Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

The Indy Endorsement

18 Jul 2017
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What: The Super Cheesy Nachos Where: Blackbook, 315 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs How much: $10; $14 with carne asada (as shown) or marinated chicken Contact: 760-832-8497; Why: This is an elevated version of a bar-food classic. Blackbook has only been open for a couple of months in the old Café Palette space, but its take on elevated bar food has already developed quite a following. Salads, tacos, burgers, fries and even a jacked-up hot dog are all on Blackbook’s menu—but I’d been hearing quite a lot about two of Blackbook’s offerings: the fried chicken sandwich ($12; you pick…
11 Jul 2017
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What: The jamón Iberico Where: Counter Reformation, inside the Parker Palm Springs, 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $14 Contact: 760-770-5000; Why: It’s a treat in every sense of the word. I was fortunate enough to spend several days in Barcelona at the end of a cruise a while back—and during those several days, I enjoyed some of the best food I’ve ever had. I was reminded of those glorious meals one recent late afternoon when I met friend and colleague Kevin at Counter Reformation, a hidden gem of a wine bar tucked inside the Parker…
21 Jun 2017
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What: The Don Veto sandwich Where: Larry’s Gourmet Market, 2781 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $7.99 (8 inches); $12.99 (12 inches). Contact: 760-832-7188; Why: It’s a damn good sandwich. From North Palm Canyon Drive, Larry’s Gourmet Market does not look like much. I’ve zoomed by the reddish brick-walled building many times and have never really given it a first thought, let alone a second one. However, I once overheard someone raving about the sandwiches there. Then a friend sang those sandwiches’ praises to me. Thus, I decided it was time to check out Larry’s for myself.…
15 Jun 2017
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What: The kimchi jji-gae Where: Umami Seoul, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, No. A-105, Cathedral City How much: $14.99 Contact: 760-202-0144; Why: The variety of flavors and textures. I’ve had many good meals at 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, No. A-105, in Cathedral City. For years, that was the home of Thai Kitchen 1, my favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant. I was heartbroken last summer when I tried to call in an order of food to go—and got the “this number has been disconnected” recording. However, the fact that Umami Seoul is now occupying the space is making me feel…
25 May 2017
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What: The build-your-own pizza Where: Blaze Pizza, 201 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; also at 73393 Highway 111, Palm Desert How much: $7.95 Contact: 760-318-2529 (Palm Springs); 760-895-4259 (Palm Desert); Why: It’s delicious, and it’s a great deal. In the almost five years that the Independent has been around, we’ve written 116 Indy Endorsements. Only a half-dozen or so have been written about chain joints—and most of those were about smaller, California-based chains. In other words, the Indy Endorsement is a feature that almost exclusively touts locally owned restaurants. Therefore, it really means something that we’re endorsing the…
18 May 2017
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What: The turkey BLT folded waffle sandwich Where: Si Bon Belgian Bistro, 40101 Monterey Ave., Rancho Mirage How much: $13 Contact: 760-837-0011; Why: It’s a clever take on a classic sandwich. I had just finished a less-than-pleasant medical appointment in Rancho Mirage. It was lunch time; I was hungry; and I wanted to treat myself. Hmm … where should I go? When I realized I was more or less across the street from Si Bon, I smiled. Si Bon is one of those places I’d heard great things about and had wanted to try for years—but for some reason,…
08 May 2017
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What: The chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake Where: Capizzi’s Cheesecakes, 68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City How much: $4.50 per slice; $25-$35 for a whole cake Contact: 760-408-8788; Why: It’s a decadent and reasonably priced dessert My sweet tooth was barking at me one recent afternoon as I drove down Highway 111. I wanted dessert—something nuanced and delicious. I was in the “downtown Cathedral City” area, and I remembered some raves I’d heard about Capizzi’s Cheesecakes. I pulled off Highway 111, parked near Trilussa Ristorante, and began looking for Capizzi’s. It’s tucked into one of the spaces that has seen…
17 Apr 2017
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What: The shredded pork with garlic sauce Where: Cie Sichuan Cuisine, 45682 Towne St., Indio How much: $8.50 as a lunch special; $9.50 as an entrée Contact: 760-342-9888; Why: It was worth the wait. I’ve been hearing raves about Cie Sichuan Cuisine for months now. Some friends have even gone so far as to say that Cie serves some of the best—if not the best—Chinese cuisine in the Coachella Valley. Seeing as I love good Chinese food, and am generally unimpressed with the Chinese restaurants ’round these parts, I looked forward to dining at Cie Sichuan. One problem: Cie…
16 Mar 2017
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What: The Philadelphia-style cheesesteak Where: Apong’s Philly Steak, 68444 Perez Road, Cathedral City How much: $8.49 Contact: 760-770-0229; Why: It’s delicious simplicity. I walked up to the counter at Apong’s Philly Steak, and I was greeted by a smiling employee. I told him I wanted a cheese steak, and asked what specifically he recommended. Hoagie-style, perhaps, with lettuce, tomato and “special sauce”? With bacon, maybe, or jalapenos, or multiple kinds of cheese? “Just Philadelphia style,” he said—meaning just meat, cheese and grilled onions on the bread. Nothing more, nothing less. He made the right call: My cheese steak was…
09 Mar 2017
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What: The ahi nachos Where: Moxie Palm Springs, 262 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $15 Contact: 760-318-9900; Why: It’s a big plate of yumminess. It was Saturday, and we’d had a late and rather massive lunch. When dinnertime came around, we weren’t all that hungry; we wanted drinks and small bites. What better time to try out Moxie Palm Springs, on the second story above the Broken Yolk Café, overlooking downtown Palm Springs? I’d been hearing raves about the great cocktails, the fun vibe and the—as the Moxie website calls it—“creative cuisine served social style in…