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Palm Desert / Palm Springs Restaurants


Sweet Willie
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Not much in the way of Palm Springs and its surrounding area on eG so here goes.

Here are places I've enjoyed:

Well, we had two breakfasts in the Palm Springs area:

One was at Don and Sweet Sue’s Café in Cathedral City.

I had the chorizo, eggs and cheese burritos, while the wife had poached eggs over corned beef hash.

First the positive, the staff is one of the most friendly I’ve seen and there were many regulars dining here when we went who the staff all knew on a first name basis. The bacon was cooked fresh, not the typical reheated kind at most breakfast joints.

Now for the negative news, corned beef hash was from a can and therefore was the normal salty junk, the salsa served w/my burritos was Heinz brand and was served in the plastic individual serving container like the jellies are and finally, the guacamole was the guacamole from a tube (that weird green color and the strange flavor that tastes nothing like real guac).

This certainly makes for an overall negative dining experience IMO.

Don and Sweet Sue’s Café

68-955 Ramon Road

Cathedral City, CA

Phone: 760.770.2760

The second place we dined was at Elmer’s. Elmer’s is a chain that originated in OR if I’m not mistaken.

Wife had an incredible breakfast of potato pancakes. These were not the latkes that your mother made! These were VERY light pancakes that contained potato and onion, quite a delight. Wife and I devoured them and almost ordered a second helping.

I had the Prime time skillet. A breakfast skillet of prime rib, onions, potatoes, red pepper with cheddar scrambled eggs on top. A nice breakfast strictly because of the prime rib but I’ve had better skillets.

Service was very attentive.

There are multiple locations of Elmer’s in the Palm Spring / Palm Desert area. We dined at the 1030 E. Palm Canyon location. Phone 760.327.8419

For Lunch/Dinner:

Had a great meal at El Mirasol, located 140 East Palm Canyon Drive (HWY 111) , Palm Springs, CA. Phone: 760.323.0721

Started out w/the Guacamole and Chile Relleno. Guacamole was velvety w/small chunks of avocado (EXCELLENT). The Chile Relleno had a very thin coating and peppers were great. Then had a dish I have never had before and I of course have forgotten the name. The dish was cubes of pork that have been fried so they are very crispy, the cubes are then served in a rich sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions. Of course served w/the obligatory refried beans and rice. TREMENDOUS!!!!! I put this on warm flour tortillas that they make at the restaurant w/a little of the guacamole I had left over (heaven).

Found a second location for El Mirasol Restaurant.

El Mirasol, 149 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, Ca. (760) 323-0721; El Mirasol, 73325 Highway III, Palm Desert, CA. (760) 836-9028. Both have been good.

This time I had the carnitas and they were stellar. Wife had the carne asada which was just OK. I must admit that in Chicago which has the 3rd largest Hispanic population in the US, a good carne asada is easy to find, so El Mirasol had some tough competition.

In Rancho Mirage we ate lunch at the Desert Deli, located 69930 Hwy 111.

Desert Deli is a deli restaurant, not a deli where they are slicing your order in front of you, looks like a venue out of Vegas. I had a combination corned beef/pastrami sandwich, both meats were quite good. Wife had the egg salad / chicken liver served open faced. Egg salad so-so, chicken liver was very good. We split the latkes, wife really liked them, just so-so IMO.

...

I've heard good things about St. James at the Vineyard & Riccio's on north palm canyon.

Anyone been the above or have any other suggestions for Palm Springs, Indigo, Palm Desert, etc?

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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I think of the Coachella valley as golfer's paradise/ foodie hell. My family and I have gone every year for the last 6 years and stay 2 weeks in my parent's home in Palm Dessert. We cook most of our meals in the house just because the restaurants are so mediocre. This is difficult too because the groceries are very limited. The only decent grocery store seem's to be the Jenssen's in Palm Dessert.

We have had mediocre meals at, Macaroni Grill, the Yardhouse, California Pizza Kitchen, the Kaiser Grill, P.F. Chang's, a Sushi/Cineese/Vietnamese place ran by Mexicans, and at various golf course restaurants.

We have had terrible meals at the Elephant Club, Cimmaron golf course, Island Burger, and other's I can't quite remember.

The only good meals I have had were at the Tommy Bahama's on El Paseo and at the Indian Palm's golf course.

If there are any decent independent places to eat within 20 miles of Monterey and Country Club, I have yet to find them.

PS. If I really want something good to eat while in town I go to the In and Out.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I wanted to put in a good work for the newish Rancho Mirage branch of the Hawaii-based Haleiwa Joe's, at 69934 Hwy 111. It's in the old Chart House location, wedged into the side of a hill facing the highway. I went with my parents two weeks ago for an early Sunday meal, and was very pleased with the experience. I had two apps, the huge, very fresh coconut-battered shrimp, and the addictive Emma's Poke, marinated ahi served on a bed of onions and cabbage. My parents shared a dinner salad and a massive hunk of monchong (which I've since found is a type of pomfret) fish in a zippy thai green curry sauce garnished with island fruit chutney. The service was efficient and friendly, and I thought the value was very good given the quality and quantity of food. There was a Roy's restaurant just down the road, and I'm glad we decided to go here. I think Haleiwa Joe's trumps Roy's at their own game.

Haleiwa Joe's

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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  • 3 weeks later...
I wanted to put in a good work for the newish Rancho Mirage branch of the Hawaii-based Haleiwa Joe's ..... and the addictive Emma's Poke, marinated ahi served on a bed of onions and cabbage.

after just getting back to Chicago and the snow :wub: (for me) but I do miss already the various poke we had almost every day.

In a few weeks when in PSP, we will for sure stop by Haleiwa Joe's.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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While these suggestions are a long way short of foodie nirvana, both offer good value and enjoyable meals [particularly lunches]:

Thai Smile in Palm Springs has excellent, inexpensive lunch specials.

El Gallito in Cathedral City is an arcitypal mom & pop californial mexican restaurant with large portions, good prices and excellent food of this kind.

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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Tyler's for quick, cheap, and satisfying eats. Get their sliders, cole slaw, and a cold beer. Gourmand? Nope. Fun, tasty and easy? Definitely. It's in Palm Springs right off the strip.

R. Jason Coulston

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Tyler's for quick, cheap, and satisfying eats. Get their sliders....

sliders are slang for White Castle burgers in Chicago, to clarify by sliders you mean burgers?

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Right. Smaller hamburgers. Tyler's is very casual, but it's small and family-owned. We're not talking gourmand here, but a cold beer and a couple sliders in the middle of a hot Palm Springs afternoon is a wicked treat.

R. Jason Coulston

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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I'm heading down to Palm Springs this Sunday for a week so was rather hoping to find some good recommendations....

When we were there last year, first time for both of us, it was rather hit and miss. I remember a decent menu selection and dinner at The Left Bank (or was it Rive Gauche?) though a bit crowded and noisy. Everything else was unremarkable.

I'll certainly check out the suggestions already posted (thank you) and hope to find a few more when I check back later...

PS... Thanks, but I'll pass on the sliders :biggrin:

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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So the Left Bank is OK? We drove from Palm Dessert once to have lunch there but when we saw the place we passed. Probably a mistake though because we had an underwhelming lunch at the Kaiser Grill. I've eaten 50 restaurant meals in this area in the last 8 years and only remember a couple of decent ones. All at Tommy Bahama's. It5 may have been the Baja Margaritas that clouded my judgment.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I was in Palm Springs about 18 months ago and ate at 2 places:

Johannes 196 S Indian Spring Road in Palm Springs.

I thought this place was very good. Upscale European food with an Austrian influence, and it is actually a chef-owned place (hence the name). It had the feeling that Johanne is always there and cares a lot about the place. A small, modern room, nice quality china, fairly pricey. A colleague from work was there a few weeks ago and said he had a very good time and impressive food. I’d go back for sure.

Melvin’s

This is a real old-school place, complete with waiters in dinner jackets. We had Caesar salad and steak Diane, both of which were finished table side on rickety carts. I don’t think anything in the place has changed since the 50’s, from the décor to the menu to the clientele. For a drink at the bar, complete with crooning pianist and waterfall, this is a great place. But dinner was a little painful; mediocre quality and high prices.

Good luck!

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I also went to Johannes while on our last visit. I thought the chef was trying a little too hard to impress with bizarre ingredients and dramatic plates, but hey, it was still a good meal. I remember in particular the trio of livers as an appetizer so it can't be that bad. Any place serving organ meats is better than the guy next door not serving them. Still, I don't think there was anything that was such a stand-out that I would rush back there again the next time I'm in the area. It came recommended by the Orbit Inn, a great mid-century 8-suite hotel with all sorts of gorgeous furniture. If you ever get a chance, stay there. It's worth the money.

As for the dismissal of the possibility of Tyler's, one doesn't have to eat at a French Laundry hopeful every night of the week. Sometimes you just want to tuck into a good bit of fast food served properly, which is what you'll get there.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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As for the dismissal of the possibility of Tyler's, one doesn't have to eat at a French Laundry hopeful every night of the week. Sometimes you just want to tuck into a good bit of fast food served properly, which is what you'll get there.

What?

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Melvin’s

...I don’t think anything in the place has changed since the 50’s, from the décor to the menu to the clientele.

:biggrin: Just my observation but the average age of the people I see in Palm Springs has got to be in the 50's at least. Makes for quite private hikes on the canyon trails as not many of the old folk come out doing some serious hiking.

SiseFromm, "As for the dismissal of the possibility of Tyler's, one doesn't have to eat at a French Laundry hopeful every night of the week. Sometimes you just want to tuck into a good bit of fast food served properly, which is what you'll get there." :smile:

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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:biggrin: Just my observation but the average age of the people I see in Palm Springs has got to be in the 50's at least. Makes for quite private hikes on the canyon trails as not many of the old folk come out doing some serious hiking.

ummm... I'm in my 50's, and let me assure you that I can still engage in serious physical pursuits... "old" is but a state of mind... :wink:

Anyway... we just got back from the desert and enjoyed some fine food at:

Haleiwa Joe's (Rancho Mirage) - fresh ingredients beautifully prepared, and stunning surroundings: view here

The Deck (Palm Springs) - Jazz/dinner lounge offering an eclectic Californian/Asian menu

The Left Bank (Palm Springs) - Classic French with a southern California influence

We also enjoyed good, casual fare at:

The Kaiser Grille

Las Casuelas

... sorry, can't remember the other restaurants we tried (could be the martinis and bloody marys that blurr my memory.)

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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Anyway... we just got back from the desert and enjoyed some fine food at:

Haleiwa Joe's (Rancho Mirage) - fresh ingredients beautifully prepared, and stunning surroundings:

Glad you liked Haleiwa Joe's as much as I did. I still love Roy Yamaguchi's restaurants, but I feel HJ offers a similar quality dining experience at a lower price. Thanks for the report.

Kriss Reed

Long Beach, CA

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...Glad you liked Haleiwa Joe's as much as I did...

Indeed, and thanks for the recommendation.

We started with a Paradise Pupu Platter, which consisted mainly of: chicken satay, nori roll slices, Ahi spring rolls (these were TO DIE for), and the infamous Emma’s poke (FA-BU-LOUS)

I chose the catch of the day (NZ red snapper) and elected to have mine baked. The thick, moist fillet was crusted with luxurious, fresh coconut and topped with a generous ladling of chunky mango chutney. The fish was perched atop steamed rice and a green curry sauce. Amazingly good!

I followed that with a Haleiwa Paradise Salad, and for desert, settled on the Tropical Fruit Sorbet, a duet of fresh mango and raspberry sorbets studded with fresh mint.

Great meal!

Had we had a few more days I would have gone back; everything on the menu sounded delish.

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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Finally made it to St. James on the Vineyard.

Very unique atmosphere. A local artist created curved, molded areas in various parts of the restaurant. There are also numerous Asian artifacts. If warm enough there is a small outdoor seating area with a couple fountains to drown out the possible traffic noise from the nearby Palm Canyon Drive.

We started out ordering a bottle of Saint Magherita a Pinot Grigio. At $42 a nice crisp white that went well with the dining choices we made.

Wife started with the Ahi Tartare. A little heavy on the wonton crisps that sat atop the circular mold of small cube Ahi. Fresh and good.

I had the eggplant enchiladas. Italian eggplant sauteed and rolled into three small corn tortillas with Italian Cheeses and surrounded by a nice marianara sauce. Good, not great.

For the entrée, my wife had the duck breast medium rare with a fois gras reduction. Duck was terrific but the fois gras was not really present in flavor.

I had a lamb curry one of a few “famous” curry dishes. Plenty of raisins, sliced bananas, cashews, a mango chutney with succulent lamb cubes made for a wonderful dish, I had asked for medium spice level and was only dissappointed that it did not have enough kick. My own fault really as the average diner in Palm Springs I’m assuming is not very gung ho when it comes to spice.

St. James was a very good restaurant, perhaps overly ambitious at times but our dishes were well executed. As one might expect in Palm Springs, if the restaurant has a nice atmosphere the bill goes up. Our dinner for two plus one bottle of wine was $125 without tip. St. James has a wonderful bar area that opens 30 minutes before the restaurant does.

St. James on the Vineyard

265 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs

619.320.8041

menu & additional detail:

http://stjamesrestaurant.com/home.html

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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:biggrin: Just my observation but the average age of the people I see in Palm Springs has got to be in the 50's at least. Makes for quite private hikes on the canyon trails as not many of the old folk come out doing some serious hiking.

ummm... I'm in my 50's, and let me assure you that I can still engage in serious physical pursuits...

I'm sure that is the case, the average person I observed there seemed good for 18 holes of golf in a cart, not much more activity than that. I did not mean to imply a blanket statement, just an average of what I've observed my few times there.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Duc Le’s – Vietnamese – Rancho Mirage

Duc Le’s I believe used to be called Le Basil as the bill holder still had this title on it and some of the smaller direction signage in the parking lot still mentioned Le Basil. The large red neon proclaims that this place is now called Duc Le’s.

Thankfully we were with a friend who likes to try new cuisine and he was not really familiar with Vietnamese.

We started out slowly with shrimp spring rolls with peanut sauce, for those not familiar with the term spring roll, think unfried rice paper stuffed with vermicelli noodles, mint, shrimp, and some bean sprouts, SOOOOO much better than an eggroll

Seeing as he dug into those and was ready for more, we ordered the Bahn Xeo. This was the finest Bahn Xeo I have ever had bar none. Just incredible. It is a large pan fried Vietnamese crepe with pork, shrimp, cilantro and bean sprouts.

For main courses I had Bo Goi a beef salad over thinly sliced onion, celery, bean sprouts, cilantro and peanuts. Beef could have been not grilled for as long as it was as it was semi tough to chew, but still a good dish.

Buddy had a chicken curry. Again, low on the heat scale but still wonderfly full flavored. Wife had wide rice noodles with chicken and mushrooms, another very good dish.

While I can find better Vietnamese, it rarely is in such a nice setting, and I doubt there is better Vietnamese in Palm Springs. As stated the Bahn Xeo is the finest I’ve ever had, a must order for sure.

Duc Le’s

69-620 Highway 111

Rancho Mirage

760.324.4120

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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A friend of ours drove out from LA to join us. We waited for him at a place called The Beer Hunter on the corner of Washington Avenue and Highway 111 in La Quinta, not too far from the Renaissance. He showed up about 9:30 and we closed the place down. Man it sure was nice that CA has the no smoking rule. It was a pleasure to be in a bar and not stink when we got back to the hotel. There are two other Beer Hunter locations, one each in Rancho Cucamonga and Catherdral City.

We are not really sports bar type people but I wanted to recommend it for those who like the ciders that one finds on tap in Europe, The Beer Hunter serves a cider on tap called BlackThorn. Quite delicious, it was my drink of choice the whole evening.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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I'm sure that is the case, the average person I observed there seemed good for 18 holes of golf in a cart, not much more activity than that. I did not mean to imply a blanket statement, just an average of what I've observed my few times there.

Hey, not to worry, no offence taken here, just a little chuckle and my comment was meant in fun. Perhaps our perceptions of "old' just keep changing as we age. I remember thinking 20 was old, then 30, then 50, now it's not age I look at but how much a person enjoys life. But back to food...

I was hoping we would try St James this time, but our stay in the area was just too short. I will try to put it at the top of my list next time I'm there. Thanks for the reviews.

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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  • 1 month later...

Tried a local Palm Springs area 4 location chain called Fisherman's Market & Grill http://www.fishermansmarketandgrill.com

They have locations in La Quinta, Palm Springs, Palm Desert & Yorba Linda

very fresh marlin ceviche, great fried oysters (they do have an oyster bar at the Palm Springs location), Had very good fish tacos (fried and grilled).

Would certainly go back, reasonable $.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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http://www.fishermansmarketandgrill.com/

It's okay. It's next to Trader Joe's in Palm Dessert. There are a lot of older people in the valley. Some are active, some aren't. they can all drive very fast though. I will be there next week and I will be golfing everyday and where ever possible I will be walking and carrying my clubs. I am glad that others take carts to speed things up though. BTW I'm 47 and I play faster then my 14 year old. I said faster not better.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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