Chef Adam Steudle at Barlo Restaurant with his K-town pig wings and liquid nitrogen popcorn. Photo by Westside People
Chef Adam Steudle’s punk rock days are long behind him, but he still draws on some of that rebellious spirit as head chef at Barlo Restaurant in Venice.
“My meat purveyor says I’m definitely one of his most interesting clients,” said Steudle, who refers to his approach to cooking as “snout to tail.” He recently showed off a deep fried pig’s tail with kimchi hot sauce to demonstrate.
“I try and get close to things you might have had in your childhood. In this case it’s like a chicken wing,” he said. “I want it to be comfortable and approachable but done in a different way so it’s not jarring.”
Barlo Restaurant, at the base of the newly revamped Hotel Erwin in Venice, serves traditional burgers and steak along with more adventurous plates like pork belly. The restaurant also offers a “whole beast dinner” where parties of up to eight are served one of three choices: a whole roasted trout, leg of goat or an entire hog’s head.
On a recent visit the chef also showed off his liquid nitrogen kettle corn, something Steudle discovered after playing around in the kichen. The popcorn concoction includes bacon caramel fat that’s flash frozen and melts in your mouth. For an extra treat, servers prepare liquid nitrogen ice cream at the table.
“I feel like hotel restaurants always fall into this trap of being expensive and boring,” Steudle said. “I don’t want to be a really good hotel restaurant. I want to be a really good restaurant that happens to be in a hotel.”