Not pictured: The accompanying buns and scallions. Also not pictured: The shy, cleaver-holding server. Pictured: A huge half-duck and hoisin sauce.

What: The Peking duck

Where: Palm Tree Palace, 79660 Highway 111, La Quinta

How much: $18 half, $35.95 whole

Contact: 760-289-6633; www.facebook.com/Palm-tree-palace-399335637531079

Why: It’s savory nirvana.

As I write this, I’ve just finished my second batch of leftovers from my visit to Palm Tree Palace, a newish Chinese-food restaurant in La Quinta—and I’m ready to declare that Palm Tree Palace’s Peking duck is easily one of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever had in the Coachella Valley.

I stopped in for a late Saturday dinner after reading rave after rave about the place on Facebook. I ordered the wor wonton soup (a downright reasonable $8.95) as a starter, and the half-duck as my entree, knowing full well that this would be too much food for li’l ol’ me, and that leftovers would be involved.

The soup was endorsement-worthy in and of itself. It was perfectly prepared. The broth was flavorful, and none of the ingredients were overcooked; the vegetables still had some firmness, and the meats and shrimp were plump and moist.

As I finished the soup, one of the servers brought out the half-duck … and I instantly realized how truly ridiculous this order was for one person: The half duck was HUGE. As the server began cutting pieces off, she told me this duck was a little larger than normal … but still. After preparing a plate for me, she offered to take the rest to the back to cut up and put in a to-go box; I thanked her profusely.

The duck came with fresh buns, as well as scallions and hoisin sauce. I took a bun and put sauce, scallions and skin-on duck inside; I then took a bite.

Wow. Just wow.

I loved the duck at the restaurant. It was great for dinner the next day … and it was splendid for lunch the day after that.

It’s official: Palm Tree Palace is my new favorite Chinese-food restaurant. It’s so, so good.

Avatar photo

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...