Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

The Indy Endorsement

05 Dec 2018
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What: The cinnamon brown sugar breakfast tart Where: Wilma and Frieda’s, 155 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; also at 73575 El Paseo Drive, Palm Desert How much: $4.95 Contact: 760-992-5080 (Palm Springs); 760-773-2807 (Palm Desert); Why: They’re delicious—and very affordable. When I heard that Wilma and Frieda’s was going to be taking over the former location of The Falls—one of the most beautiful restaurant spaces in the valley, overlooking the La Plaza area in downtown Palm Springs—I was elated. For five years, Wilma and Frieda’s, located on El Paseo in Palm Desert, has been serving up some of…
15 Nov 2018
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What: The spiced Jurgielewicz duck Where: 4 Saints, inside the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, 100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs How much: $37 Contact: 760-392-2020; Why: The nuance. Sometimes when I’m hungry, I want to head to the civilized human equivalent of a feed trough and eat. Other times, I want something a little more refined … nuanced … special. Enter 4 Saints, the gorgeous restaurant on the top floor of the year-old Kimpton Rowan Hotel in downtown Palm Springs. I’ve dined there twice now—twice a year is about what my finances will allow—and both times, I have been…
08 Nov 2018
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What: The weekday lunch buffet Where: Emperor Buffet, 69600 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How much: $9.99 Contact: 760-328-9200 Why: It’s cheap with a lot of delicious stuff. I know that some of you have read the headline and instantly determined that I must have lost my damn mind. Is he really giving the high honor of an Indy Endorsement to a free-standing Asian buffet in Rancho Mirage?! Why, yes, indeed I am. Here’s why. I concede that not everything available at Emperor Buffet is great … or even good. The desserts, for example, are bleh, and the sesame chicken—one of…
10 Oct 2018
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What: The black truffle pommes frites Where: AC3 Restaurant + Bar, 45350 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert How much: $9 separately; $7 at happy hour; $4 upcharge with the lobster B.L.T. (as shown) Contact: 760-340-6069; Why: They’re crispy and delicious. AC3 Restaurant and Bar opened with one of the best pedigrees of any new local joint in recent memory: The restaurant—inside the gorgeous Hotel Paseo—is the result of a partnership between Trio’s Tony Marchese, and Copley’s on Palm Canyon’s Juliana and Andrew Copley. I met friend and colleague Kevin there for a recent weekday lunch to see if AC3 lived…
04 Oct 2018
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What: The big guac burrito Where: Guacamoles, 555 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs How much: $9.25 Contact: 760-325-9766; Why: It’s one of the tastiest burritos around. Guacamoles does not get the respect it deserves. The Mexican restaurant is an undeniable success—it’s been open now for 28 years, since the Sesma family launched it during the first half of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. Yet when I hear people talking about their Palm Springs-area Mexican-food favorites, Guacmoles rarely comes up. Perhaps this is due to the space Guacamoles occupies: It’s small and tucked away in the middle of the shopping mall…
12 Sep 2018
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What: The morning BLT Where: Grand Central Palm Springs, 160 La Plaza, Palm Springs How much: $16 Contact: 760-699-7185; Why: It’s a sophisticated, tasty take on a classic. Here’s the story of Grand Central Palm Springs’ opening, as told through our Restaurant News Bites column: April 26, 2016: “Downtown Palm Springs’ La Plaza will soon be the home of Grand Central Palm Springs.” Nov. 28, 2017: “In early August 2016, Grand Central hosted a job fair; the restaurant’s Facebook page reported that 200 people had applied for jobs in person, with another 90 applications coming in online. … And…
05 Sep 2018
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What: The wild mushroom soup Where: Acqua California Bistro, 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; also at Lulu California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $5.99-$8.99 depending on menu; also available on special menus Contact: 760-862-9800; (Acqua); 760-327-5858; (Lulu) Why: It’s consistently delicious. Whenever I go to Acqua California Bistro (or Lulu California Bistro, for that matter), I have a problem: Even though the menu is rather expansive and varied, I almost always feel the need to order the same thing—the wild mushroom soup. Why, you may ask, do I feel the need to always…
09 Aug 2018
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What: The three-scoop bowl Where: Haus of Poké, 111 N. Palm Canyon Drive, No. 160, Palm Springs; also at 42500 Bob Hope Drive, No. 3, Rancho Mirage How much: $11.49 Contact: 760-537-1173 (Palm Springs); 760-636-1892 (Rancho Mirage); Why: It’s make-your-own bliss—if you do so carefully. Sometimes, when we’re given too many options in life, we make mistakes. Such was the case for me on a recent lunch visit to the new downtown Palm Springs House of Poké. I knew I wanted a nice, healthyish bowl of fish yumminess; however, I didn’t think much about the specific form that yumminess…
02 Aug 2018
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What: The Italian ice Where: Vinny’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, 190 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $7 as shown Contact: 760-904-4625; Why: It’s a tasty, cooling treat. By this time of year, even the heartiest desert-dwellers are simply done with the oppressive heat. We all have our tricks for dealing with the 110-degree-plus temps, ranging from 24-hour pool access to constant near-nudity to diets consisting of nothing but cold alcoholic beverages. Well, my friends, I recently discovered another helpful tool in the battle with the summer sizzle: the Italian ice at Vinny’s, in downtown Palm…
12 Jul 2018
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What: The roasted suckling pig Where: Alebrije Bistro Mexico, 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $28 Contact: 760-537-1279; Why: It’s a surprisingly refined dish. Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week brought both disappointments and delicious finds at the handful of participants I was able to visit—but my most delicious find of all was Alebrije Bistro Mexico. It was so delicious that Alebrije was the only place I visited twice during Restaurant Week. Alebrije went above and beyond by offering four courses—not just the requisite three—for $39, and the food showed a level of sophistication rarely found here…