Jason Neroni has quickly become one of my favorite Los Angeles chefs. I first met him last year while covering Osteria la Buca for Slice. As much as I liked his pizza, his perfectly pulled and dressed pastas consistently blew me away.
Jason came to Los Angeles after notable stints at in New York, including 10 Downing Street, bringing his brazen cooking style to the west coast. Paul Hibler, a man I've also had the fortune of dining with a few times at Pitfire Pizza, was also taken with Jason, and after a happenstance meeting, Paul recruited Jason to American Gonzo Food Corp: an incubator for artisan food concepts.
Their flagship "Post Modern Pastaria," also known as Superba Snack Bar, tells of great innovation to come. We hung out with the guys and nibbled our way through the menu.
The goal of Superba Snack Bar is high-concept quality foods, all under $20 a plate. The menu is broken into four sections: Cold Cuts (housemade charcuterie), Snacks, From Our Backyards and From Our Hands. Vegetables are sourced from the farmers' market, "but not the Santa Monica Farmer's Market" says Jason, who instead patronizes the small markets throughout Los Angeles.
Assisting Jason in the kitchen are two more top talents from Osteria la Buca: Nathan and Avner. Along with Kendra, this four-pack of chefs crank out fresh pastas, meats and vegetables from the tiny open kitchen. The stereo might be blasting the Moldy Peaches, "just like in New York" Jason says to me with a wink while gently cradling an aromatic bundle of green blades, methodically slicing each. "We take our chives seriously," he jokes. But it's not a joke. Superba strives for perfection and fun in each dish.