Weekend Getaway: Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week
Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week takes place June 3-12, offering special prix fixe dinner menus at over 100 area eateries at prices ranging from $28 to $48 per person. In an effort to entice us to make the 2-hour drive (give or take) and to celebrate the event's 10th year, there are also a number of related deals on hotels and tourist attractions. These include Cabot's Pueblo Museum, the Palm Springs Air Museum, the vertigo-inducing yet breathtaking Aerial Tramway, a beer tasting at La Quinta Brewing Co., treatments at area spas, and a Jeep tour via Desert Adventures where you can explore the San Andreas fault line or do a drive-by of the gorgeous midcentury modern homes of the rich and famous. We were invited to Palm Springs this month to check out a few options, and here are our picks for delicious eats.
Hamachi Ceviche (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
SO.PA at L'Horizon Resort & Spa
SO.PA is located within the L'Horizon Hotel and Resort, offering a beautiful outdoor dining area and food from chef Chris Anderson, who spent several years working in Chicago but brings influences from growing up in the South to his fresh fare. The dishes here are made for Instagram, from the hamachi ceviche, the spring vegetables salad with fried cactus, and the tender short rib and pea puree. The prix fixe menu here is $48/person.
SO.PA is located at 1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs, (760) 323-1858.
You might not head out to the desert dreaming of schnitzel, but Austrian eatery Johannes offers a unique and tasty place to get delicious European fare. Their $48 menu will give you a chance to sample their pretzel & horseradish crusted pork chops, raw beet ravioli, and one of their delightful desserts, depending on which you choose. Although, we might suggest just swinging by for the Cheese Spaetzeln. It's not on their restaurant week menu, but it is some fine comfort food.
Johannes is located at 196 S. Indian Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs, (760) 778-0017
The view from the gondola (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
J.W. Marriott Desert Springs is really something else. Guests can opt for a gondola ride—complete with a glass of champagne—from the lavish lobby to the restaurant. We'd advise doing this at sunset, so you can watch the waning rays make silhouettes of the palm trees. Their Rockwood Grill is offering a $38 restaurant week menu. The full menu is coming soon, but what we know so far is that you may choose between green gazpacho and compressed watermelon salad for a refreshing first course, then between grilled swordfish or spaghetti with kale pesto, tomato and Pecorino Romano for your entree. Restaurant Week is also in effect at this resort's teppanyaki restaurant, Mikado.
J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is located at 74855 Country Club Dr. in Palm Desert, (760) 341-2211.
The Grove Artisan Kitchen at Miramonte Resort & Spa
The Miramonte is a gorgeous resort. If you don't get lost in the gardens, head to the Grove Artisan Kitchen for a three-course meal for $38. We like the sound of their surf 'n turf: prime-aged beef tenderloin and panko-crusted Pacific sea bass. However, we also wouldn't mind trying their strawberry margarita shortcake, grilled portobello mushrooms sandwich, or traditional bread pudding stuffed with dried fruits, baked cheddar cheese custard, and finished with dulce de leche gelato and tequila and rose water-infused caramel sauce.
The Grove Artisan Kitchen is located at 45000 Indian Wells Ln in Indian Wells, 760- 341-7200
PS Underground's Velvet
For a more mysterious deal, make a reservation at Velvet. We don't know where Velvet is as it's a secret supper club created by PS Underground. Typically a member-exclusive situation, they're opening up to anyone who buys a ticket during Restaurant Week. They've planned an "all-encompassing environment designed to heighten the senses" involving dinner, cabaret and "culinary theater." We can't tell you what the menu is—that's also a secret—but anyone with dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice. $48.
Koutouki (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
Koutouki Greek Estiatorio
This casual Greek restaurant is a perfect, plant-filled place to stop for lunch. We like their halloumi—grilled Cypriot cheese with cucumber and tomatoes—as well as the horiatiki salad for a lighter option. We'd also suggest their vegetarian moussaka made with layered eggplant and zucchini, and the bougatsa—cream of wheat, phyllo pastry, icing sugar and cinnamon—or the baklava for dessert. Full $28 menu here.
Koutouki is located at 73675 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, (760) 834-8221
Tuna tacos (Photo via Facebook)
Copley's on Palm Canyon
Copley's is a fun place, both inside and out. Those who choose to dine inside will enjoy knowing that this was once the guesthouse at actor Cary Grant's old place. Outside, however, is a bucolic garden where misters keep you cool from the hot desert air. Their menu includes Hawaiian ahi tacos, prosciutto-wrapped duck breast, Scottish salmon, and a dessert sampler. $38.
Copley's is located at 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, (760) 327-9555
Wally's Desert Turtle
The one's a classic. Wally's opened in 1978 at the hands of Wally Botello and has played host to a number of celebrities and politicians. Chef Richard Pelz helms the restaurant's contemporary Californian kitchen. Their $38 menu includes Honolulu tuna tartare, braised pork belly, Scottish salmon and a filet of beef in gold potato puree. Of course, you might be most interested in the dessert menu. Options include a dark chocolate lava cake with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and a rosemary poached pear tarte, among other delectable options.
Wally's Desert Turtle is located at 71775 Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, (760) 568-9321.
The Pineapple Tequila Sour (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
Mr. Lyons Steakhouse
Mr. Lyons is an ideal date-night spot, as its sultry interior evokes vintage charm. It's a classic steakhouse, offering French onion soup, filet mignon, prime rib, salmon and rich desserts on their $38/person menu. Of course, we'd also suggest stopping by Seymour's, their newly opened and very svelte speakeasy. Our favorite cocktail is the tequila-based Pineapple Sour made with reposado tequila, lemon, pineapple syrup and egg white. If you're a whiskey drinker, we'd suggest the Kikori Crusta, made with Japanese rice whiskey. Outside, you may enjoy the views on their patio or play some bocce ball.
Mr. Lyons is located at 233 E. Palm Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs, (760) 321-1551.
Cork & Fork
Cork & Fork specializes in small plates and has a number of unique and quirky items for Restaurant Week, as well as a vast wine selection. Cork & Fork's $28 menu includes shrimp cakes, filet mignon tacos, mushroom lasagna, diver scallops and a speciality pizza topped with braised short rib, caramelized onions and arugula. We also like the sound of their bread pudding, made with bananas, white chocolate, whiskey caramel, 99 Bananas schnapps and King's Hawaiian rolls! This one seems like one of the best bangs for your buck out of the bunch.
Cork & Fork is located at 47875 Caleo Bay Suite A106 in La Quinta, (760) 777-7555.
Melvyn's Restaurant is a classic steakhouse vibe inside of the historic Ingleside Inn. You won't find any steak on their restaurant week menu, however. They offer yellowtail, veal scallopine, chicken and pork osso-bucco, rich appetizers and decadent deserts such as the Kahlua flan. Given the inn's private grounds, celebrities have long been coming here to relax and take a portrait with owner Mel Haber.
Melvyn's Restaurant is located at 200 W. Ramon Rd. in Palm Springs, (760) 325-2323.