The food is as fresh as the ideas at The Blaq Square, a new Valencia restaurant with a name that reflects the edgy, pioneering style of owners Brad Slaughter and Nathan Malonson. The Black Square is an iconic painting from 1915 by Kazimir Malevich, a forward-thinking artist who produced the earliest forms of modern art. They creatively altered the spelling to underscore the one-of-a-kind nature of their brand. “It’s very unique, eclectic, rustic, and the mystery that surrounds it inspires thought. That’s exactly what we wanted for our restaurant,” Slaughter said. The flavor combinations at The Blaq Square are truly original, reimagining every menu item you thought you knew and introducing you to new versions of exclusive dishes. “The Sober Irishman will probably be the best corned beef sandwich you will ever have,” Slaughter said. “Eight-hour thick cut and slow braised corned beef topped with beer mustard, whiskey onions, red cabbage and carrot slaw with amber ale mustard au jus on the side. I start to salivate every time I see or read this item.” The Blaq Square is a 50/50 plant-based and omnivore gastropub, with artisan pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, super food shakes and cold pressed juices. All shakes are dairy-free. A fan favorite going into the summer is the Maui Wowie shake, with a combination of mango, pineapple and kiwi. Or if you’re the kind of diner who likes to start with dessert, there’s the double peanut butter shake which, when it crosses your taste buds, reminds you of a peanut butter cup. “Whether you are vegan, gluten free, or a meat eater, we have plenty of options for everyone,” Slaughter said. “We also provide over 30 different kinds of craft beer, cider and wine, many from a local selection.” One of The Blaq Square’s newest cold pressed juices is called the Fountain of Youth, which is “selling like wildfire!” according to Slaughter. “The healthy green goodness of kale and spinach combined with the antioxidants, macro/micro nutrients and sweetness of blueberry, blackberry and pomegranate makes this juice just as delicious as it is good for you.” Vegans can order the “Bacon” Mac & Cheese with bourbon smoked cashew cheese, or the picture-perfect Avo Toast, which is topped with smashed avocado and edible flowers, among other ingredients. The vegan favorite so far is the crispy Portobello Melt with beer-battered Portobello mushrooms, cashew cheese, tomato, fresh basil, red onion and marinara. For omnivores, the most popular starters are the all house-made Seasonal Sausage Board and the Bayou Bacon Sliders with Cajun style shrimp. Favorite pizzas for the omnivores include the Private Preserve, which is topped with prosciutto crudo, hickory salt and arugula, and the Chèvre, hitting the taste buds with house-made goat cheese, red onion, roasted red bell peppers, spinach and cherry tomatoes. Vegans prefer the Mountain Pizza, which is topped with a variety of veggies and house-made cashew cheese. The menu is changed up frequently (there’s even a date on the menu), so customers always gain new experiences. And the dining atmosphere is as creative as the food. “We saw our opportunity to break the mold and develop a restaurant that gave what no chain can offer — a fusion of preferences, cool and eclectic vibe, hip and comfortable setting, and amazing food,” Slaughter said. “We have put our hearts, blood, sweat and tears into this location to make sure we can be a stand-out in the community.” Specials, events, catering and take-out are all available. And delivery is offered through GrubHub. Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with brunch from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Blaq Square is located at 23460 Cinema Drive, Suite A in Valencia; 661.259.9090.