New restaurants to try in Greater Palm Springs

where to eat palm springs

Pink Cabana at Sands Hotel, Indian Wells

Palm Springs’ restaurant scene has always been great. It’s got everything from fast food to healthful options plus great fine dining too. In the last couple of years many new restaurants have opened, and here at Palm Springs Traveller, we’ve also found new places to taste, based on the recommendations of friends, family and fellow travellers.

Where should we eat in Palm Springs?

These are all restaurants we’ve tried and can recommend; we don’t post blogs about places we didn’t enjoy, since as mom always used to say, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!’

Musashi Sushi Bar, Palm Desert

where to eat palm springs, best sushiThis tiny space is a hidden gem! With some of the freshest fish that goes beyond the basics of salmon and tuna, plus a few creative rolls, Musashi is a great place to grab a bite.

We tried several different fishes than we were used to, including fresh Red Snapper with Yuzu pepper, and halibut sushi. Mackerel, Bluefin tuna, red tuna, and tender Octopus.

One highlight, based on the recommendation of my gourmand cousin, is the Cucumber roll. Made without seaweed wrappers and without rice, this roll features thin shavings of cucumber wrapped around tuna or salmon. You can choose your fish, but the Kindly sushi chef made us a half and half when we couldn’t decide!

Fast friendly service plus a great sake and wine list make this place a great choice for Wednesday night or a special occasion.

Shabu Shabu Zen, Rancho Mirage

This popular Japanese hot pot joint is a local favourite. Grab a table or sit at the bar. It was our first time there and the waitress took her time and filled us in on the different offerings and how each is served and prepared. We opted to have a pot each of The Shabu Shabu Miso broth with thin-sliced beef and Sukiyaki broth with thin sliced pork. Each also comes with an array of fresh raw vegetables.

Hot broth is brought to your table and set on a hot plate. Our server told us Shabu Shabu means ‘swish swish’ and that’s what you do with the vegetables, in the hot broth. Everything cooks quickly because it’s paper thin.

The broth is very tasty and so are the meats and veggies. We left full but not over-full, and feeling happy and healthy with our choices. We’ll definitely be back.

Rooster and Pig, Palm Springs

This restaurant could be called Vietnamese fusion, but that would be oversimplifying what goes on here. Rooster and Pig is doing amazing things with simple, fresh ingredients and family recipes and Vietnamese influences.

On the advice of our server, and the restaurant’s chef and owner, we started with the braised pork special which was tender and flavourful.
Next up was an outstanding jasmine tea leaves salad which had so many levels of fresh flavour it was mind blowing. The restaurant’s signature crispy spring rolls were next and while they were very good, they weren’t our favourite. They have what looks like ribbons of angelhair vermicelli noodles rolled around the outside, giving the impression of curly squiggly batons. The second standout dish for us was the curried chicken with rice ball, which arrived with a huge crispy rice ball floating in the middle which we were told to break open and stire into the curry. It was crispy, creamy, meaty and oh-so-tasty. We rounded out the meal with crispy Brussels sprouts with Chinese garlic sausage tossed in.

Our companion (who is a chef) was so impressed with the meal he ended up hugging the owner and lavishing him with compliments.

Pink Cabana, Indian Wells

palm springs indian wells where to eat, pink cabanaThis riotous restaurant (in decor, not necessarily volume!) is a feast for the eyes and your stomach.

The gorgeous tropical themed room is fun to be in, and refreshingly, it also hints at the quality of the food too.

From fresh oysters, to a variety of small plates and Moroccan-inspired mains like crispy-skinned Harissa Chicken and succulent and tender Lamb Tagine, the food is tasty and skillfully prepared.

Another day, at lunch I tried the Ahi Tuna sashimi salad with hearts of palm and avocado and it was one of the best salads I’ve had in ages; fresh and crisp and with just the right amount of perfect, light dressing. The Aperol Spritz was a showpiece too!

The restaurant is usually quite busy so a reservation is definitely recommended, though we have been able to sneak in later on in the evening for a drink and/or dessert (Caramel Pot du Creme is a standout).

AC 3 at Hotel Paseo, Palm Desert

Enjoy dinner or a drink at the beautiful, shiny new hotel and restaurant complex just off posh El Paseo in Palm Desert. The hotel is pretty, with a spacious lobby and cafe space, plus the restaurant. With a colourful, artsy theme the restaurant is fun to be in.

We’ve eaten there a couple of times and had good experiences. The food is both traditional and modern, with salmon being served with olives, asparagus shards and mushrooms in one instance and something called Forbidden Rice in another.

AC3’s short ribs were also tasty and a fellow diner couldn’t recommend the pork schnitzel enough. Cocktails are deep and interesting, if you choose one of their signature drinks.

A word to the wise; to enjoy the bar’s happy hour pricing (which is worth it!) you’ll need to be seated at the bar proper. A group of us chose a table in the bar but were denied HH pricing unless we relocated.

palm springs indian wells where to eat, kimpton, rowan, 4 saints

4Saints Rooftop Bar, Kimpton Rowan Hotel, Palm Springs

Want to get the best view in the Coachella Valley? Head to 4 Saints, the rooftop bar at the Kimpton Rowan Hotel in Palm Springs. The cocktails are poured with a heavy hand and well crafted and tasty. Watch the sun set while toasting the day.

The Barn Kitchen, Palm Springs

The restaurant at this tiny hotel does twice weekly ‘large table’ dinners; Wednesdays it’s chicken and on the weekends it’s beef. We attended the chicken feast and had a blast.

You’ll be sitting with strangers, so be ready to make friends! After getting a cocktail and heading to the fire pit to wait for other arrivals, we were called to the table, where the chef and staff were introduced to tell us a bit about the night’s repast.

palm springs indian wells where to eat, barn kitchen

All the courses are served family style on big platters, but not to worry, there’s plenty of food and often enough for a second helping.

We started with Citrus and Avocado Salad, then moved on to a delicious brined roasted lemon chicken with fluffy potato gnocchi and zucchini prepared in a few different ways. The bread pudding for dessert was sticky, chewy and decadent with just the right amount of spice.

I can’t recommend this experience enough.

Enjoy exploring these new and new-to-you restaurants in Palm Springs on your next visit!

Palm Springs Traveller Staff