Superba Snack Bar, the Jason Neroni-Paul Hibler "pastaria" on Rose Avenue, has Venice buzzing. Or, rather, waiting, as there have been long lines almost every night. Everyone's pretty jazzed about the handmade pastas, seasonal small plates and open-air vibe, and rightfully so. It's a great space, very LA, and it offers unique yet accessible dishes. You can't get a reservation (yet), so we have a few hints for scoring a spot, plus some other suggestions and a slideshow from our recent dinner.
1. Go Early. Since the restaurant isn't taking reservations (except for parties of six or more), you'll most likely wait for a table during prime-time hours. It’s not a huge space, with two large communal tables taking up much of the covered dining room, so waits can be long. Some nights as many as 50-plus people were waiting at 9 PM. An early dinner will get you a table; try before 7 PM, and you’ll have your pick of the dining room and patio.
2. Chilly? They’ve got you covered – literally. The entire place is pretty much en plein air, with the exception of the tables that run along the hallway near the kitchen, and you are near the beach. Nights are cooler, so plan accordingly. Of course, should you catch a chill, there are Mexican throw blankets hanging around.
3. About those tables along the kitchen? Not our favorite. Some are tucked pretty far back there, just a few feet from the bathrooms. Again, a good reason to get there early, so you can score a good seat out front.
4. The food is pretty superb-a. The menu isn’t too large, but from what we tasted, Neroni’s onto something here. Of course, he was on to it at Osteria La Buca too. At least one dish - charred watermelon and burrata salad - looked familiar from his brief stint at the Melrose restaurant. You can’t go wrong with any of the pastas. The sweet-corn agnolotti with Dungeness crab was particularly good, as was the casarecce (little twists) with a crispy sardine lying on top. Our server picked a lovely Greek white wine that paired well with both.
5. This isn’t a place to linger. As much as they loved having you, they’d really like to see you go, if only to seat all of those people waiting out front. The staff isn’t rude, but if you hear “How’s everything going over here?” a few times, take the hint.