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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Restaurant & Food News

28 Nov 2017
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Grand Central to Open Soon … Hopefully? … in Palm Springs’ La Plaza Center More than a year ago, local foodies were all abuzz about the anticipated opening of Grand Central Palm Springs, a restaurant and event space in the historic La Plaza Center in downtown Palm Springs. In early August 2016, Grand Central hosted a job fair; the restaurant’s Facebook page reported that 200 people had applied for jobs in person, with another 90 applications coming in online. Other posts teased menu items for the restaurant, which was going to feature American food, a coffee bar and cocktails. It seemed that Grand Central’s opening was imminent. And then … nothing happened, at least publicly. More than 14 months went by with nary a peep on Grand Central’s fate. Fearing Grand Central had been scrapped, I decided to try to find out what was going on. I sent a message…
28 Oct 2017
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New: So Cal-Based Chain Luna Grill Opens Its Doors in Palm Desert Luna Grill claims to be “one of the country’s hottest fast-casual concepts.” While we are not sure exactly what that means, we are sure that the 39th and newest Luna Grill is located in Palm Desert, at 73405 Highway 111, in Palm Desert—and we’re also sure that the Mediterranean-style food being served there is pretty darned delicious. Independent contributor Kevin Fitzgerald and I were fortunate enough to attend a pre-opening training-day lunch at Luna. I ordered the chicken kabob and gyros plate ($14.95) while Kevin had the chicken wrap ($9.50), and we split the handcrafted spinach pie ($5.25) as a starter. While we had minor quibbles—the chicken in Kevin’s wrap was a little dry, and the rice on my plate needed a bit more flavor—everything was delicious (especially that gyro meat!). The first Luna Grill opened in 2004,…
26 Sep 2017
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When It Comes to Restaurant-Inspection Ratings, Please Calm Down In the September 2015 issue, I used this space to examine the ridiculousness of public freak-outs over restaurant-inspection ratings. Now, 25 months later, I shall do so again. Here’s why: On Friday, Sept. 1, some very bad things happened to Manhattan in the Desert, at 2665 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. First: The restaurant had refrigeration problems. Second: Inspectors from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health showed up. As a result of all this, according to the inspection report: “Due to (a) lack of adequate refrigeration, (the) facility … decided to voluntarily close.” That’s bad enough. Making matters worse: This happened on a Friday … before a holiday weekend—Labor Day Weekend, to be exact. This meant the restaurant had to be closed during what would normally be a rather lucrative four days, until it could be re-inspected by…
29 Aug 2017
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TRIO Closed Indefinitely After Early-Morning Fire Sometime around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, a fire broke out in the parking lot behind TRIO Restaurant, located at 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. The ever-popular restaurant suffered significant smoke and water damage during the fire—and is now closed indefinitely. In the aftermath of the blaze—which also devastated the neighboring Shag Store—TRIO owner Tony Marchese said he hoped Trio would reopen by Labor Day weekend. However, in late August, he announced via TRIO’s Facebook page that the cleanup and other work would not be completed by then. Keep your fingers crossed for a reopening date sometime in mid-late September. Authorities deemed the fire “suspicious,” but had not released any further concrete details as of our press deadline. Watch www.facebook.com/TrioPalmSprings for updates. Village Pub Closed for 'Rehab' After Liquor-License Violations Whoever is in charge of the spin effort regarding the…
24 Jul 2017
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Three New Places Coming Soon From Local Restaurant Greats In the coming months, at least three new restaurants are slated to open their doors in the Coachella Valley that are owned by veteran local restaurateurs. In order of anticipated opening: • Acqua California Bistro—at The River, 71800 Highway 111, in Palm Desert—finally opened its doors to customers on Thursday, July 27. A little history: Jerry and Barbara Keller got into the local restaurant business with Acqua Pazza California Bistro, located at The River, well before they opened their wildly popular Lulu California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs in August 2011. However, when the lease for Acqua Pazza expired in December 2014, the Kellers decided to walk away after 10 years, citing a desire to slow down and focus on Lulu. BB’s at the River, owned by Jack Srebnik—who also owns The Slice and Maracas—soon opened in the space, but closed…
26 Jun 2017
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Local Restaurants Offer Splendid Summer Specials The summer giveth to Coachella Valley foodies … and the summer taketh away. As for the “taketh away” part: This is your annual reminder to call ahead before heading off to your favorite local bar or restaurant … because it may very well be closed. Some places take a couple of weeks off; others take off the whole damn season. However, an increasing number of places are choosing to stay open throughout the summer, because they recognize that most locals and even a fair number of sun-loving visitors are, in fact, here. Some restaurants offer up amazing deals, too—which leads me to believe that the summer is the best time to be a foodie in the Coachella Valley. Here are four of the summer deals out there that have caught my eye thus far: • Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge (849 N. Palm Canyon Drive,…