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Restaurant & Food News

30 Mar 2015
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Mark Your Calendars: Dining Out for Life Is on Thursday, April 30 Every year, dozens of area restaurants agree to give a chunk of one special day’s proceeds to the Desert AIDS Project, and that sacrifice makes a big financial difference: Last year, more than $175,000 was raised for DAP’s client services, thanks to about 10,000 diners and 43 participating restaurants. This year, DAP has even higher hopes for Dining Out for Life, which will take place on Thursday, April 30: As of this writing, 47 restaurants had pledged to participate, with each giving at least 33 percent of the day’s proceeds to DAP. That’s fantastic. Even better: Two restaurants have committed to giving 100 percent of the day’s take to DAP: Ristretto (500 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs) and Pho 533 (1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, No. 625, Palm Springs; more on Pho 533 later). By the way:…
23 Feb 2015
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Zin American Bistro Finds Itself in the Midst of a Foie Gras Uproar In early January, U.S. District Judge Court Stephen V. Wilson overturned California’s ban on foie gras—a 2004 voter-approved law that went into effect in 2012. Almost immediately, Mindy Reed, the owner of downtown Palm Springs’ Zin American Bistro and Alicante restaurants, announced she was returning fatty goose liver to Zin’s menu—and she attracted serious local media attention in the process. Ever since, Reed and her staff members have been the targets of opposition, protests—and even threats. “I’ve gotten hate mail,” Reed said. “I’ve been called a murderer. I’ve been sent pictures of me personally being bound and force-fed though a tube. My staff has been harassed.” Reed said she understands why some individuals may be vegetarian or vegan; in fact, she said she herself was a vegan for decades. However, she said it’s unfair and hypocritical for…
26 Jan 2015
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Out of the Ashes: Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club Begins Rebuilding Process At Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club, it was supposed to be a Christmas day to celebrate. The year-old restaurant, located at 292 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, had dinner reservations for 170 people on the books. However, on the morning of Dec. 25, while a couple of employees began preparing in the kitchen for the busy night, something went terribly wrong: An electrical fire began in the ceiling over the dining room. Within a couple hours, the restaurant had burned to the ground. Bernie’s owners Rand Howell and Geoff McIntosh, while in shock, scrambled to find new reservations for their customers, and new jobs for their employees. The only saving grace: The two employees made it out of the building unharmed. “Initially, it was very devastating,” McIntosh said. One month later, the feelings of devastation have…
29 Dec 2014
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A Bad Month for The River: Acqua Pazza, Tulip Hill Winery Close Their Doors To say December was a terrible month for food and drink at The River—the Rancho Mirage shopping center, located at 71800 Highway 111, described as “the premier destination for food, fashion and fun” on its website—is a bit of an understatement. First came the closure of Acqua Pazza, one of The River’s anchor restaurants, on Sunday, Dec. 14. Then two weeks later, on Dec. 28, Tulip Hill—the only winery that made the Coachella Valley its home base—was slated to close its doors. It’s been rumored for months that Jerry and Barbara Keller, the owners of Acqua Pazza, were looking to sell the decade-old restaurant to focus solely on their popular Lulu California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs. According to that same rumor mill, a sale of the restaurant fell through at the last minute, leading to…
28 Nov 2014
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Tinto at the Saguaro Downsizes a Bit Tinto, the Basque-style restaurant owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces that calls the Saguaro Palm Springs home, will reopen Wednesday, Dec. 3, after a lengthy closure during much of the summer and fall. When Tinto reopens, it will be just a fraction of its former self, size-wise: The restaurant will occupy what had previously been the Tinto bar—and that’s it. The rest of the former Tinto space, including the lovely patio, has been converted into what’s called the Palmetto Room and the Santa Rosa patio. Those spaces will be available for special events like weddings and holiday parties. The Saguaro hosted an event for VIPs and media at the old-new space on Wednesday, Nov. 19, and here’s the spin Tinto/Saguaro reps were putting on things: The Tinto downsizing will allow the restaurant to return to the small, intimate tapas-bar roots of the original…
27 Oct 2014
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New: Pho Lan Vietnamese Restaurant Pho Lan Vietnamese Restaurant has opened at 330 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in the downtown Palm Springs space occupied until recently by Kimy Sushi. While we have not yet had a chance to check out Pho Lan, the restaurant’s Facebook page offers some details about the place: The restaurant opened in September, and offers the appetizers, pho dishes and entrées one would expect to find at a Vietnamese joint—at reasonable prices. For example, a large bowl of pho will only you back $8.50. We’ll offer a more detailed report when we have a chance to try out the restaurant in person. In the meantime, call 760-778-1473, or visit the aforementioned Facebook page for more information. Hacienda Hosts a Benefit for Meals on Wheels The newish Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, located at 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, will be the location of…