Vibe: One of Superba's great strengths is the atmosphere they've managed to create, fitting right into the neighborhood between Venice and Santa Monica's Ocean Park. From the review: "Candles flicker on tables and along the patio wall, and blankets sit folded in case you get a chill in the evening air. It's a restaurant-as-living room, if that living room belonged to the beach retreat of breezily wealthy friends."
Food & Drink: Chef Jason Neroni is doing the food of the moment -- charcuterie, elevated vegetable dishes, "snacks" and house-made pastas -- and doing them much better than most. Must-try dishes include crested macaroni with chorizo, mussels and piquillo peppers, and cauliflower t-bone with an olive-orange pistou and basil puree. There are no cocktails here, just beer and wine, but the wine list is well curated and fun to discuss with the eager servers.
Service: The servers at Superba manage to embody the restaurant's friendly feel without falling into flakiness. In fact, Superba has provided some of the best service experiences I've had in L.A. -- casual but genuinely excited about the restaurant's food and wine. The servers here just add to the feel that this is a place where you're hanging out with friends.
Vital statistics: Superba does not take reservations, so expect to wait ... and wait. They'll take your number and text you if you want to wander the neighborhood in the meantime. There's no valet, but parking on nearby streets is usually pretty easy. The price is pretty standard for shared plates -- under $10 for smaller plates, around $15 for larger plates.
Takeaway: Superba is pretty much perfect for the neighborhood it calls home -- casual, beachy, fun, and with the added extra of having an incredibly talented chef in the kitchen. The question is whether he'll hang around long enough to keep Superba superb -- for the full story on that you'll have to read the review.