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Sat12142019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Now Open at Palm Springs’ Kaptur Plaza: V Wine Lounge

Before we get to all the sad news … let’s celebrate a little bit of good news with a glass of wine!

V Wine Lounge has finally opened its doors in Kaptur Plaza, at 600 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, in downtown Palm Springs.

Mikey Consbruck, the owner of V Wine Room in West Hollywood, and James Mortensen are the masterminds behind V Wine Lounge. On offer are 80 wines by the glass from California and the old world; a nice variety of craft beers; and even cheese plates, if you’re feeling a bit peckish.

Even though Independent World Headquarters is located just a short jaunt from V Wine Lounge, we haven’t yet had a chance to stop in for a drink or three. We’ll do so soon—so watch this space.

For more information, call 760-668-9665, or visit www.vwinelounge.com.


Three Much-Loved Local Restaurants Shut Their Doors

And now for the sad news: Three well-liked local restaurants in recent weeks have announced that they’re shutting down:

Justin Eat & Drink, which had become a favorite of foodies at 68784 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Cathedral City, announced via social media on Sept. 18 that it would not be reopening for the season. The soon-to-start construction on the Agua Caliente casino in Cathedral City was cited as the reason. “Keep your eyes open and stay tuned. You never know where you might see us next!” said the Facebook post.

Maria José Peruvian Restaurant, located in The Atrium at 69930 Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage, will also not reopen after a summer vacation. In an upbeat message posted on Facebook on Sept. 14, the owner said the time had come for her to “pursue other endeavors and devote more time to myself.” However, it’s no secret that the space Maria José occupied inside the sleepy Atrium mall was a tough sell—made even tougher since CVRep moved out of the mall earlier this year.

Frankinbun, which had delighted fans of all things sausage for five years at 540 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, announced on Facebook on Aug. 23: “So landlord decided not to renew our lease. ... The good news is we will be moving to the virtual world launching in 2020. All our vegan sausages and chutneys will be available. Stay tuned and thanks for all your support and love!” Watch www.frankinbun.com for updates.


In Brief

More sad news to report: The Coachella Valley restaurant world has lost two icons in recent weeks. Johnny Costagliola, the founder of legendary Palm Springs Italian restaurant Johnny Costa’s Ristorante, passed away on Sept. 4. He was 87 years old. His namesake restaurant remains open in the capable hands of his family. … Bill Tracy, the owner of the two Bill’s Pizza locations, passed away in early September. He fell off the roof of the Palm Desert restaurant in July, and then faced a series of complications. He was 69 years old. … Now open in Cathedral City: Bake’d Cakes and Pan Dulce, at 27800 Landau Blvd., No. 102. The bakery’s croissants, desserts and other goods are already earning raves on social media; call 760-656-0176, or visit www.facebook.com/Baked27800 to learn more. … Now open in Rancho Mirage: K-Tofu House, at 72817 Dinah Shore Drive, in the space that was briefly Sushi Arigato. If you’re not a fan of bean curd, don’t worry: K-Tofu House offers all sorts of Korean favorites with meat and veggies—bulgogi, bibimbap and a whole lot more. Call 760-656-8886 for more details. … Our friends at the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the city of Indio, are again showing off the eats from great east valley restaurants at the Taste of Indio event. It’ll take place from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, at Jackalope Ranch, 80400 Highway 111, in Indio. Tickets are $20 and include tastes from the dozen-plus participating restaurants. For tickets or more information, call 760-347-0676, or visit gcvcc.org/event/taste-of-indio-2. … Like meatballs? Then get thee to the seventh annual Sammy’s International Meatball Festival, taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City, located at 32141 Whispering Palms Trail, in Cathedral City. The event is a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club. The $15 ticket includes meatball tastings, entertainment and access to a beer and wine garden. Kids get in (albeit not to the beer and wine garden part) for $5. Props to Sam Pace of Sammy’s Place for hosting the event! For tickets or more info, call 760-770-4965, or visit bgcccity.org.

Published in Restaurant & Food News

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week Returns May 31, With More Than 115 Participants

The bad news: Summer is almost here, meaning 100-degree temperatures will soon be a daily thing.

The good news: This also means Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week is almost here.

The annual event will return for 10 days—that’s seven days shorter than Restaurant “Week” was last year, alas—of great deals at restaurants valley-wide, starting on May 31. Here’s how it works: Participants offer special prix-fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner. Lunches, with at least two courses, cost $15, $20 or $25, while dinner, with at least three courses, costs $29, $39 or $49.

As of now, 117 participating restaurants are listed on the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week website—a record, I believe. And this year, there’s a very cool charitable hook: A lot of the participating restaurants are offering reservations to be made through the Restaurant Week website, and $1 from each reservation made via the website will be donated to the FIND Food Bank, thanks in part to the generosity of the week’s sponsors, Agua Caliente Casinos and Sysco Riverside.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll leave you with just a little advice: Go to the Restaurant Week website; do your research by perusing the participants’ menus; and plan your visits. A lot of the restaurants offer truly amazing deals; others … not so much. Remember: This year, you’ll only have 10 days rather than 17 to enjoy Restaurant Week!

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week takes place Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 9. For more information, including menus, visit www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/dinegps/restaurant-week.


Opening This Week: Tac/Quila, From the Owners of Farm Palm Springs

Liz and Mark Ostoich are lawyers by trade—but they’ve proven themselves to be amazingly good restaurateurs with Farm, located in downtown Palm Springs’ La Plaza. Therefore, it’s very good news that they now have a second restaurant: Tac/Quila, located at 415 N. Palm Canyon Drive, which most recently housed Watercress Vietnamese Bistro.

“Farm allowed us to bring our love of the French countryside to a charming little courtyard, chock full of flowers and tucked away from the hustle and bustle,” reads a message from Liz and Mark Ostoich on the Tac/Quila website. “We love everything that has become Farm, but there was more to be said. So part of our life story involves food—but it also includes travel, history and, of course, tequila! Tac/Quila is our made-up word for combining gourmet Jalisco style cuisine with specialty tequilas and mezcals, in an effort to transport our guests south of the border and into a culture rich in flavor, color, art and authenticity.”

The pictures posted on the Tac/Quila Facebook page and website show a gorgeously renovated space—and the menu posted on the website made my mouth water. Three different kinds of ceviche? Yes, please.

Tac/Quila is slated to open Wednesday, April 24. For more information, including the menu, visit www.tacquila.com.


In Brief

Taco fans, take note: Plan on being at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa on Saturday, May 18, from 11 to 6 p.m., for the annual Morongo Taco Fest. Admission is $10, and 30 or so vendors will be selling $2 tacos. Lucha libre wrestling and live music will entertain, while tequila and margaritas will provide the buzz. Get information and tickets at morongocasinoresort.com. … New to Palm Springs: Glitch, a Southeast Asian restaurant and ’80s-style arcade. Wait, what? Let me check my notes … yep, that’s right. Wow. Enjoy items like num pang—that’s a Cambodian-style pork sandwich—while playing classic arcade games and table games. If you’re looking for something completely different, you’ll find it at 2080 N. Palm Canyon Drive; get more information at www.glitchpalmsprings.com. … New to Cathedral City: Romano’s, offering pizza, subs, salads and other goodies at 27800 Landau Blvd., at Vista Chino. Find more information and photos of the menu at www.facebook.com/Romanos-Pizza-373313373264165. … New to Rancho Mirage: Maria Jose Peruvian Gourmet, inside The Atrium at 69930 Highway 111. Check out the menu (including photos that made me very hungry) at www.mariajoseperuviangourmet.com. … Sad news: Desert Wines and Spirits, which had been located inside Go Deli at 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, is no more. Happy news: In the whole space starting sometime in May will be Bouschet, a “wine and gourmet food experience.” Watch www.bouschet.com for updates. … New to Palm Desert, from the folks at longtime sushi restaurant Musashi: Ramen Musashi. Find it at 44491 Town Center Way, and get more information at ramenpalmdesert.com. … New to La Quinta: Palm Tree Palace. We couldn’t find an online presence for this new Chinese restaurant, so we recommend stopping by 79660 Highway 111 to get the details.

Published in Restaurant & Food News