So, I was trying to decide what to have for lunch and was really craving veggies. I decided to delve further south into the county than I normally do and hit up the newly opened Flower Child in Del Mar.
Flower Child is owned by the Fox Restaurant Group. The group has over 15 concepts and 50 restaurants. Normally this would drop them off my radar but after eating the food and having a pretty lengthy discussion with one of their employees, while waiting for the bus to go catch the coaster, I have to say I was pretty impressed.
They have a good history of promoting from within the group. Their basic model is taking workers from a current location that are showing promise and fly them in and house them to open a new location in a higher position. These employees train and hire a new staff and with the next opening the new employees get the same opportunity within the new restaurant or at the current one as positions open from people transferring to the new location. Though I did not ask “How much?” the young women I talked to stated that they paid higher than if she was working downtown SD at a restaurant and the opportunity for advancement would be much slower. She had worked in the industry for a number of years and managed a cuban restaurant for quite a while, so she was not unfamiliar with working in the industry.
The company hired Chef Steven Molina ( (L’Auberge, Delicias, Kitchen 1540) to run and oversee the kitchen.
Flower Child ~ Flower Hill 2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar
The restaurant is located in the former Sea and Smoke location.
The restaurant is counter service with food being delivered to your table. It boasts a nice open kitchen and food prep area.
The restaurant itself (as was Sea and Smoke) is huge with dual level seating areas, each having a connected patio.
I did not take interior pics. It was crowded and this is Del Mar. You never know when some ex-hedge fund manager who faked his own death after embezzling millions is on the down low and will stab you with his Monte Blanc and grab your camera to protect his identity.
I want one! They have a seasonal Iced Tea and Lemonade station (Gasp). I tried every one. the Grapefruit Lemonade and Hibiscus Green Tea were my favorites.
So, the menu consists of bowls, wraps, salads, vegetables and grains, humus, soups, and some breakfast items. All of which you can add a protein to for an extra charge. There are many vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten free choices.
I went with a three vegetable plate and added grass-fed steak.
Quite a bit of food. The steak was perfectly cooked, well seasoned and flavorful. Next time I would skip paying the extra $6 and just go three veg.
Three vegetable plate (from top clockwise)
Yuzu Brussels Sprouts ~ golden miso, toasted garlic, sprouted almond. (Vegetarian)
These were great, nice char but not overly bitter, as charring can sometimes do. They were also still nice and tender.
Roasted Butternut Squash ~ black kale, dried pomegranate, maple chestnut vinaigrette. (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)
This was my favorite of the three dishes. So good, sweet and savory all in one.
Spicy Japanese Eggplant ~ thai basil & cashew (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)
Great as well, the eggplant was not soggy and the dish had a nice mild spiciness. It reminded me of Kung Pow eggplant.
So if you’re in the deep south that is Del Mar 🙂 and can’t afford Pamplemousse and want a large step up from Chipotle or Burger Lounge. (I actually like those two places as guilty pleasures). I would recommend checking out Flower Child. I would compare it to Lemonade, Tender Greens, or Tin Leaf kitchen as far as feel and food.
Flower Hill 2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar