Banducci's, which closed recently, was my favorite restaurant when I was three years old...I always got the spumoni.
El Gallito, in rapidly gentrifying Cathedral City, is a refuge from gaudy Palm Springs.
Sorry for the long absence...Eating L.A. needed a little vacation. Unfortunately, while I love everything else about Palm Springs, the desert's restaurants are not its strong suit. Although there are a lot more restaurants there than when I lived there back in the dark ages, they're nearly all super-expensive steakhouses or super-expensive "Continental" places with wierd names like Wally's Desert Turtle or Blame it on the Moon. So we paid a pilgrimage to a place I used to go when I lived there, El Gallito in Cathedral City, where we had perfectly serviceable tostadas and chimichangas, at probably a quarter of what you'd pay at Las Casuelas. We also had hearty breakfasts at another old-time haunt, Bit of Country (where else can you get hash and eggs or chicken-fried steak and eggs?). The rest of the time I grazed off on hors d'oeuvres at various film festival functions. Next time, I'd love to eat at Mr. Parker's at the amazing Parker Palm Springs Hotel, a witty twist on the ubiquitous steakhouse that combines dark paneling and leather booths with hideous thrift-shop nude paintings. If you go to Palm Springs, don't miss the Parker, and try El Mirasol for updated, non-ripoff Mexican fare with a pleasant patio and robust margaritas and camarones al diablo.