Barlo at Hotel Erwin is where rebellion meets diversity, expression meets adventure, and all-around fun abides at Venice Beach. If Hotel Erwin is the cult record just begging to be discovered, Barlo is the deep album track you want to put on repeat and play for all your friends until their ears fall off. For the perfect mix of low-key glamour, top-notch service, and a first-rate menu, Barlo at Hotel Erwin delivers on all visitors’ expectations, whether they’re staying at the hotel overnight or simply dropping in for a drink or a meal.
A person could spend a lot of time at Venice Beach, and Barlo is the perfect perch to take in the famous boardwalk and the warm sands, a short 200 feet away. Take a seat inside the casual, rustic environment, claim a spot at the outdoor patio, or head upstairs to the full-service rooftop, then order yourself a drink, an appetizer, or an entrée. Let the natural scenery of Venice Beach do the rest of the work, as the region’s patented parade of free spirits, fashion plates, and iconoclasts put on a show for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe you’ll want to write a screenplay after a round of people-watching at Barlo!
Open seven days a week for breakfast/lunch and dinner, Barlo specializes in American-style comfort food, with a broad range of cocktails, beer, and wine as accompaniment. Barlo emphasizes locally sourced ingredients in delicious and surprising combinations.
Breakfast is simultaneously down-home and cosmopolitan, with domestic favorites such as bacon and eggs, blueberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy, countless combinations of omelets (egg whites available on request, of course), and numerous international variations on eggs Benedict, including a squash version for vegetarians. Barlo brings the melting pot to your breakfast plate too, with Swedish pancakes, breakfast tacos, bagel and lox, and cobb frittata. Look closely, and you’ll notice the supposedly traditional dishes can hold surprises: lemon sabayon and blueberry compote on the blueberry pancakes; citrus combier cream cheese, strawberry jalapeno jam, and crispy ginger with the Swedish pancakes; and coriander-crusted smoked salmon for the bagel and lox.
For later risers, the brunch menu offers heartier fare, starting at the breakfast burger complete with tomato confit, srirachi aioli, and a sunny-side egg on a brioche bun. The croque madam and Monte Cristo are classics, and Barlo has its own specialty sandwiches in the Hunter (with duck and bacon sausage), the Gatherer for vegans, and the Socal (with avocado, of course).
The kitchen heats up for dinner at Barlo, when you’ll find the same emphasis on eclectic favors and top-shelf ingredients. Guests can nosh on decadent bar snacks such as truffle frites, Barlo’s own pickled and pink deviled eggs, or K-Town pig wings (crispy pig tail, kimchi buffalo sauce, and sweet pickles).
Small plates such as the Canadian delicacy poutine, tofu pillows, smoked fish “tacos,” roasted marrow bone, and roasted oyster mushroom can be shared in a group or savored by one. For a lighter touch, Barlo also offers refreshing and inspired salads, including the unique house pickled salad. A specially curated cheese and charcuterie selection is available as well, with indulgences from dedicated vendors across the country and the world.
The larger plates cover tried-and-true favorites, as well as classics you may not have heard of. The Barlo burger is a mouth-watering slab of beef, topped with herbed chevre, tomato marmalade, petite greens, and — wait for it — bacon caramel. Another surprise could be the Walrus & the Carpenter, a seafood dish taking its name from the vintage Lewis Carroll tale. For those with dietary restrictions, the Door in the Wall is perfect if you’re seeking a vegan and gluten-free meal. Of course, you can expect all of these ingredients to be of the freshest and highest quality.
Of course, save room for dessert. Currently on the menu is the doughnut sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Hint: Add bacon caramel for the ultimate decadence!
For extra special occasions, Barlo can serve whole beast meals for groups numbering 4 to 8. Book 72 hours in advance, and choose from hog’s head, whole roasted trout, or leg of goat, with your pick of two popular sides the chef’s selection of dessert, all expertly prepared. In addition, Barlo is available for groups of 9 or more, and you can book your celebration through the Hotel Erwin’s catering department.
Round out your meal with a refreshing drink. Surely you can find a favorite on Barlo’s beer and wine menu, but the specialty cocktails may steal the show. Inspired by the nearby environment, these drinks bring the tastes of Southern California to your tastes buds. Personally, the Battle of the Boardwalk is a standout, combining Kraken dark rum, house-made ginger syrup, orange bitters, and soda water.
Sometimes you may want a libation without the full meal. Or possibly at the Hotel Erwin, it’s between Barlo’s hours of operation. Alternately, you’re seeking an elevated view of the Venice Beach street life. Should any of the urges arise, you need only head upstairs to High, the rooftop lounge atop the Hotel Erwin. Views of the Pacific Ocean and seaside breezes await you as you nosh on sliders, skewers, or hot dogs, as well as more unusual fare such as poke tacos, hearts of palm “ceviche,” and smoked tilapia quesadillas.
But as a rooftop lounge, High specializes in spirits. VIPs will appreciate the top-shelf liquors (Ketel One, Grey Goose, Hangar One, Patron Silver, Jack Daniels, Bacardi) available, and the beers are just as deliberately considered. Indulgent and warm, the ginger-pear toddy, spiked cocoa, Irish coffee, and hot root float will keep you toasty when the temperatures dip. Yes, even Venice Beach is subject to normal weather conditions!
For more information, go to their website here…
Hotel Erwin and Barlo Restaurant
1697 Pacific Avenue, Venice Beach, CA 90291 | (424) 214-1063
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Written by Elizabeth Adamczyk