Monday, January 09, 2006

Palm Springs weekend

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.

6 comments:

Jessica said...

Thanks for the tips. I'm headed back to the Parker Palm Springs with my family this weekend (I fell in love with the place in Sept. and have been itching to go back ever since). So will again stick around the hotel for not cheap but at least pretty good meals at Norma's etc. rather than risk overpriced and undergood food elsewhere. Except for that burger joint downtown people love.

Pat Saperstein said...

Lucky you, staying at the Parker! I kept meaning to try Tyler's Burgers but never felt like a burger. Do try El Mirasol, though, if you have time.

Passionate Eater said...

Welcome back! Hope you had a restful vacation for the holidays!

minktea said...

Although I appreciate your passion, historical perspective and insight into Palm Springs, I must disagree with your comments about eating there. I am a serious "foodie" from San Francisco via LA (11 years) to now having had a home in Palm Springs since 2001, and we LOVE food in the desert - more so than LA, even. Have you had the curry (anything) at St. James, the lobster benedict and kung pao calamari at Spencer's, the foie gras on steak at the Chop House...the tortilla soup at the oldest Mexican eaterie downtown...and on and on it goes. I do agree with you that the Parker is stunning (albiet its bad service at Norma's and snooty, irritated bar staff on weekends) the interior alone is well worth a visit!

Denise said...

There are tons of great places to dine in the PS area !! I am also a food snobb. Have you tried Copley's, Jillian's, Spencer's, Basil---just to name a few & yes--you have to get a slider @ Tyler's, the fries (1/2 order is plenty) & the coleslaw. Its worth the wait !!

Anonymous said...

You Quack! There is sooo much more to Palm Springs than the "fist" full of eatz you have mentioned in this awful article. Parker "Norma's" HAHAHAHA! If its diner food you are looking for why would you go to Wally's? I mean really. Perhaps someone did not get their meal comped? Bitter old queen...