This place is truly innovative and creative. You have to let Chef Robert do what he does best, just deliver his super unique delicious menu items.
The Black Sheep believes that you can play with food, and experiment with it. They like to turn things on their heads, with unexpected elements. They source food from local purveyors. It is part comfort food, part deconstructed, but all of it is delicious.
Menu Gastromique, Chef selected with surprises:
Here is What I tried:
Gazpacho, tangy, flavorful, a great way to clear your palate and get ready for food blast off.
Shishito Peppers, some are hot, some are not, but all were light and delicious.
Green Zebra Tomatoes, with green cherry tomatoes, peaches, minty fine herb dressing, and pickled Fresno chilies. This is a truly gorgeous presentation and very healthy.
Seafood Aquachili with rock cod. Fresno chili and heirloom tomatoes tossed with rock cod, topped with avocado, red onion, micro cilantro and yucca root chips. The little flavor nuances are so amazing, another good menu option.
Mazemen Ramen Noodles with Santa Barbara sea urchin, eggplant tomato sofrito and salmon roe. This is what they are known for, their ramen, and it is a true winner.
Sweetbreads with basil olive oil, purple yam pureed mushrooms and leaks. This dish knocked my socks off. I am not squeamish about sweetbreads, I grew up eating them and love them, this rendition does not disappoint.
Pork Chop, with wild rice, chanterelle mushrooms, and spicy watermelon rind. This dish is for a super hearty appetite, a very large chop with nice wild rice.
Scallops with Gamba Hawaiian prawn, chutney, basil olive oil and micro basil. Another favorite dish of mine, the scallops are cooked to perfection, I would order this one time and time again.
Gewürztraminer, Cambria CA, 2019. This is not a wine that you think it would be, but so much better. This wine is just great with any of the seafood dishes.
Pinot Noir, Windrun, Santa Rita Hills, 2017. A nice light Pinot, it was terrific with the pork chop and mushrooms.
Penville Mourvedre Enz Vineyard, 2017, another powerful wine that paired great with any of the meat dishes.
Almond Financier Pastry with salted caramel, just delicious, a great finish to a lovely dinner.
Chocolate Taco corn tortilla, cocoa powder, sugar, caramel, caramelized cocoa nibs, and vegan. So creative, just loved the super chocolate robust flavors in this dessert.
The interiors are whimsical and fun, with a bunch of cool art pieces, and vignettes. During Covid you have to sit outside, but I managed to take a peek at their exciting interior space.
My takeaway from The Black Sheep restaurant is how a family can come together and create a really unique dining experience. You can feel the love of father and son from the moment you walk in the restaurant. The Perez family created The Black Sheep restaurant on the premise of being weird, and being ok with it. Using the freshest of ingredients from the most sustainable sources. Global in scope, The Black Sheep menu features Latin, Asian, and Italian flavors but relies heavily on classic French technique. Chef Robert’s restaurant is one of the only places in town where one can eat sweetbreads, ramen, and Peruvian potato tacos all in one sitting! Robert’s creative, inspired dishes bring people the utmost satisfaction while sometimes leading them ever so slightly outside of their comfort zone. Chef Robert also aspires to do what’s right by sourcing his produce from the farmer’s markets and by being mindful of waste and water use. Ruben Perez is chef Robert’s son and business partner. They have worked hard to cultivate a welcoming environment where guests feel genuinely taken care of and appreciated, and they did a good job. The outdoor seating is very comforting, and where people can be themselves and feel like they are home. Such an amazing family, they hope to create a uniquely unforgettable culinary experience in an unpretentious, fun, casual environment.
It’s sexy, American, Asian Fusion at its finest. In my opinion they have done this and more, this is exactly what Santa Barbara’s exciting culinary scene needed.
The Black Sheep saying, “Come As You Are. Have Good Food.”
The Black Sheep Restaurant
26 East Ortega Street,
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
* Note some content was taken off of their website.