shrimp diablo -- muy caliente!
Eating L.A. has been in Palm Springs the last few days, hanging out at the Palm Springs Film Festival and as usual, trying to find something edible in the vast culinary wasteland of the desert. Even though dozens of new restaurants have opened there in the last few years, I think Variety editor Peter Bart's recommendation of a martini and some good bar snacks at the Falls is probably the safest way to go. Our first night we took the kids to El Mirasol, a nice Mexican place on East Palm Canyon that has been my fallback for the last few years. Their margaritas are large and potent, and I always order the shrimp diablo which comes with a stern warning: "this is really hot, we can't make it less spicy." I'm sure the fiery sauce overrides the subtle flavor of the shrimp, but I don't care, I can't stop eating that sauce spooned onto tortillas and mixed up with the rice and beans. The next day we finally tried Tyler's Burgers in downtown Palm Springs, which everyone says makes a great burger. Well, they make a good burger, a large burger, but great might be stretching it, since I needed to salt it repeatedly while eating it. The fries are pretty good though, they have fresh lemonade, and Matt was happy with his chili cheese dog. The quality ingredients don't come cheap though, especially when phantom $10 charges appear on the bill, so check your check carefully.
I also tried breakfast at eat. at my hotel, the Zoso, which is the Palm Springs outpost of the Hollywood Eat owned by the Patina Group. Our granola and omelette were fine, but the concept of frequent coffee refills, a no-brainer at any common diner, seemed to elude the rather spacey waitstaff at this more-trendy place. The rest of the time I ate at various film fest parties, but really, two or three restaurants in the desert is all a person can really take. A Chowhound recommended Simba's Soul Food, which is located in a rather dimly foreboding former Denny's type building -- I didn't get to try it out, but I guess it could be promising for next time.
In case there aren't enough "Berry" yogurt shops in L.A., you can try Cactus Berry, naturally, in Palm Springs. But instead, I highly recommend Lappert's Ice Cream on Palm Canyon Dr., one of the few Californian outlets of this excellent Hawaiian ice cream shops.