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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

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, Palm Springs) is offering a $29 three-course meal Sundays through Thursdays. I’m partial to Willa Jean’s fried chicken, by the way.

Bernie’s (69830 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage) is offering a $29 three-course menu daily; options include a 7-ounce cut of prime rib, and Wagyu meatloaf.

The Purple Palm Restaurant (in the Colony Palms Hotel, 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs) has its three-course “love to the locals” dinner for $39, Sundays through Thursdays. The almond wood-roasted strip steak sounds amazing!

Shame on the Moon (69950 Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage) is giving diners three great deals: a three-course dinner (soup or salad, entrée and dessert) for $21; and two different four-course dinner menus (soup or salad, appetizer, entrée and dessert), for either $29 or $38, Sundays through Fridays. Wow!

Visit the restaurants’ Facebook pages and websites for more information—and let me know about other great specials not listed here; if we get enough, we’ll publish a roundup of these suggestions at CVIndependent.com!


Taste of Summer Returns to Rancho Mirage

Rancho Mirage restaurants are again teaming up to offer up delicious food at a discount—and benefit great causes while doing so.

Here’s how it works: People can buy $10 wristbands, and anyone with those wristbands will be able to enjoy $4 offers at participating restaurants during the promotion periods: July 7-16, Aug. 11-20 and Sept. 8-17. All of the wristband proceeds will go to an impressive list of charities.

Wristbands are available from the charities themselves; at the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce (71905 Highway 111, Suite H); or at the launch party, taking place from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 6, at Pirch, also located at 71905 Highway 111, in Suite H.

RSVP for that launch party, and get a list of participating restaurants and charities, at www.tasteofsummerranchomirage.com.


In Brief

Now open and earning rave reviews: Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, at 706 S. Eugene Road, over in the industrial area near Ramon Road and Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs. The “plant-based kitchen that’s totally bitchin’” is a vegan restaurant, open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (with expanded hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesday), helmed by Tanya Petrovna, the founder of Native Foods. Visit www.cheftanyapetrovna.com for more info. … After being closed for nine months due to the sudden death of the owner, Willie Boys finally reopened on June 2. The Morongo Valley barbecue joint and music venue, a popular destination for valley denizens, is located at 50048 Twentynine Palms Highway; get updates and information at www.facebook.com/willieboyssaloon. … The Arrive Hotels empire continues to grow: Chris Pardo and co. christened the Palm Springs Fan Club with a shindig on June 3. What exactly the space, adjacent to Arrive, at 1541 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs? “Palm Springs Fan Club is a cocktail lounge and event space,” according to the Facebook event page for that aforementioned shindig. “Designed with a nod to the iconic wind farms just outside Palm Springs city limits, Palm Springs Fan Club is a playful and unique location for pop-ups, receptions, meetings and weddings.” OK then! In other news, Pardo recently announced an Arrive hotel will be opening in Austin, Texas, in 2019. … Coming soon: Venezia Restaurant and Pizzeria, to the former Spaghetteria/Caffé Italia space at 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. While a slightly faded sign on the building inaccurately says to expect an opening in “early 2017,” the restaurant’s Facebook page says the opening date is close enough that the restaurant is now hiring. Visit www.facebook.com/veneziapalmsprings for more info. … Just in time for the scorching temps: Vinny’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, at 190 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs, is open for business. Get info at www.facebook.com/vinnysitalianiceandfrozencustard. … Popular La Quinta poke joint Pokehana, at 78742 Highway 111, is opening a second location in Palm Desert this summer—and we’re hearing rumors that yet another Pokehana could come to the valley by the end of the year. Watch www.pokehana.com for updates.

Published in Restaurant & Food News

Summer is here, more or less, in the Coachella Valley—and I couldn’t be happier.

No, I am not one of those masochists who actually like triple-digit temperatures, steering-wheel burns and bouts of sunstroke. Not at all—in fact, I loathe hot weather.

Still, this will be the 13th consecutive summer for me in a place where triple-digit summer temps are the norm, so I have obviously learned to deal with it—and in fact, I’ve learned to embrace it, because to me, summers in the Coachella Valley have far more pluses than minuses.

Take driving, for example: Yes, driving around the valley on a 113-degree day can have moments of unpleasantness, especially when getting into and out of the car. But driving around the valley on, say, an 81-degree day in March has moments of unpleasantness as well: too much traffic, confused Canadians, etc. So I ask myself: Would I rather deal with a little heat, or would I rather deal with a lost, dipshit snowbird who is dangerously impeding traffic? I’ll take the former, thanks.

When it comes to nights during the summer in the Coachella Valley, I have very few complaints. The temperatures, at least to my desert-adjusted body, are manageable, and I don’t have to worry about sunburn. It’s easier to get to, from and into my favorite restaurants—and starting with Restaurant Week, those restaurants often offer amazing summer deals. Yeah, some restaurants close for all or part of the summer, but it seems like more restaurants are staying open for more of the summer each year—because people are indeed still here, and there’s money to be made.

There is not as much going on events-wise during the summer—but that’s starting to slowly change, too. Theater companies are beginning to dabble with summer shows, for example. More special summer events, like Splash House, are coming to the valley. There may not be as many happenings as there are in, say, November—but there’s still plenty to do around these parts during the summer months.

Plus, after the fever pitch of March and April, I find the relative calm to be nice, refreshing and rejuvenating. I can catch up on stuff, like TV shows and movies I want to see. (You can read more on those in this issue, too.)

For all these reasons and more, while I hate the heat, I love the summer in the Coachella Valley. That's what our June print edition is all about; pick up the Summer Survival Guide now. Enjoy!

Published in Editor's Note