Radio personality Joey English and restaurateur Willie Rhine pose for a photo during a 2019 Desert Business Association event promoting Dining Out for Life at Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge. Credit: Jeffrey Norman

Dining Out for Life, Benefiting Dap Health, Returns on April 28

Dining Out for Life, one of DAP Health’s major fundraisers, will return on Thursday, April 28, after a two-year hiatus.

A nationwide fundraiser for HIV-service organizations that started in 1991, Dining Out for Life takes place in more than 50 cities across the country. In recent years, the Coachella Valley has ranked second in terms of the amount of money raised (strangely, behind Denver).

Here’s how it works: Restaurants and bars donate between 33% and 110% of their food and beverage sales to DAP Health … and that’s it! To help, all you need to do is go out to eat or drink at one (or more) of the participating restaurants.

While all of the participating restaurants are being EXTREMELY generous by giving such a large cut of their sales on April 28, here’s the 100 percent honor roll, as of this writing: Bongo Johnny’s, Coachella Valley Coffee, Rooster and the Pig and, finally, Townie Bagels—which is giving 110 percent!

The list of participating restaurants keeps growing, so watch—and be sure to make reservations, as participating restaurants tend to be very busy!

In Brief

It’s bubble-tea madness! At least three new shops have opened in the Coachella Valley in recent weeks, offering boba, fruit and milk teas, along with other specialty drinks. They are: Happy Tea Café (78742 Highway 111, La Quinta;; Dragon Lili Boba Bar (42452 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage;; and Tea Momo (35877 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City; … New to La Quinta, at 70865 Main St., Suite 100: Café California, offering all-day brunch, including fare such as crab eggs benedict, croque madame, and the ubiquitous avocado toast. This place is sure to be a hit; learn more at … Just down the street, Arroyo’s Cafe Deli and More has also opened, at 78015 Main St., No. 108. This little shop offers sandwiches, tortas, salads, tostadas de ceviche and more; info … Now open in Rancho Mirage: Sushi Kawa has taken over the sleek space at The River (71800 Highway 111) mentioned in this column several months ago. The menu offers the sort of nigiri and hand rolls one would expect, along with specialty rolls. You can also order an omakase dinner, where the chef chooses your meal based on what is freshest. Call 760-834-8154 for reservations. … If you’re not from the Midwest, you might not know about frozen custard. It is a mixture of egg yolks, cream, sugar and flavorings. In other words, it’s like ice cream—except it is, well, “custardier,” because of the higher percentage of egg yolks used. Anyway, Perfect Pint, at 42575 Melanie Place, in Palm Desert, is helping Southern Californians get a better understanding of custard. Get a cup of amaretto cherry chocolate ice cream at the store, and pick up a pint of tropical fruit cobbler to take home! Learn more at … The Roost Lounge, at 68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 203, in Cathedral City, is expanding and adding a kitchen. Through the pandemic, the bar has been serving food from adjacent restaurants Trilussa and Pollo Dokys. However, Pollo Dokys recently closed, and The Roost’s owners have decided to take on their own targeted meal service—including brunch, sometimes featuring the Ethyl’s Place show, hosted by the fabulous Ethylina Canne. Learn more at … Across the complex, Luchador Brewing Company will soon be opening in the space most recently occupied by Bonta, at 68510 E. Palm Canyon Drive. It’s an expansion of the Luchador Brewing Company in Chino Hills. Learn more at … Two new restaurants are coming to the Caliente Tropics Hotel, at 411 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Sancho’s and La Fern Bar are both spearheaded by the owner of The Reef, located in the same hotel. The font and logo being used on the signage of Sancho’s is a nod to Sambo’s, which long ago occupied the same space. Given the race-tinged history of Sambo’s, and the meaning of the term “Sancho” in Mexican slang, this seems like a cringe-worthy choice, to say the least. Search for Sancho’s Palm Springs on Facebook to learn more. … Up in the high desert, Luna Sourdough Bakery is now open at 55700 Twentynine Palms Highway, in Yucca Valley, offering a daily-changing menu of bread, pastries and sandwiches, with an emphasis on sustainable sourcing. Details at … Down the road at 57205 Twentynine Palms Highway is the new Tiny Pony Tavern. With menu offerings like cast iron-seared scallops with sunchoke puree, as well as house-made veggie burgers, we have to ask: Is Yucca Valley becoming a more rustic version of Silver Lake? The website is

Got a hot tip? Let me know:

Avatar photo

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...

One reply on “Restaurant News Bites: Dining Out for Life Returns; Sushi Kawa Opens at The River; and Much More!”

  1. Now font choices are racist? A good friend, who happens to be Mexican-American, works at The Reef. We’ve talked about Sancho’s several times, and he’s never mentioned having a problem with the name. This PC policing is cringe-worthy, to say the least. I’m a fairly liberal Democrat, and I’m getting tired of this nonsense.

Comments are closed.