Jonathan Gold steps in as the clean-up hitter on Superba Snack Bar, intrigued with a cauliflower T-bone steak, catching the moment when its "sulfurous stink...marries with the flecks of char...to create a fairly persuasive sensation of meat." But as we know by now, it's more about Jason Neroni's "abstracted Italian" at this Venice Beach "diorama" and Gold digs into a salad that "might appear on a Pugliese plate but tastes like a dish that came from Provence through Berkeley" as well as the porchetta di testa "alla Langer's." Calling the recipes "sunny and straightforward," he shouts out the chef's "handmade, slightly stiff" pastas that are "leaning toward excess," including a whole wheat rigatoni that "doesn't quite taste like anything you'd get in Rome. It tastes like Venice Beach."
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