As of last week, chef Jason Neroni is no longer with Superba Snack Bar or its parent company, Gonzo Food Corp.
"I've relished my time with Gonzo," Neroni told us, "and am so grateful to Paul [Hibler, Gonzo's owner] that he gave me the opportunity to do what we did with Superba. But another opportunity came along, and I've gotta take it."
That "other opportunity" is a project with restaurateur Bill Chait, the man behind smash hit restaurants such as Bestia, République and Sotto. Neroni isn't giving any details about the project as of now, only that they are planning a spring 2015 opening.
Neroni and Hibler opened Superba Snack Bar on Rose Avenue in the summer of 2012, the catalyst for what has since become a full-fledged restaurant row. In my September 2012 review of the restaurant I wrote:
...after working under everyone from Dan Barber to Alain Ducasse, after receiving accolades of his own as chef at New York's 71 Clinton Fresh Foods, Porchetta and 10 Downing (where he received a StarChefs.com Rising Star award), after bouncing around the West Coast a bit and finally landing in Los Angeles at Osteria La Buca last year and staying for a mere eight months, he has landed in Venice. Dare I say it? I hope he's found a place to settle down.
The chef says he doesn't know who's taking over the kitchen at Superba, and attempts to reach Superba's media reps were not immediately successful. Neroni did say that day-to-day operations had been handled by a sous chef for some time.
We're just thankful Neroni isn't leaving Los Angeles.
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We'll keep you updated on details about the new project as well as the goings-on at Superba as they become available.