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Restaurant Review: The Black Sheep
updated: May 10, 2014, 12:00 PM

By Lauren Bray

The Black Sheep
26 E. Ortega Street
Avg. Price: $12-15
Rating: [3/3 eds]

The Black Sheep is the embodied dream of owner and decision-maker Ruben Perez, of Seagrass. In fact, all of the delicious food comes out of the Seagrass kitchen since the space is somewhat joined. Formally the spot of Taste Wine Bar, Ruben took over and created his own vision of fine dining in a casual and fun setting. My previous review of Seagrass can be read here.

We started off with complimentary house made potato chips with a spicy kick. With a variety of delicious craft beers, we chose a few that we've never tried before, an Ellie's Brown Ale and a Hop Rod Rye.

The menu is comprised of several appetizers and small plates that are easy to share. We picked a variety of plates that grabbed our attention so we could taste a little more of everything.

First up was the beet salad with roasted beets, pear, blue cheese, frisée, pistachio. I've recently discovered that I like beets so I was excited to try this dish. The pear and blue cheese added a nice balance.

Next was the Scallop Crudo with spicy candied carrot puree, garlic chips, herb vinaigrette, and broccoli greens blossoms. Crudo, which means raw in Italian, is a term I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more of.

When I saw Ramen on the menu I was immediately transported back to my college dorm room, hovering over a microwave waiting for the crunchy top ramen noodles to become edible. I had to try their version and it turned out to be my favorite dish of the night! The ramen noodles are mixed with slow braised pork belly, roasted shiitake mushrooms, green onions, and cilantro.

For the main entrée we chose the Braised Brunette Downs Australian Grass Fed Beef Cheeks. Braised in banana leaves with ancho chili for over 5 hours, the meat will absolutely melt in your mouth. With annatto seed, tequila, lime and tomatoes adding extra flavor, beef cheeks surely satisfied my taste buds.

Finally, for dessert the biggest recommendation we received was the rice pudding. Topped with strawberries, and a homemade jam, with a certain citrus secret ingredient, it was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

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Lauren is a member of the Dedicated Staff and doesn't mind being a black sheep.


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