Updated July 27, 2018 - 10:40 pm
A clean, healthy diet comes with inherent limitations, but Flower Child celebrates the eat-the-rainbow philosophy with a deep dive into nature’s bounty, resulting in a delightful feast of flavors and tumble of textures.
Avocado toast ($7) has become a cliche in many circles, but at Flower Child it’s a triumph. The pile starts with toasted multigrain bread, cut into fingers for easier eating. It’s heaped with silken crushed avocado, shredded white cheddar and wedges of soft-cooked egg, all of which add rich, luxurious elements, and black sesame seeds to balance the crunch.
Consuming all of your colors is easy with a section of vegetables that can be ordered singly ($4), in pairs ($7) or trios ($9). Tender grilled asparagus was bathed in ginger miso for a sweet-smoky touch and served with a mix of ancient grains. Indian-spiced cauliflower, golden from turmeric, was sweetened with date and a hint of garam masala, and soft chunks of sweet potato had a sweet-spicy chile glaze and were sprinkled with sesame seeds and adorned with soft bits of bok choy.
The Strawberry Fields salad ($8) emphasized the appeal of contrasting flavors by pairing the sweet fruit with the bitter austerity of arugula. They were tossed with lots of romaine and some snappy toasted oats, plus thinly sliced fennel and crumbles of goat cheese.
Most of Flower Child’s vegetarian dishes can be customized to add a protein, such as chicken ($5) added to a Forbidden Rice Bowl ($9). Other options are steak, $6; salmon, $7; and tofu, $4. The bowl’s whole-grain black rice was tossed with red japonica rice and some freekeh and topped with an array of crisp vegetables including broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots and sliced white onions, plus the softer bok choy, sesame seeds and thick slices of broiled chicken breast. It was laced with a sauce in which the sweetness of hoisin was tempered by fiery chiles.
Wraps start out with lots of grains, the house-made whole-wheat flatbread laced with flax and chia seeds. The Flying Avocado ($12) was rolled around a thick stack of smoked turkey with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, carrot and daikon, plus avocado hummus to tie the whole thing together. With it was an impressively varied salad of romaine, chicory, red oak leaf lettuce and other field greens, lightly dressed with a lemon-tinged vinaigrette.
Desserts are scarce, although a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie ($1.95) and bittersweet-chocolate brownie ($3) were excellent, moist and chocolatey and lacking the crumbly, dry texture that plagues so many gluten-free baked goods. They’re baked in-house but individually packaged with the ingredients clearly marked. Beverages include kombucha, seasonal lemonade, teas, cold brew, wines and Nevada beers.
Flower Child is a counter-service spot and service is speedy, with two cashiers handling the line at the prime dinner hour and runners delivering food to tables marked with numbered signs. Flatware is on a counter at the rear and easy to miss if you’re seated in the front, but servers are quick to oblige.
The restaurant’s motto is “happy food for a happy world,” which seems like a tall order. But Flower Child’s dedication to a variety of fresh, local produce is a pot of gold for its customers.
■ Flower Child, 1007 S. Rampart Blvd. (in Rampart Commons); 702-507-2545 or iamaflowerchild.com
■ The essence: Lots of fresh, colorful produce and a customizable menu.