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The Indy Endorsement

21 Dec 2017
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What: The queso y frijoles pupusa Where: El Salvador Café, 1751 N. Sunrise Way, #F2 How much: $2.95 Contact: 760-322-3778 Why: It’s stunningly simple but flavorful. We were bummed out. The front end of my car had been smooshed up in an accident a couple of days prior, and we were on our way to an auto-body shop for an insurance-mandated damage assessment. But first … we needed a tasty lunch—and, if possible, a good cheer-up. Thankfully, El Salvador Café was able to provide us with both. I’d been craving pupusas—thick corn tortillas stuffed with some sort of filling—after seeing…
14 Dec 2017
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What: The Chorizo Taco Where: Tacos El Poblano, 68100 Ramon Road, Cathedral City How much: $1.49; $1 on Tuesday and Thursday Contact: 760-534-0446; Why: It’s a few bites of deliciousness. It was the noon hour. I was hungry, so I headed to a restaurant I’d heard good things about, located in the shopping center at the northeast corner of Ramon Road and Landau Boulevard. I went to the door, saw an “open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. sign,” pulled the handle … and the door was locked. For some unannounced and undisclosed reason, the restaurant was closed, no…
17 Nov 2017
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What: The Tillamook cheddar beer soup Where: Ein Brathaus, 117 La Plaza, Palm Springs How much: $5.95 for a bowl; $4.50 for a cup Contact: 760-300-3601; Why: It’ll warm you up and please your taste buds. On Ein Brathaus’ menu, next to the listing for the Tillamook cheddar beer soup, it says—rather adorably—“seasonal item.” The calendar says it is late fall, with winter just around the corner. But we live in the Coachella Valley, and to nobody’s surprise, it was damn near 90 degrees outside as I enjoyed this “seasonal item” at Ein Brathaus. Yes, a warm, hearty soup…
13 Nov 2017
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What: The Pesto Chicken Ranch Club at TKB Bakery Where: TKB Bakery and Deli, 44911 Golf Center Parkway, Indio How much: $10.99 Contact: 760-775-8330; Why: It’s delicious, pure and simple. TKB Bakery is one of the five best-rated restaurants in the United States. This is not hyperbole; it’s fact, according to the granddaddy website of crowd-sourced reviews, Yelp—and while Yelp reviews are about as trustworthy as Sean Hannity on Quaaludes, it says a lot that TKB has been one of Yelp’s Top 5-rated restaurants now for three years in a row. No other restaurant in the whole U.S. of…
18 Oct 2017
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What: El Cubano Where: Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, 706 S. Eugene Road, Palm Springs How much: $9.50 Contact: 760-832-9007; Why: It is a tasty creation all its own. As I ordered my El Cubano sandwich at gourmet vegan restaurant Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, the woman taking my order asked if it was my first time at the restaurant. “Yep!” I said. “Oh, you’re going to love it!” said the woman behind me. As I waited for my to-go order—all of the limited seating space was taken—we chatted a bit. I told her I was trying Chef Tanya’s Kitchen—the newest endeavor of…
11 Oct 2017
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What: The Sushi Boat Where: Hamachi Sushi, 31855 Date Palm Drive, No. 11, Cathedral City How much: $14.99 Contact: 760-832-6160; Why: It’s a great value—and it’s delicious. It was a Friday, around lunchtime. I was at Date Palm Drive and Ramon Road in Cathedral City to check the Independent’s mailbox. That morning, I’d sent the October issue to press, and after a long week of editing and ad-wrangling and pagination, I was tired and hungry. After getting my mail at the UPS Store, I wandered a few doors down to Hamachi Sushi. I’d never eaten there before, and fresh…
21 Sep 2017
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What: The tower of avocado and tuna tartare Where: Lulu California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; also at Acqua California Bistro, 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How much: $14.99; $9.99 at the bar (all-day happy hour) Contact: Lulu: 760-327-5858,; Acqua: 760-862-9800; Why: It is a delicious deal! Barbara and Jerry Keller have created an undeniably successful restaurant formula: Take a large space; make that space gorgeous (including great patio seating); offer a variety of consistent, decently priced food; also offer some great prix-fixe and happy hour deals; and be fantastic members of the community. It…
14 Sep 2017
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What: The lunch special Where: Joyce’s Sushi, 36101 Bob Hope Drive, No. E1, Rancho Mirage How much: $13.95 with three choices (as shown); $11.95 with two Contact: 760-202-8186; Why: It is tasty—and provides useful information. Whenever I visit a “normal” Japanese restaurant for the first time, I find it helpful to order a bento box. This allows me to sample a variety of the restaurant’s fare, while giving me information on the restaurant’s overall quality, and an idea of what I might want to order next time. This is not a perfect system. For example, on my recent, initial…
28 Aug 2017
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What: The fish and chips Where: Atlantic Fish and Chips, 73850 Highway 111, Suite B, Palm Desert How much: Mini (two pieces, as shown) is $7.99 Contact: 760-568-5066 Why: It’s a near-perfect version of the classic platter. Atlantic Fish and Chips has been around for many years; it was fast casual before fast casual was cool, in fact. However, I’d never managed to make it there myself—that is, until I found myself near the hole-in-the-wall restaurant at lunch time on a recent weekday. It was time for me to devour some fried food, and Atlantic indeed offers all sorts of…
10 Aug 2017
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What: The Tuna Hana bowl Where: Pokehana, 78742 Highway 111, Suite A, La Quinta How much: $11.95 Contact: 760-564-0004; Why: It’s a tasty (and trendy) treat. Another trendy food has come to the Coachella Valley—in a big way. A year or two ago, if a desert denizen was craving poke—a Hawaiian-style bowl or salad starring raw fish—said denizen was most likely out of luck. However, that’s not the case today, thanks to a handful of new poke places—including Pokehana, which opened its doors in La Quinta just before the start of the new year. I recently stopped by Pokehana…