Anything new and interesting around Palm Springs?
I'll be down for the film festival in January, part of the time with teenagers. Particularly interested in less-expensive places. My usual breakfast place is Bit 'O Country, but last time got queasy from their potatoes so would welcome other breakfast suggestions. Also interested in fun lounges, tapas places, etc. to go to with film fest folks.
I work in the film business and have a weekend house in Palm Springs. I can give you a couple of really fun things to do with your film festival friends as well as some for you and your kids.
Go after dinner to the bar at Le Vallauris. It is an old school french restaurant right near South Palm Canyon. They have an incredible piano player there called Gil Quesada who used to play at Frank Sinatra's house. Just make sure that he is playing before you go. Hang out in the bar and request songs, it is hard to stump him, and he has a wonderful style that is not your typical schmaltzy lounge stuff.
Have a chic breakfast at the Parker Hotel at their restaurant Norma's. It is a branch of their N.Y. restaurant. The breakfasts are fantastic and range from eggs benedict to crepes and potato pancakes. Skip eating at their other restaurant Mr. Parkers, which only serves dinner. It is fantastically funky inside, but the food is overrated and overpriced, instead go at night to the lobby of the Parker, order drinks at the lobby bar and hang out by the fire pit in the eclectic lounge designed by Jonathan Adler.
Take film friends for an elegant breakfast to Spencer's at the famous old Palm Springs tennis club. It is located on the slopes of the mountain and is a wonderful quiet place to have breakfast or lunch without blowing the bank. Dinner is expensive.
Take the kids to Sherman's Deli on Tahquitz a couple of blocks from Palm Canyon. Their portions are huge. The pastrami sandwiches are amazing as well as the sweet and sour cabbage soup. The matzo ball is probably the biggest you've ever seen. I think that the food is much tastier here than at the newer Manhattan Deli. I've been to both dozens of times.
Have you taken the kids to Tyler's Burgers at 149 S Indian Canyon? It is a burger stand that serves up fantastic burgers and fries.
And, last but certainly not least, Simba's Rib House at 190 N Sunrise Way. Simba used to sing back-up for Ray Charles years ago before becoming a nurse. She has a fantastic soul food buffet that I highly recommend taking your kids to. It would also be fun to take your friends as well. The food is great and surprisingly not greasy. The collard greens are steamed and Simba herself told me that she uses no lard in her cooking. The fried chicken and ribs are what she is known for. On Friday and Saturday nights she has a singer and organ player that play Burt Bacharach-style tunes. It is a trip, with a spinning disco ball included. Be prepared, you will probably have a microphone shoved in your face at least once during the night to sing the chorus. A large group of us went there for Thanksgiving and had such a great time that we're contemplating going there again next year.
If you have a chance it is well worth a visit to The Living Desert in Palm Desert. www.livingdesert.org It is a large natural zoo and botanical garden that shows desert animals and plants in their natural surroundings. I've taken many kids there and they all want to come back again and again.
Don't miss MANHATTAN IN THE DESERT on HWY 111 just south of downtown PS. Great Deli Food $$. Good for Breakfast, L, and Dinner. Thai Smile $$ in PS, Rancho Mirage, and La Quinta is excellent. Babe's $$ at the River has 1/2 price appetizers until 6pm and you can sit outside the bar with kids. Try their homemade goat cheese tamale. Fusion 101 $$$ on Hwy 111 in Palm Desert along with Armando's $$ Mexican on El Paseo are 2 local favorites where you can take the teenagers. Enjoy.