Hoo boy. Less than one year into its run as a self-styled all day eatery and community meeting place for Venice, Superba Food + Bread has another back of house change on its hands. This time it’s Jonathan Eng, the former Le Pain Quotidian baker who was brought in at the start alongside Lincoln Carson to man the bread program (Carson was on pastries).
In an email to Eater (as well as this Instagram post), Eng notes that he is "no longer affiliated" with Superba Food + Bread at all. Instead, he’ll be consulting on the East Coast for a couple of months, then plans to return to L.A. for work. Where that ends up being is anyone’s guess at this time, but it won’t be at Superba.
For those keeping track, Paul Hibler’s Superba Food + Bread has, in less than one year, lost its General Manager (Ashley Ragovin), pastry maker (Lincoln Carson), head chef (Jason Travi) and opening coffee guru (Tyler Wells, who was apparently only ‘consulting’ on the project to start). Now, Eng heads out the revolving door.
It’s important to note that Hibler has tried to shore up things at the seemingly still popular restaurant, recently filling the restaurant’s holes with quality replacements, and even installing a new CEO for his overall American Gonzo Food Corporation restaurant group.
All this, for a restaurant that’s just about to turn one.
Update: Paul Hibler reached out to Eater to address the loss of Eng, noting that the team in place at Superba Food + Bread is stronger than ever. "We're actually breaking records for sales," Hibler says, adding that it's always a challenge to bring a concept as far-reaching as his to fruition. "We're really trying to do something that doesn't exist, with breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus bread, plus coffee, plus pastries. Taking something like that off the page and making it real isn't magic, it takes hours and hours of hard work."
As a result (and because of so many strong voices working in the back of house) sometimes transition happens. Still, Hibler remains as upbeat as always, noting that big things are still in store for the Venice eatery.