I’ve already gushed on this blog about how much I love Liquid Bread in Campbell on my first visit. Staying in the area once again, I figured it was worth a second trip to try some more of their incredible creations. I knew, in their skilled hands, I’d be fine ordering just about anything so I chose a few dishes that wouldn’t ordinarily entrust to a less skilled and proven restaurant to pull off.
With this meal, I of course drank beer because their draft selection is second to none. I enjoyed both an Evil Twin Cowboy Smoked Pilsner and a Bison Honey Basil Spiced Ale, each quite interesting in their own right. The Evil Twin Cowboy Smoked Pilsner was quite smokey but was also balanced just right. The smoke’s flavor was very present but did not overwhelm the profile. The Bison Honey Basil Spiced Ale, on the other hand, was very honey-forward and perhaps a touch too sweet for me, but the sweetness was tempered well by the basil’s herbal notes.
For my dinner, the first dish I had was a vegetarian dish simply called Asparagus. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I don’t willingly eat vegetables very often, but like I said, I wholeheartedly trust the chefs at Liquid Bread so I knew they’d do something interesting with it. And these asparagus stalks were wonderful. They were tender, crisp, and snappy all at the same time and came topped with a bold, flavorful combination of sunchoke slivers, black garlic chips, and a pungent balsamic vinegar dressing over top. If you were wondering, this is how you get me to eat veggies.
For my next course, I chose the Mahi Mahi Tataki. Usually, I avoid Mahi Mahi because I don’t particularly enjoy the steaky texture it often has, but lookie lookie, Liquid Bread nailed another thing I don’t normally go for again.
The fish was dusted with a subtle but flavorful spice blend and was lightly seared on its exterior while leaving the inside uncooked. The texture was miraculously not remotely steaky at all in this preparation and this dish could certainly stand toe to toe with any standard Japanese tuna tataki dish I’ve had elsewhere. Served over a bed of marinated seaweed salad, this Asian-inflected fish dish really hit the spot for me.
Finally, I arrived at the dish I was most excited to try. Hung on the restaurant’s wall, there was a chalkboard listing a constantly changing special called Offal Thoughts that would likely be terrifying to most diners. But I’m no ordinary diner. I take it as a challenge to my food street cred to eat a dish like this and I was sure glad I went for it.
What arrived was a heaping plateful of thin-sliced meat. It looked like regular, perfectly-executed medium-rare steak, but that’s not exactly what it was. What was it, you ask? Beef heart. And it was was goddamn delicious.
Seared on the outside and tender and raw on the inside, it was meaty and beefy in all the right ways with a touch of gamey, funk to twist it into something really unusual and interesting. It, of course cane topped with deep fried duck tongues, which actually tasted just like deep fried bacon. Everything came together really well, especially when topped with a bit of oily, garlicky, herbal chimichurri sauce. This is the kind of dish that definitely sits outside of most people’s comfort zone, but I’m certain I earned the entire waitstaff’s respect by ordering and enjoying this dish that evening.
So if you’re in Silicon Valley and want some spectacularly well-made gastropub fare along with top of the line craft beers, Liquid Bread is the place. I’ve been blown away on each of my visits and think they are serving some of the most interesting, flavorful, unusual food that Silicon Valley has to offer. And don’t be afraid to take the plunge with some of the more adventurous menu options either!
Got another unique gastropub in Silicon Valley that I should check out? Let me know in the comments below.
379 E. Campbell Ave. Campbell, CA 95008