What: The Crab Enchiladas
Where: Ruben and Ozzy’s Oyster Bar and Grill, 241 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs
How much: $14.95; $13.95 after 9 p.m.
Contact: 760-325-8800; www.rubenandozzysoysterbar.com
Why: It’s a delicious dish made with love.
On most nights, you’ll find either Ruben or Ozzy Lopez, if not both of them, hard at work behind the counter at the brothers’ eponymous Tahquitz Canyon Way restaurant.
It’s nothing new for the brothers to be hard at work behind a restaurant counter; they started out working together at the late, lamented Beach House before moving to Palm Springs’ Shanghai Reds—the back-bar part of Fisherman’s Market and Grill—for a nine-year stint. In 2012, the two left Shanghai Reds and ventured out on their own, opening Ruben and Ozzy’s Oyster Bar and Grill.
The menu at Ruben and Ozzy’s is rather reminiscent of the menu at Shanghai Reds (as is, in some ways, the décor—they both have a large bar area, nice patio area, TVs tuned to sports, etc.). But most important: The food on that menu at Ruben and Ozzy’s is pretty gosh-darned spectacular.
Our personal fave is the crab enchiladas. This casserole-style treat has a lot going on. A real-crab concoction is wrapped inside tortillas, which are topped with goodies including a slightly spicy salsa verde, cheese and a creamy sauce. Adjacent to all of this warm, gooey deliciousness is a heap of cool, fresh pico de gallo, as well as some cabbage pieces, for texture, flavor and temperature variety. Finally, there is a scoop of Mexican-style rice—a perfect foil for any salsa and sauce that happen to be left over.
Yeah, the weather is getting increasingly warm as the march toward summer continues, but trust me: This hot little dish is fantastic even when temps are in the triple-digits, in part because the entrée includes cool contrasts (the cabbage and pico de gallo), and in part because it’s so freaking delicious.
So, go and support these two local restaurant icons who have been making food—tasty food—with love around these parts for decades, will ya?