When I told people I was going to Black Flamingo the resounding response was “I didn’t know they served food.” Definitely not what you look to hear when en route to a restaurant. Granted, the place is known more for being a bar/nightclub. But if no one even knows you have food, what can one really expect for a meal there? What I found blew me away.
The menu at Black Flamingo is latin inspired vegan fare. Normally I stay away from restaurants that put me in a corner and tell me I can’t have something in particular. However the overall experience was exceptional. We were greeted by staff that was endlessly kind and excited about the restaurant. They guided us through the dishes wanting us to love everything. The food that poured out of the kitchen was incredibly innovative, beautifully presented, and assembled with tremendous thought. Along the way they kept us lubricated with heavily laced tequila cocktails (yay!).
I am baffled that no one seemed to know BF served food. So many times I go out to eat and think “that was fine, I didn’t mind it, food was good, I wouldn’t rush to go back.” I think this 10 times per week. But as I ate through the vegan menu each dish excited me more than the last. Their vegan ceviche was fresh and acidic, a beauty to behold, and the perfect firm texture. The jack fruit “crab cakes” had my mouth completely confused over whether I was eating crab or not. The texture is interchangeable. The watermelon and feta salad was the prefect refreshing bite and paired effortlessly with the tequila.
Now, the tacos. There are 7 different variations, each one more interesting than the last. Each with pops of color, acid, crunch and fat. You can choose from a huge variety of hearts of palm, mushrooms, tofu, mofongo and jackfruit. They look like little works of art. The rest of the small plates and tacos are sophisticated massively flavorful.This was the kind of food I am excited to write about and eager to return for. Here’s what we had:
HOUSE-MADE CHIPS, GUACAMOLE, AND PICO DE GALLO
ROYAL CEVICHE royal trumpet mushroom, cucumber, mango, jicama, baby yams marinated in blood orange habanero vinaigrette w/ plantain chips
WATERMELON AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD local grape heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, feta*, jicama, and baby arugula in citrus mint vinaigrette
THE AL PASTOR
ancho chile marinated jackfruit grilled with smoked mozzarella*, refried
black beans, seared pineapple, avocado, pico verde
THE SAVORY SHROOM
crispy herb mushroom croquette, brazilian collard, fried leek,
truffle cashew crema, pecorino, almond parmesan
grilled hearts of palm, guacamole, esquites, chipotle aioli, pickled watermelon radish,
fresh cilantro, micro arugula
THE BIBIMBAP Gojujang popcorn tofu, pickled watermelon radish, carrot, daikon, micro arugula,
toasted black sesame seed, fried quail egg, scallion
THE JERK seared mofongo, roasted fingerling sweet potato, refried black beans, jerk
aioli, mango raita, crispy collard greens
THE JAM crispy potato latke, gruyere, guava jam, fried garlic, chive-dill crema,
red onion escabeche, cotija, scallion
THE “FISH” TACO beer battered king oyster mushroom, avocado salsa, lime cabbage slaw,
vegan crema, radish
WILD MUSHROOM QUESADILLA grilled oyster mushroom, shiitake, cremini, gruyere, truffle cashew crema, cotija served with salsa verde and sour cream, pickled jalapeno, sour cream, cashew cheese, vegan sour cream, almond parmesan