinEats]

A Word on the Look: Design, Bitches gave the former auto body shop a complete overhaul, opening up the room for easy passage and lots of sunlight. That might not always be great, though. "The restaurant is, quite literally, out in the open. Massive garage doors are raised during breakfast, lunch and dinner service, so that there is little distinction between indoor and outdoor seating." [Time Out]

· "The kitchen is behind glass walls, blending the activity going on in the kitchen with the bustling flavor of the dining room." [Huffington Post]

· "The inside dining room has an open architecture, and in addition to having the sun stream directly into your eyes, it allows for flies & the like to run rampant." [Yelp]

· "Love your food, but FLIES are all over the pastries." [Yelp]

The Coffee Talk: Tyler Wells' coffee-shop-within concept is a hit, letting early morning commuters pull in for a quick espresso and pastry from chef Carson. One Chowhounder goes so far as to say that "Superba Food + Bread is one of the most legit 3rd wave coffee shops in all of LA, effectively being the Westside answer to Blacktop, and being one of only two shops in LA offering nitro cold brew on draft." [Chow]

· "Their coffee is so good, they make the hazelnut milk on site as well as their jam." [Yelp]

· "On a busy weekend brunch day, they're fielding 500 drink orders or more. Wells work along with the chefs to realize their goal of nuanced coffee, paired expertly with food." [Sprudge]

The Staffing Situation: For better or worse, some of that Venice vibe may have rubbed off on the waitstaff. But at least they look beautiful.

· "There were more than a dozen employees working and tasting wine, but it took over 20 minutes to get a waiter to take our order. We asked for suggestions. He had none." [Yelp]

· "Once inside you're surprised to see a recasting of the O.C. serving customers wearing light colored denim casually covered by aprons that look like potato sacks." [Huffington Post]

A Price Consideration: Despite the gentrified area, not everyone is willing to pay Superba's asking price. "Let's charge INSANELY HIGH PRICES for everything and maybe folks will think they're in Beverly Hills, and not on Traffic-jammed smoggy Lincoln Blvd.  FIVE DOLLARS FOR A CUP OF COFFEE!  FIVE DOLLARS FOR BREAD FOR THE TABLE!" [Yelp]
· All Good News/Bad News Coverage [~ELA~]
· All Superba Food & Bread Coverage [~ELA~]

Superba Food & Bread

1906 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291