Next week, Playa Vista scores a new dining option and fresh expansion from veteran restaurant duo Dina and Steve Samson. On March 22, 2023, the husband and wife team will open Superfine Playa in the former Bull & Butterfly space. Superfine Playa departs from the traditional Northern Italian Downtown menu at Rossoblu, their now-shuttered Sotto, and casual walk-up window Superfine Pizza. Instead, Superfine Playa poses as a California-meets-Italy osteria by the beach.
“Everything’s been super traditional Italian because that’s what Steve loves and has grown up with,” says Dina. “I’ve always wanted to do more Italian California. At Rossoblu and Sotto, I would ask Steve, ‘Can we do this?’ And he’d respond, ‘No, that’s not very Italian.’ At [Superfine Playa], Steve gets to do a mix of both, which I’m super excited about. The food here is definitely lighter and brighter than what we’ve done in the past.”
The Samsons took over the space from Lemonade founders Heidi and Alan Jackson who opened Bull & Butterfly in the fall of 2020 and closed it in late 2022. The Samsons found the space to be ideal as they are longtime Westside residents, while the Jacksons live in the Valley.
Chef Mo Marvel departs from his sous chef Rossoblu position to lead the Superfine Playa kitchen with Steve. Starters include grilled meatballs, bigeye tuna crudo, Sicilian wedding soup, and coal-roasted beet salad. Of course, there are plenty of housemade pastas like the spaghetti quadrati with baby tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. A grilled heritage pork chop and brick-pressed half chicken are a handful of main dishes, while they’ll fire roast plenty of vegetables over hot coals.
Honey House pop-up’s Ella Zoller developed Superfine Playa’s cocktails and beer selection. Five beers are on draft with cocktails like a fresh take on a Negroni, a pomelo paloma, and a bourbon sour. James Saidy consulted with Dina Samson on the wine list.
About the space, JoyPop Studio redesigned the bottom floor at the Runway in Playa Vista at 12746 W. Jefferson Boulevard. Superfine Playa can accommodate 86 indoors while the patio can seat 40. Joypop’s Niki Weber and J.P. Guiseppi are also partners with the Samsons for both Superfine restaurants. The company Sunmonsters placed plants throughout the Superfine Playa property that are native to the surrounding Ballona Wetlands.
Diners will have to wait for pizza as the health department has yet to clear Superfine Playa’s pizza oven. When that’s approved, Steve will serve a hybrid of New York and Neapolitan-style pies.
Starting March 22, Superfine Playa will operate Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and weekend brunch service from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.