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What's new (or tried and true) in Palm Springs?

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We're off for our annual trip to PS. In previous years we have enjoyed Johannes a great deal for our splurge dinner. Is it still awesome? We've never tried Le Vallauris but I've heard good things.

For casual evenings we've enjoyed Matchbox either solo or with the young, but ever so well-behaved, kids. For their treat we take them to the Kobe steakhouse. Goofy, I know, but a good holiday event. Maybe this year we'll give it a miss and take them Las Casualas? Does it matter which location?

Tyler's is fun for all for lunch. Any other place we're missing out on? We're staying with the grandparents, so most meals are eaten at home. We seem to do most of our shopping at Trader Joe's as we don't have them here, but are we missing out on any fruit/vegetable markets or bakeries or anything?

Any thoughts on: lunch/dinner, kids/no kids, PS or nearby, for any food shops/markets? Thanks!

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  1. I think the Zin restaurant is a good place for French bistro style food and you could also take your kids with you.
    I know that quite a few people on this board like Johannes but we found it to be OK but nothing special especially for that price. It is well executed but nothing overly creative. We liked Blend in La Quinta for an great dinner with a very innovative tasting menu but sadly it closed last year and we are still looking for a good replacement in PS.

    1. The Riviera just reopened after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. The new restaurant there is Circa 59

      Also new is Dinks on the north side of Palm Springs.

      1. Try the Saturday morning farmers market at the Camelot Theater. There are wonderful locally grown fruits and veggies. The Camelot shows small films and has great food. Las Casuelas is fun but El Mirasol has better food and the grandparents might site a celebrity. Since there are at least 6 of you call ahead. Le Vallaris is wonderful check out website. Check out the website for Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn for a taste of Old PS. Cocktails at the Riviera Hotel but skip the food. Thursday night streetfare on Palm Canyon games and food for the kids.

        1. Palm Springs Life's 13 Best New Restaurants in PSP

          Besides Circa 69 and Dink's they recommend the Tropicale (among others)

          1. Thanks for all the great replie, really. I'm definitely off to the market at the Camelot. I think it might be time for Zin and at lest a drink at Circa 59. Then we can decide whether to go back or dinner or whether to try Tropicale or our old fave, Johannes. Lots to think about. We'll look up El Mirasol too. Hmmm, perhaps we will have extend our trip? Awesome recommendations, keep them coming. I will report back!

            1. Thanks for the great suggestions, here's a quick update on what ended up working for us.

              Yes, the kids got their trip to Tyler's with sliders and great fries. I had the best veggie burger ever, but perhaps that's more a function of the huge amount of fried onions on it. Yum. There was also a trip to Kobe, what can I say? Feeding the fish was a highlight... They also had a good pepperoni pizza at Matchbox. Parents' steaks and salads were fine too and everyone enjoyed the holiday feel of the little square and fountain outside.

              We had a very fun trip to the market at the Camelot. It was fun for all to see what was in season, and there were plenty of opportunities to taste unfamiliar things: 5 or 6 different kinds of dates and some other unusual (to us) fruits. We bought some fabulous bread (levain) and chocolate croissants, as well as ripe (!) tomatoes and avocados. Great recommendation.

              As for the adults, we decided Circa 59 looked a little pricey for dinner, so as recommended, we went for a pre-dinner drink. What a fabulous place to wander around and oooh and ahhh. Decor, furnishings, garden, pool: everything totally beautiful and over the top. Unfortunately the place was depressingly empty, not sure if this was due to the economy or our untrendy timing of 6:30 on a Tuesday. We sat at the bar in the front as there was at least some sign of life there (ie one group of 3) and I couldn't get enough of the glowing orange walls. Circa 59 was totally empty. A few people sat around firepits by the pool. As kind of a funny contrast, we had dinner at Zin after which has totally bare bones decor (is it in the midsy of renos, or is it always like that?) but was hopping busy. The food was as promised. SO had a huge plate of fried chicken with cream gravy and creamed spinach and mash. It was so good and soooo bad. I had sweet and sour meatballs which were almost as delicious as the fries they came with (with mayo dipping sauces - heaven). The wedge of lettuce started was just that, and made me smile - SOs oysters Rockefeller ditto. Dessert was unmemorable. The service was source of aggravation (they swiped our wine menu before we we'd even had a chance to look at it to give to a larger table, so we ended up having to wait til they ordered to get it back so that we could order) but it almost seemed part of the slightly hectic experience.

              We decided to skip Johannes as we heard it had changed hands and generally blah reviews here and elsewhere. And skipped Le Vallauris due to general cashflow, but we did have drinks on a Saturday night at the Parker Hotel which made for some fun people watching after a short wander through their nicely lit gardens. It was pretty lively with a combination of hotel guests, first dates, and a wedding.

              We'll hopefully be back next year to try some more.