One of the ladies of AsiaSF Palm Springs performs during a February 2020 dinner show. Credit: Jimmy Boegle

Two Spirited Companies Open in the Coachella Valley

Good news for people who love both cocktails and supporting local businesses: The Coachella Valley is home to two new distillers!

Tony and Milena Hazell have opened The Palm Springs Spirits Co., and are currently producing gin and vodka. The award-winning spirits are being served at restaurants throughout Palm Springs and can be purchased at liquor stores across the valley. Visit to find out where you can get some.

Separately, Brian Harke and Matthew Winks have created Racquet Club Spirits, inspired by their love of cocktails and their Palm Springs home. The company is currently producing a vodka and a straight bourbon whiskey. Visit for more information.

AsiaSF Palm Springs Slated to Reopen After 21-Plus Months

AsiaSF Palm Springs opened at 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, to great fanfare in February 2020, offering amazing three-course dinner shows featuring transgender women performers in a gorgeous space.

Well, we all know what happened a month or so later: AsiaSF, and all other restaurants, were forced to close—and AsiaSF Palm Springs has been closed ever since.

Presuming omicron doesn’t mess things up, we have good news: AsiaSF is slated to finally reopen on Friday, Dec. 31, for a New Year’s Eve party. Admission costs $75, and the event goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Normal service resumes Friday, Jan. 7. Keep your fingers crossed, and visit for reservations, menus and more information.

In Brief

The city of Indio recently announced that at least two new restaurants—a sushi restaurant and a grill/taphouse—are coming to city-owned land near Miles Avenue and Towne Street. The city is also planning on bringing music, entertainment and artwork to the area to attract more foot traffic. Watch this space for updates as plans develop. … Also in Indio: A second location of Taco Shop 760 has opened at 81096 Highway 111; the first is located at 46490 Calhoun St. This taco place specializes in birria, be it traditional birria tacos with consommé (broth), “kesatacos” (birria tacos with cheese), or even pizza birria for two or three people. Check ’em out at … New to Indian Wells: India Kitchen, at 74901 Highway 111. Neel Joshi, who “reinvented” the Paradise Valley Café in Mountain Center, is exploring his Indian heritage with traditional dishes like chicken tikka masala, and more unconventional offerings like a New Zealand rack of lamb cooked in the tandoori oven. Get details at … D’ Coffee Bouteaque has opened at 73131 Country Club Drive, in Palm Desert, near Sherman’s. The coffee shop and café looks gorgeous on social-media photos; call 760-636-1702 with questions. … The second Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival will take place not in Palm Springs, but in Palm Desert—specifically, at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, 74855 Country Club Drive, on Saturday, Jan. 8. More than 60 wineries will be offering tastings; tickets start at $125. Visit to get them. … The Slice, at 72775 Dinah Shore Drive, in Rancho Mirage, has new owners, and a slightly different name: Slice Italia. Former owner Jack Srebnik announced the sale via social media on Dec. 2; visit for more details. … Artist, designer, hotelier and style icon Tracy Turco plans to add restaurateur to her impressive list of accomplishments with Disco Pizza, inspired by a recent trip to her husband’s native Italy. Turco also plans on having an automat for desserts: Open the door, and out pops a cannoli! It will be located next to her new Modernism Museum, at 370 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. I can’t wait to see how things progress. Visit for more. … In more pizza news: The space formally occupied by Venezia, at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, will soon be home to Osteria Palmina, sister restaurant to the acclaimed Puglia Italian Restaurant in Lake Arrowhead. It sounds like a fitting replacement for my former “go-to” restaurant. Visit to learn about the sister restaurant. … New to the former Peabody’s space, at 134 S. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs: The Thirsty Palms. Breakfast will be served all day, and lunch and dinner options will focus on Italian, Swiss and American cuisine. Learn more at … Two new restaurants have come to Yucca Valley: Diner 62, at 55405 Twentynine Palms Highway, offers sandwiches, burgers and other meaty fare; it’s now temporarily closed due to omicron, but will hopefully reopen soon. Call 760-820-1562 for updates. … Just down the road at 57069 Twentynine Palms Highway is the simply named Thai and Lao Cuisine, which opened its doors in November. Find out more at 760-369-9566.

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Charles Drabkin

Charles Drabkin is a native of McMinnville, Ore., the heart of the Oregon Wine Country, where the relationship between food and people was instilled in him at an early age. After working his way around...

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