The Black Sheep
Pastries – Pain Au Chocolate, Apple Danish, Butter Croissant, Strawberry Compote, Whipped Butter
Smoky Heirloom Beet Salad – Watercress, Golden Beets, Red Baby Beets, Citrus Goat Yogurt, Spicy Black Radish, Candied Walnuts
Poached Pear Salad – Yellow Frisee, Baby Arugula, Farmstead Blue Cheese, Candied Pecans, Pear Vinaigrette
Chicken & Waffles – Honey Butter Scallion Waffle, Chicken Karaage, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Syrup, Japanese Cucumber
Soufflé Pancake – Hemp Seed Granola, Housemade Yuzu-Strawberry Compote, Whipped Butter, Brandy Syrup
Scallion Pancake – Duck Confit, Asian Pear Herb Salad, Pickled Red Radish, Crispy Shallots
Vietnamese Imperial Rolls – Duroc Pork, Shrimp, Pickled Heirloom Carrots, Red Radish, Yellow Frisee Salad, Garlic Citrus Vinaigrette
Challah Bread French Toast – Blueberry Compote, Toasted Black Sesame, Powder Sugar, Brandy Syrup
Melody’s Omelet – Housemade Smoked Salmon, Sauteed Mushrooms, Braised Purple Kale, Cheddar Cheese, Scallions, Crispy Hash Browns
Lemongrass Braised Short Rib Eggs Benedict – Poached Eggs, Caramelized Onion, Toasted English Muffin, Kaffir Lime Hollandaise, Crispy Hash Browns
Chilaquiles Rojos – Fried Organic Egg, Fresh Avocado, Queso Fresco, Crema, Shaved Red Radish
Soon celebrating two years serving Spring Valley, an area notoriously lacking for Chef-driven Restaurants despite nearby hospitals and offices that should theoretically sport a crowd in search of quality, Sunday Brunch once again attested to The Black Sheep’s uniqueness in a market otherwise littered by the mundane.
Tucked away at the corner of Durango and Warm Springs, nearby closures including The Goodwich and Paid In Full proving the Southwest a difficult place to get a foothold, it is immediately on entering The Black Sheep that diners realize there is something different about the space, a mural and organic flourishes giving the room an upscale feel while the Bar stocked in Top-shelf Spirits suggests a Mixology program ready to make a good impression.
Toqued by Jamie Tran, years working with Charlie Palmer, Vincent Pouessel and Daniel Boulud giving the Chef a firm command of French technique applied across flavors from her Vietnamese heritage, guests are invited to order Beverages including bottomless Mimosas while perusing a list of thirteen plates ranging savory to sweet – and often a combination of each.
Featuring smart and convivial service, something co-owner and operator Andy Hooper has assured since day one, it was declining Booze in favor of store-bought Orange Juice and Coffee from Lavazza that things started off quickly, four tiny Pastries for $8 not exactly a highlight as none appeared to be made on-site, though warm Strawberry Preserves helped and would be better served with just Bread and Butter.
Hungry enough to order all but Oysters or Steak and Eggs, two items hard to make unique no matter how talented a Chef, it was instead recalling Chef Tran’s impeccable charred Peaches from 2017 that proper plates began with Smokey Heirloom Beets and Poached Pears, the former accompanied by Yogurt and charred Crumbles that play well off Candied Walnuts while the latter trends light, only to be punctuated intermittently by bites of Blue Cheese and Pecans.
Deferring progression to the kitchen, Jamie’s cheerful personality still intact despite long hours in tight quarters, ‘course’ two arrived by way of Chicken Karaage turned-down from her version featuring Kimchi, each bite crispy and balanced by Waffles that sop-up a combination of Mustard Seeds and Syrup while The Black Sheep’s baked Pancake comes at the bargain price of just $9 for something easily sharable as an Entrée or Dessert.
Resetting share plates and refilling Drinks during a short pause, the overhead soundtrack drifting from Tone Loc to GnR and then Drake, it was in another style of Pancake, this time two-for-$9, that Brunch’s best item was offered, a combination of Duck and Asian Pear complimented by Acid touching every part of the palate while Chef Tran’s Vietnamese Imperial Rolls accomplish similar with a bit of lingering heat.
Again changing pace with a slice of French Toast, the removal of Herbs better allowing ground Sesame Seeds to shine amidst Berries and Brandy Syrup, those looking for a great Omelet need look no further than “Melody’s” offered with either Short Ribs or house-smoked Salmon, the Fish selected largely for its novelty and beautiful beside Mushrooms while Chef Tran’s Hash Browns are anything but ordinary thanks to both their crisp texture and complex spicing.
Finishing with one more cup of Coffee and fresh utensils, appetites sated and the room approximately half-full, it was opting for Short Rib over Salmon that The Black Sheep’s Benny outperformed most thanks to not only the Meat but its interplay with Lime Hollandaise while Jamie’s Chilaquiles eschew Meat in favor of earthy Red Sauce brightened by fresh Cheese, tangy Cream and a fried Egg broken by the guest to help Tortillas remain crisp.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Although The Black Sheep remains something of a hidden gem at the corner of Durango and Warm Springs the new Sunday Brunch from Jamie Tran and team is immediately one of Las Vegas’ best thanks to gigantic flavors and eye-catching ingredients served with great balance.
RECOMMENDED: Smoky Heirloom Beet Salad, Soufflé Pancake, Scallion Pancake, Vietnamese Imperial Rolls, Melody’s Omelet, Chilaquiles Rojos.
AVOID: Pastries are Buffet quality and for $1 more one can order either Pancake.
TIP: Brunch is offered 11:00a-2:00p on Sundays only, and in addition to $20 Bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s a full Cocktail and Wine menu is also available.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.