Going to Coachella? Here’s where to eat in Palm Springs while you’re there

Homemade pasta from Birba. Photo via Birba's Facebook page.
Homemade pasta from Birba. Photo via Birba’s Facebook page.
Thousands are hitting the road for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival this weekend. And the Palm Springs food scene has started to catch up with this hipper, younger clientele.
KCET food editor Katherine Spiers gave Press Play a list of the best of a new crop of Palm Springs restaurants.

 

Bar 

340 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Birba

622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Cheeky’s Palm Springs

622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Workshop Kitchen + Bar

800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Bootlegger Tiki

1101 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Comments

  1. Kelly Kerrigan
    Apr 09, 2015, 11:36 pm

    As a longtime KCRW member who's spent the last 8 years in Palm Springs, and an another 8 in hotspots of LA before that, I found this segment lamely reductive, trite and “viewed through the lens of Los Angeles” in the worst possible way. Uptown Palm Springs is NOT (nor does it seek to be) another
    Silverlake – BTW, Silverlake is over, try Highland Park, Mt. Washington, El Sereno- and it was not put on the map just by the Seattle-based Ace or Coachella Festival. There is definitely life here past April when the snowbirds & hipsters depart and if you know anything about this area, there have always been plenty of good cocktails a’ flowin!

    While I'm sure folks appreciate the good press, the coverage could have been more mature and balanced. Most venues featured are located in the same small stretch of Uptown and some are actually owned by the same set of folks. Cheeky's & Birba - both great and highly recommended – are not exactly
    "new" and have been operating successfully side-by-side for a good 4+
    years under chef/owner Tara Lazar (along with husband Marco Rossetti) who, by the way, is not a "transplant" but a talented local born and bred.

    Before the Ace, there was...gasp…Kelly Wearstler with The Viceroy (Citron), Jonathan Adler with The Parker (Norma’s & Mr. Parker’s,) Trina Turk’s landmark boutique in the north end, The Movie Colony Hotel bar, The Colony Palms & the Purple Palm, Jake’s Bistro, ever popular Tyler’s Burgers with more than your average soups, salads and sides, Japanese owned Kiyosaku sushi, Tropicale and Shanghai Reds for Happy Hours, Elmers for brunch, Vegan flagship Native Foods & Nature’s Café and Palm Greens. And far, far too many to list here. Another upscale place further South offering an impressive wine list and Basque- style tapas and veggie friendly dishes is Tinto inside the Saguaro Hotel.

    Coachella is not the only thing the Desert has going. It’s home to architects, designers, filmmakers, bohemians, rockers (QOTSA!) artists, writers, entertainers, retirees, Mexicans, Cahuilla Indians, Orthodox Jews, LGBTs, expats, military, statesmen and sportsmen as well as a whole bunch of regular Joes and the Valley plays host to a thriving resort & spa business, film festivals, art shows, Tennis & Golf tourneys, Modernism Week, Spring break, bikers, PRIDE parties as well as Casinos, outlets, holidays, destination weekends on top of the regular seasonal tourism.

    People come here for the great weather, clean air, affordability, small town ease & community, tolerance, quirkiness and surprising diversity as well as it’s proximity to natural attractions like Idyllwild, Joshua Tree & the High Desert, Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear, The (Colorado) River, GLAMIS, Mt. Palomar observatory, Victorian towns like Julian in the hills off Route 74, Temecula wine country with most urban centers and beaches 90 minutes away. In short – people are flocking here to enjoy an affordably good standard of living rapidly disappearing throughout most of California.

    Palm Springs is a welcoming and exciting place to invest and the latest set of creatives enjoying opportunity here recently are capitalizing on timing and conditions of the market but also the solid foundation laid by many, many others who came before. To suggest otherwise is ignorant and offensive to the many tastemakers and entrepreneurs who’ve come before.

    Many in Austin would now argue the quality of life has diminished since festival behemoth aka South-by-Southwest began trampling through. Populations & prices have swelled with a lot of the true artists and forerunners being pushed out. Many of the locals here – unless they get free passes – don’t
    attend Coachella due to the crowds and the ridiculous sellout times &
    prices.

    The latest trend of cultural appropriation - the copycat “boho/hipster invasion” sweeping Instagram, Pinterest, Social & other Media, Marketing, blogs, as well as actual brick and mortar retail & real estate (Highland Park anyone?) is ultimately not much less formulaic than the chains and a disturbing trend impacting many Angelenos - not something many locals seek to duplicate widely here. In a time where youth are sadly lacking a sense of identity,
    connection or any real appreciation of the true provenance of things, I feel
    you did this area a real disservice.
    While I realize this is a fluff piece, there are many interesting topics about this area to explore. Urban flight to small towns, CSAs, gentrification, tourism, festival culture and how they affect small towns over time, growing desert communities in drought, latest trends for Chef/Owners, any number of things.

    Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley is a real year-round community – even in 120 heat – and pride themselves on being free from the pretensions and pressures of city life – and it would have been refreshing if the reporter had taken the time to go beyond the lazy and rather superficial rendition offered here.

  • Kelly Kerrigan

    As a longtime KCRW member who’s spent the last 8 years in Palm Springs, and an another 8 in hotspots of LA before that, I found this segment lamely reductive, trite and “viewed through the lens of Los Angeles” in the worst possible way. Uptown Palm Springs is NOT (nor does it seek to be) another
    Silverlake – BTW, Silverlake is over, try Highland Park, Mt. Washington, El Sereno- and it was not put on the map just by the Seattle-based Ace or Coachella Festival. There is definitely life here past April when the snowbirds & hipsters depart and if you know anything about this area, there have always been plenty of good cocktails a’ flowin!

    While I’m sure folks appreciate the good press, the coverage could have been more mature and balanced. Most venues featured are located in the same small stretch of Uptown and some are actually owned by the same set of folks. Cheeky’s & Birba – both great and highly recommended – are not exactly
    “new” and have been operating successfully side-by-side for a good 4+
    years under chef/owner Tara Lazar (along with husband Marco Rossetti) who, by the way, is not a “transplant” but a talented local born and bred.

    Before the Ace, there was…gasp…Kelly Wearstler with The Viceroy (Citron), Jonathan Adler with The Parker (Norma’s & Mr. Parker’s,) Trina Turk’s landmark boutique in the north end, The Movie Colony Hotel bar, The Colony Palms & the Purple Palm, Jake’s Bistro, ever popular Tyler’s Burgers with more than your average soups, salads and sides, Japanese owned Kiyosaku sushi, Tropicale and Shanghai Reds for Happy Hours, Elmers for brunch, Vegan flagship Native Foods & Nature’s Café and Palm Greens. And far, far too many to list here. Another upscale place further South offering an impressive wine list and Basque- style tapas and veggie friendly dishes is Tinto inside the Saguaro Hotel.

    Coachella is not the only thing the Desert has going. It’s home to architects, designers, filmmakers, bohemians, rockers (QOTSA!) artists, writers, entertainers, retirees, Mexicans, Cahuilla Indians, Orthodox Jews, LGBTs, expats, military, statesmen and sportsmen as well as a whole bunch of regular Joes and the Valley plays host to a thriving resort & spa business, film festivals, art shows, Tennis & Golf tourneys, Modernism Week, Spring break, bikers, PRIDE parties as well as Casinos, outlets, holidays, destination weekends on top of the regular seasonal tourism.

    People come here for the great weather, clean air, affordability, small town ease & community, tolerance, quirkiness and surprising diversity as well as it’s proximity to natural attractions like Idyllwild, Joshua Tree & the High Desert, Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear, The (Colorado) River, GLAMIS, Mt. Palomar observatory, Victorian towns like Julian in the hills off Route 74, Temecula wine country with most urban centers and beaches 90 minutes away. In short – people are flocking here to enjoy an affordably good standard of living rapidly disappearing throughout most of California.

    Palm Springs is a welcoming and exciting place to invest and the latest set of creatives enjoying opportunity here recently are capitalizing on timing and conditions of the market but also the solid foundation laid by many, many others who came before. To suggest otherwise is ignorant and offensive to the many tastemakers and entrepreneurs who’ve come before.

    Many in Austin would now argue the quality of life has diminished since festival behemoth aka South-by-Southwest began trampling through. Populations & prices have swelled with a lot of the true artists and forerunners being pushed out. Many of the locals here – unless they get free passes – don’t
    attend Coachella due to the crowds and the ridiculous sellout times &
    prices.

    The latest trend of cultural appropriation – the copycat “boho/hipster invasion” sweeping Instagram, Pinterest, Social & other Media, Marketing, blogs, as well as actual brick and mortar retail & real estate (Highland Park anyone?) is ultimately not much less formulaic than the chains and a disturbing trend impacting many Angelenos – not something many locals seek to duplicate widely here. In a time where youth are sadly lacking a sense of identity,
    connection or any real appreciation of the true provenance of things, I feel
    you did this area a real disservice.
    While I realize this is a fluff piece, there are many interesting topics about this area to explore. Urban flight to small towns, CSAs, gentrification, tourism, festival culture and how they affect small towns over time, growing desert communities in drought, latest trends for Chef/Owners, any number of things.

    Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley is a real year-round community – even in 120 heat – and pride themselves on being free from the pretensions and pressures of city life – and it would have been refreshing if the reporter had taken the time to go beyond the lazy and rather superficial rendition offered here.