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Lick the Plate: Flower Child dishes up fresh, organic and sustainable cuisine in Del Mar

OK, I’ll admit that when I first heard that a restaurant named Flower Child had opened in Del Mar, my first thought was that it must be of the vegetarian or vegan persuasion.

Well, I was wrong on both counts. While the menu is heavy on the veggies, there are meat and protein options if you are so inclined.

Nonetheless, their name is a clever one and I’m certain their mission to, “Deliver healthy food for a happy world,” plays right into the yoga/health conscious crowd that they cater to in Flower Hill center where Whole Foods, Cucina Enoteca and Milton’s reside.

Heck, they even have yoga-mat parking where yogis can drop their mats while they eat. Their mission statement asks us to, “Join them on the journey to food enlightenment,” which translates into them, “Working with ranchers who respect, protect, and love their animals.”

Their organic produce is, “Guided by the wisdom of the Environmental Working Group.”

The EWG is an environmental organization that does research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agriculture, subsidies, public lands and corporate accountability.

Local sourcing is a priority at Flower Child and their food is cooked fresh and quickly. They are also, “Grateful, humbled and honored and thrilled” that we are a Flower Child too. And they thank us for “being a part of the revolution.”

All that is conveyed on their website and is some pretty heavy stuff to be putting out there but hey, if they walk the talk then more power to them. While local and organic sourcing is nothing new, it’s good to know they make an effort to do it.

What I want to know is how do they make sure that the ranchers really love those animals? Just kidding, I am cynical by nature and a marketer by day so just a bit wary when claims like that are made. But hey, if the food is good, that’s really not a concern and what I tried at Flower Child was very good.

The fast-casual category is definitely filling up in North County with plenty of options but with Flower Child’s location they should do just fine.

They divide up the menu into salads, hummus and soups, veggies and grains, bowls, whole grain wraps and healthy kids, a nice variety of beverages including Kombucha and beer and wine.

The menu is packed with many gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Organic produce stars in those mentioned soups, hummus, wraps, bowls and salads like the Vegan Ingredient, loaded with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, avocado, roasted corn, baby tomato, sun-dried olive, sunflower seeds and topped with a lemon tahini vinaigrette.

I started with a really nice cup of chicken noodle soup and the crushed avocado toast with egg, sesame and white cheddar.

Next up I went with the Mother Earth bowl with ancient grains, sweet potato, Portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, hemp seed and I added grass-fed steak as my protein. It was a hearty and delicious meal in a bowl with quality ingredients.

My friend ordered the Spicy Japanese Eggplant with Thai Basil and Cashew with tofu as an added protein.

They gladly accommodated her request for less spice and she was very happy with the dish.

We split the Mediterranean Diet salad with organic greens, cucumber, tomato, pickled onion, Peppadew, garbanzo, olive, feta, and oregano vinaigrette. I was unfamiliar with the Peppadew, but my research turned up Peppadew as the trademarked brand name of sweet piquanté peppers grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

And yes, it’s a very nice salad, one that I would like to enjoy on a regular basis.

The nutritious menu is mix-and-match style, allowing guests to select their favorite combinations of vegetables and grains such as simple sautéed broccoli, sweet corn and quinoa, Indian-spiced cauliflower, roasted butternut squash and scrumptious Yuzu Brussels sprouts with golden miso, toasted garlic and almonds. The proteins I mentioned are natural-chicken, sustainable salmon, grass-fed steak and organic and non-GMO tofu. There are tasty gluten-free desserts and to drink there is a selection of teas and seasonal lemonades, organic apple cider, ginger lemonade, kombucha on tap, organic wine and local beers.

Flower Child is the second San Diego restaurant opened by restaurateur Sam Fox, joining True Food Kitchen in Mission Valley. The original Flower Child restaurant is located in Santa Monica. They took over the former Sea & Smoke space and feature spacious dining areas upstairs and downstairs, as well as a courtyard patio. The décor is whimsical, floral and funky with lots of art.

Weekends have a breakfast starting at 8 a.m., which includes items such as a quinoa breakfast burrito, spiced maple porridge and plenty of healthy beverages.

Flower Child Del Mar is located at 2690 Via De La Valle. For more information, visit or call (858) 314-6818.

David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at or (858) 395-6905.

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