Favourite Places in Palm Springs California – Palm Desert Edition!

Have you ever traveled to a place that instantly felt like home?  A place where you feel like you could live and be comfortable from day one?  Palm Springs is that place for us.  We are travelers, visitors and locals and that’s how we know you’ll feel at home, relaxed and leave rejuvenated. While everyone refers to the area as “Palm Springs” there are numerous desert cities that make up the Coachella Valley. A lot of our favourite places are actually in Palm Desert.

Great restaurants to try in Palm Desert

Cuistot, 72595 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA

Cuistot is a place I go back to every time I visit the desert.  It’s one of my absolute favourite places for a cocktail, a light bite or an easygoing dinner, and (Pro Tip!) you can seriously save if you go during happy hour and sit in the bar.  The service at the très French Cuistot is impeccable, thanks to attentive servers in suits.  Drinks arrive fast, and then it’s time to choose your food.  All happy hour bar items are $9.50, a steal for the amazing quality and mouth-watering taste.  The portions are well sized, so when we go, we usually order three plates to share among two people.  More often than not the thoughtful kitchen staff will split them for you and bring out the two halves, already separated for sharing.

My top three picks here are the lamb sliders with arugula, feta and mint, the black truffle papardelle pasta with shaved truffles, parmesan beurre fondue with chives, and our third pick is often the award winning caesar salad with Grana Padano cheese.

Tommy Bahamas On El Paseo, 73595 El Paseo , Palm Desert

Technically I guess you could call this breezy tropical-themed  restaurant a chain, but with just over a dozen locations worldwide, it feels more like a unique local restaurant with fresh food made to order.  The appies are large and filling and sharing three between two people is an easy way to have a light bite. The service is excellent; we always sit at the bar and get to look out over the room, which is almost always packed. The menu always features something new and delicious, like short rib sliders, or tuna tacos, and a variety of fresh seafood dishes. The restaurant is attached to the clothing store of the same name, and after your meal you can wander down the stairs to shop.

Sushi at The Venue

The Venue Sushi  73-111 El Paseo #103, Palm Desert,

What do you get when you cross a sushi restaurant with a Turkish chef?  Some insanely inventive but traditionally delicious sushi. Chef Engin Onural took personal care of us the night we were there.  As we love to do, we sat at the bar, not initially realizing Chef Engin was tending to the preparation himself.  We got to chatting with him and told him it was our first time in his place.  He asked if we were feeling adventurous.  We said we were, so Chef began preparing unique dishes just for us, that weren’t on the menu.  Chef said he was working on some new dishes and wanted to try them out on real diners.  We sampled a tuna, cabbage and strawberry lettuce wrap that was light and fresh, as well as a delicious crispy tempura eggplant dish. We wove in some basic sashimi and rolls too and left very full and really pleased with the service, and the inventive food.  At The Venue ‘Omakase” means putting yourself in the chef’s hands, and we highly recommend that if you like to experiment and try things you might not ordinarily try.

Fun things to do in Palm Desert

Go Shooting!

We’ve gone shooting for fun at Second Amendment Sports up near HIghway 10.  It’s a fun and very American way to pass an hour or so.  There’s not a lot of paperwork or instruction or safety briefings required, unlike in Canada, so it’s a great way to get introduced to the shooting arts, or just to fit in a practise session.

Visit the Palm Desert Historical Society

Want to learn a bit more about the area? Palm Desert Historical Society has a small but interesting museum on El Paseo. You can see the exhibits in under an hour, but you’ll learn about architecture, desert development and more. Housed in Palm Desert’s first fire station (1949), you can also marvel over a 1973 fire engine, pictorial displays and historical videos. Free admission, call 760-346-6588 for current operating hours.

Palm Desert sculpture garden 2

Melissa Morgan Sculpture garden

Melissa Morgan Sculpture Garden, 73-785 El Paseo, Palm Desert

This huge outdoor art gallery features large scale sculprures and cool works of art. This charmingly eclectic ourdoor art display is adjacent to the “Shops at El Paseo” shopping district. If you like one of these massive works you can buy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin L