Healthy diners, rejoice! There’s a new plant-heavy player on the scene. By way of Phoenix, the first Nevada location of Flower Child sprouted up in Rampart Commons earlier this month. Where fast-casual health-conscious dining options have long been the norm in neighboring cities—Los Angeles’ Tender Greens and Lemonade, for example—Las Vegas has been slow to hop on the bandwagon. With locations quickly popping up across the country, here are five reasons to feed your inner Flower Child—flower crown not included.
Photos by Mikayla Whitmore
Plant-based diets are becoming the norm. But along with the rise of healthier eating has come awareness of a slew of food allergies. “We cater to people who have dietary restrictions and food allergens,” says executive chef Sean Rainaldi, formerly of Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in the Bahamas. “It’s something that we take very seriously, and [we understand] that’s a way of life for people now.” So what exactly does that mean for your stomach? The majority of the menu is either vegetarian or vegan, with a hefty selection of gluten-free options. That doesn’t mean you’ll be without protein. You can opt to add chicken, steak, salmon or tofu to any dish.
Freezers get a bad rap. They’re great places to store smoothies for days when the blender just isn’t part of your morning routine, or they’re great for storing vodka if you’re 22 and in college. However, when it comes to fast food and fast-casual, they’re the difference between fresh and funky. Flower Child’s open-air kitchen has altogether done away with the icebox. “A lot of people say, ‘We’re a scratch kitchen,’ but we really are because we have no freezer. We don’t even have a freezer to freeze ice cream,” Rainaldi says. The microwave has seen the same fate here too.
Flower Child is coming in strong with menu costs that won’t break the bank. Salads for $8, combo plates for $4 to $9 and wraps maxing out at $13. Extra protein adds range, from $4 to $7. That’s impressive for a menu that boasts plenty of buzzwords such as organic and non-GMO. The kitchen, along with Fox Restaurant Concepts’ other two Las Vegas outposts—Culinary Dropout at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the neighboring North Italia—are buying in bulk, sure, but Flower Child plays it smart by offering healthier options where they’re most needed. Case in point: The menu states “Our organic produce is guided by the dirty dozen list”—meaning, they are buying organic products of the 12 worst pesticide offenders, according to Environmental Working Group.
With wine and kombucha on tap and local beers rotating on the regular, there’s plenty of motivation to eat healthy alongside a crisp drink. But it’s the house-made lemonades that’ll keep you returning for more. Instead of a soda machine, you’ll find five seasonal lemonades—known as bubblers—available in flavors such as rose petal and cucumber mint and passion fruit with black tea. And these are no accidental combos: a tea mixologist, if you will, creates the blends at the Phoenix headquarters and came in specifically to train the staff on best practices for Flower Child lemonade standards. Give ’em a try to see what the fuss is about. If all else fails, stick to the pinot gris on tap—a.k.a., a Summerlin dream come true.
Rainaldi has a couple dishes of note, starting with Mother Earth, a bowl with supergreens, grains and veggies topped with red pepper miso vinaigrette. “The flavors there together are just impeccable,” he says of the top-selling dish, and we agree! Another of his favorites is the Crushed Avocado Toast. What sets Flower Child’s apart is a sous-vide-influenced egg, his being a five-minute version. The menu is fresh, colorful and nutritional—a solid combination whether you’re on the go or looking to enjoy a meal in a lively atmosphere. Be sure to share to check out the Avocado Hummus, a simple app with sweet corn, radish, clementine and pumpkin seeds. “People want to eat healthy, they want to have options,” Rainaldi says. “This is what they’ve been waiting for.”
11 a.m.–9 p.m., daily, 1007 S. Rampart Blvd., iamaflowerchild.com