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The Indy Endorsement

16 Aug 2016
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What: The Queso Bonita Tacos Where: La Bonita’s, 330 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $12.99 Contact: 760-318-8883; www.labonitas.com Why: Crispy cheese is an amazing thing. Ah, the taco. It’s the perfect food—delicious, potentially nutritious, easy to make and effortless to eat. Plus, it singlehandedly elevated the status of Tuesday, formerly the most boring day of the week. It’s not easy to improve on supposed perfection—yet that’s exactly what the good folks at downtown Palm Springs Mexican joint La Bonita’s have done to the taco. The queso Bonita tacos have all of the good stuff one would expect…
11 Aug 2016
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What: The Croque Madam Where: Bouchée Café and Deli, 72785 Highway 111, Palm Desert How much: $12 Info: 442-666-3296; www.boucheecafeanddeli.com (menu out of date) Why: The cheese ties everything together. Breakfast is my favorite meal … when it’s done well, that is. When it’s not done well, breakfast can be boring—or even off-putting. We’ve all ordered a basic “American breakfast” at a restaurant before, and instantly regretted it when we received a piece of dry ham, greasy and uninspired potatoes, and underseasoned eggs. But when it is done well … wow. The breakfast I recently enjoyed at Bouchée Café and…
04 Aug 2016
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What: The Bi Bim Bap Where: JOY Asian Cuisine at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio How much: $17 Contact: 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com/prod/dining/dining.php#joy Why: So many flavors and sensations! Once upon a time, casino food was looked down upon. I grew up in Reno, Nev., home of the Club Cal Neva, which for years advertised a 99-cent ham-and-eggs meal on billboards far and wide. And, yes, you get what you pay for. Of course, things have changed since those days, when casinos were pretty much limited to Nevada and Atlantic City. Today, casinos can be found most anywhere—and…
14 Jul 2016
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What: The Wok-Fried Noodles With Chicken Where: Watercress Vietnamese Bistro, 415 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $11 as a lunch special; $14 as a dinner entrée Contact: 760-832-9927; watercressvietnamesebistro.com (site currently only mentions Redlands location) Why: It’s fresh and tasty. Regular readers of these Indy Endorsements know that I am not all that impressed with the Asian food on offer here in the Coachella Valley. Yes, there are some great Thai restaurants. But as for good Chinese food … it’s veeeery hard to find here in the desert. A couple of years ago, the same thing could…
06 Jul 2016
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What: The No Name 2, as Part of All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Where: No Da Te, 73655 El Paseo, Palm Desert How much: $35 during our visit; $9 for just the roll Contact: 760-340-3698 Why: Sometimes it’s good to splurge … responsibly. On a recent visit to San Francisco, we decided to try an adorable little Japantown sushi restaurant. Its shtick: All of the customers sat around a little moat that had miniature boats with sushi on them constantly floating by. You could grab whatever you wanted; you knew the cost based on the type and color of the dish. It was…
20 Jun 2016
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What: The Happy Hour Mussels/Clams Steamer Combo in White Wine Broth Where: Trilussa Ristorante, 68718 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City How much: $10 Contact: 760-328-2300; trilussarestaurant.com Why: It’s all about the broth. When I ordered from the bartender while sitting at the bar at Trilussa, I said: “I’d like the mussels and clams combo steamers in the white-wine broth, please.” However, if I were being completely honest and accurate, I would have said: “I’d like the white-wine broth, and a whole bunch of bread so I can sop it all up, please. You can bring mussels and clams, too,…
07 Jun 2016
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What: The Chile Relleno de Camaron Where: Felipe’s Fine Mexican Food, 400 S. El Cielo Road, Palm Springs How much: $13.50 Contact: 760-318-9277 Why: It’s creamy, spicy deliciousness. I do not care for Yelp. The quality of reviews is suspect, and many businesses accuse the website of what amounts to extortion: Yelp’s advertisers get preferential treatment when it comes to highlighting good reviews, and burying the bad ones, according to several lawsuits (which Yelp has disputed). Blech. Still, Yelp has its useful qualities. I disregard the negative reviews (you never know what motives the reviewers have) but use the positive…
20 May 2016
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What: The biscuits and gravy Where: Sunshine Café, 36815 Cathedral Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $6.35; $3.85 half-order (pictured) Contact: 760-328-1415; www.sunshinecafe.com Why: OMG it’s yummy! The website brags: “Sunshine Cafè is frequented by celebrities, politicians, word-of-mouth visitors from around the world and mostly our wonderful locals.” If one is uninitiated, that boasting may seem a little, well, crazy when you drive up to this slightly weather-beaten dinner that sits across the street from a dive gay bar on the industrial outskirts of what city leaders euphemistically call “downtown Cathedral City.” But once you walk in and experience the…
18 May 2016
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What: The Grape Nut Ice Cream Where: Ice Cream and Shop(pe), 1551 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A How much: $3.50 single scoop (pictured); $5.50 double Contact: 760-507-4005; www.icecreamandshop.com Why: Both the flavor and the texture are delightfully unique. On the Palm Canyon Drive side of Arrive, THE new hip place to see and be seen in Palm Springs, is an ice cream shop, appropriately named (if oddly punctuated) Ice Cream and Shop(pe). However, this is no ordinary ice cream shop(pe). Here, you’ll pay a little more for your ice cream—but in exchange, you’ll get scooped-up goodness in a rotation…
19 Apr 2016
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What: Black Pepper Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegar Where: Dead or Alive, 150 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $4 Contact: 760-864-7193; www.deadoralivebar.com Why: It’s an equally attractive nonalcoholic beverage. Back when I was in college, the university had a policy: Any group that threw a party on campus that included alcohol also had to offer EANABs—equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages—for attendees who were eschewing booze, for whatever reason. However, this policy was a joke: The EANABs at parties were almost always terrible—a couple cans of Diet Coke, perhaps, or maybe a half-flat two-liter bottle of Sprite off in…

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