Dining options in Joshua Tree, possibly PS
We are planning on spending a quick weekend in Joshua Tree en route to San Diego. The plan is to fly into PSP on Friday landing at 8pm. We're staying at the Mojave Sands on Friday and Saturday night and then will be driving to San Diego some time on Sunday.
Are we better off eating in Palm Springs when we land or driving to Joshua Tree and trying to catch light night dining there?
Are there any restaurants worth noting in Twentynine Palms or the JT area?
We've never been to the area, so I think a Date Shake is also in order.
We're still trying to decide which version of the scenic route we're taking from Joshua Tree to San Diego on Sunday. Are there any must eats along the way?
My recommendations are probably too late for your trip but may help someone else! The town of 29 Palms: Not many places to eat here; this is a military base/town way way out in the desert. (This is the northern entrance to Joshua Tree NP.) Last summer we were surprised to find a real gem of a restaurant in the middle of town called Palm Kabob House; run by a sweet family from Baghdad! Very good inexpensive food; plastic ambience. Stay with the traditional Middle Eastern dishes. We had falafel with tahini sauce, pita bread, hummus and pickled turnips; also shwarma (forget what kind of meat we had). Everything was fresh, homemade and good and the food was inexpensive. The service is warmhearted and friendly, typically Iraqi. About 20 miles down the highway is the town of Joshua Tree (and the west entrance to Joshua Tree NP); this town is tiny. We like Sam's Pizza in the middle of the town (the main street is the highway). Sam turns out to be from India and we tried the Indian snacks on the menu (we didn't try the American/pizza side of the menu). The food is reasonably priced but the service is slow and not particularly friendly. We took out some Indian snacks out to the car (samosas and pakoras) and they were very good; nice chutneys too! If I were to eat in the restaurant and order something like a korma or chicken tikka masala I would specify "spicy." I have a feeling these dishes might be spiced quite mildly for the tourists. Another possible place to eat in Joshua Tree is the Royal Siam Restaurant (also on the main highway) -- Thai food in the desert! We've been eating at this restaurant for 15 or 20 years but our last experience a year ago (the rock climbers' famous all-you-can-eat weekend buffet) was disappointing. Royal Siam has a different cook now and the dishes on the steam table didn't taste freshly made or individually spiced. However, there was a lot of food and the buffet is not expensive. Next time I'll order off the menu and see what the new cook does with individual dishes. By the way, in the old days if you ordered "spicy" at the Royal Siam you would be blown away! I love spicy food but I would be careful even with the new cook!