One of the L.A. restaurant scene’s top husband-and-wife duos is back at it, opening a new California osteria in the neighborhood they’ve called home for more than 15 years.
Dina and Steve Samson—the team behind the bustling Italian restaurant Rossoblu—are debuting Superfine Playa on Wednesday. While at their original restaurant, Sotto, they focused on southern Italy, and at Rossoblu they spotlight food from the north of the old country, Superfine Playa will be an exploration of California’s take on Italian cuisine. So they’ll be serving up light Italian fare that spotlights local produce from the Playa Vista farmers’ market and a laid-back coastal California vibe that will set it apart from the downtown energy of Rossoblu.
Alongside Steve, the chef Mo Marvel is heading up the kitchen, churning out house-made pastas, wood-grilled meats and fish, and more for dinner. Classic Italian plates like meatballs and fried calamari adorn the starter menu, and salads feature prominently to make the most of all that prime produce: Endive and fennel are tossed with blue cheese, hazelnuts, and a pomegranate vinaigrette, while spring vegetables are served alongside farro and mixed herbs.
Superfine Playa’s pastas (which you can also get gluten-free; this is L.A. after all) and mains are really the stars of the show, though. Heartier pastas include casarecce with braised lamb, lemon, egg, pecorino, and mint, as well as rigatoni with chicken liver ragu, beech mushrooms, saba, and Parmigiano Reggiano. On the vegetable-forward side, butternut squash gnocchi is topped with brown butter, sage, toasted pumpkin seeds, and aged balsamic vinegar, while a simple spaghetti quadrati uses just baby tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. Mains like eggplant parmigiana, grilled striped bass, and hanger steak provide a counterpoint to all the carbs.
As for the drinks, Ella Zoller has crafted a pared-back cocktail menu with some original creations for fans of bourbon (the Day Off Sour, which pairs the spirit with Brovo Aperitivo, strawberry, beet, lemon, aquafaba, and bee pollen) or tequila (the Pomelo Paloma, with Naranja, pomelo, fresno chile, lime, and spicy citrus tajin). The wine list, meanwhile, was curated by Dina alongside James Saidy, and it highlights family growers and winemakers, keeping with the Samsons’ family-focused ethos.
While the overall menu is quite expansive, it is missing one thing the Samsons have become known for: the pies they fire up at Superfine Pizza. But fret not—Superfine Playa will soon be serving the hybrid New York– and Neapolitan-style pizzas.
Click here to see all the photos of Superfine Playa.