What: The farro calamari salad
Where: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, 800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
How much: $13
Contact info: 459-3451; workshoppalmsprings.com
Why: The variety of textures and flavors.
There are a lot of attention-grabbing items on Workshop Kitchen + Bar’s winter menu.A scallops dish with squid-ink risotto.Wood-charred Brussels sprouts. (An aside: Did Brussels sprouts become ubiquitous overnight, or what?) And the star of the show, the 30-ounce grass-fed rib eye, which is prepared sous vide before being grilled. (We endorse this steak, too, by the way, as long as there are at least four people in your party—and as long as the $77 price tag won’t give you a heart attack.)
Flying under the radar a bit, however, is arguably our favorite thing on the menu: the farro calamari salad with olive oil, red-wine vinegar, olives, tomatoes, herbs and lemon cucumber.
Some foods are just delicious; other foods are fun to eat. This salad is both: Delicious because the flavors work so well together (freshness from the cucumber; tartness from the vinegar; saltiness from the olives, etc.), and fun because of the whacked-out variety of textures. Crunchy (cucumber), slippery (oil), bouncy (calamari), chewy (farro)—it’s all there.
The portion is generous, too; it’s perfect for splitting with several friends, or as a main course for one. Actually … now that we think about it, this salad’s so fun to eat that it may be best to just order it for yourself. It’s best to avoid awkward I-don’t-want-to-share moments during a nice night out, after all.