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21 Jun 2019

The Indy Endorsement: The Peking Duck at Palm Tree Palace

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

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