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Dining Around The Desert

Dining Around the Desert: Pueblo Viejo Grill in Indio & Palm Desert

I’ve written about Pueblo Viejo Grill in the past, as it’s our favorite Mexican Food place in the desert. Both Indio and Palm Desert are equally good. Since the restaurants here are just starting to open, we picked Pueblo Viejo in Indio as our first venture out into the new world of dining out during a pandemic.

One of the upsides is that they are taking reservations for the extremely limited seating, whereas in the past unless you are a party of 6 or more, there was no way to guarantee a table. We would normally sit at the bar, but right now there is no bar seating being allowed.

We were seated immediately at a booth, were greeted right away by our server, and asked if we’d like a drink. You have the option of using the regular menus or scanning the code on a posted sign at your table and seeing the menu on your phone. The entire staff wears masks, as do any guests upon entering. Once you are seated, you may remove your mask.

As usual, the food was wonderful. My go-to is the Taco Salad with Chicken and Michael likes the Salmon Fajitas. We both agreed that they were probably the best we’ve ever had. The Cadillac Margaritas were not bad either!

A nice bonus is that it’s pretty rare that I go out to dinner and don’t run into a friend or client. In this case, purely by chance, a brand new client who had just flown into town to see homes with my team member Adam Cheng walked in with his friends and was seated at one of the other tables. The next day we opened escrow on a beautiful new home in Andalusia!

Click here to go to the website

81931 US Highway 111 (4.20 mi)
Indio, California 92201

Get Directions

(760) 342-5900

Call for hours

Dining Around the Desert: Okura in La Quinta

About Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar

Located in La Quinta, Okura offers a unique style, inventive specialties, and focuses on fresh ingredients. Over the years, Okura has become a local phenomenon, winning first place in The Desert Sun’s “Best of The Valley” award in the Japanese restaurant category for over 8 years.

Okura’s menu spans a wide range of delectable options, from unique appetizers to classic Japanese sushi to delicious Robata Grill entrees, including succulent Kobe steaks. Okura serves only the freshest selection of raw fish and seafood, delicately and skillfully prepared by master sushi chefs.

Okura cultivates an atmosphere that is both soothing and lively. The subdued lighting makes each dining experience feel intimate, while vibrant music selections create a convivial ambiance. They are especially proud to offer a large selection of sake to pair beautifully with their menu items – ask them for a recommendation!

Okura just moved across the Point Happy parking lot to the site of the old Las Casuelas on the corner of Washington and HWY 111. After months of renovations, we are pleased to report that they did an excellent job. You wouldn’t know it was the same place. One of the highlights is a huge tree in the center of the dining room that has changing lights, surrounded by a really cool fixture (in the above photo), that creates a very elegant feel.

Four of us enjoyed dinner there a couple of weeks ago. We ordered a lot of food, and all of it was delicious. The service was spot-on, and we can’t wait to go back.

One of the biggest challenges is just figuring out what to order. We started with Edamame and then headed straight to a selection of specialty rolls and sushi.

We shared the Lemon Delight, Protein, Volcano, The Madonna, and Hamachi Jalapeño. Deb and I had a favorite in the Lemon Delight, the guys like the Protein and Hamachi Jalapeño best. I actually think there was one more item we shared, but I can’t remember! It was all really great.

Of course, Okura has Sake, Beer, Wine, and a surprising amount of specialty cocktails.

Overall, we are happy to see them in a new, larger, space that has a really nice ambiance. We’ll be back!


78480 Hwy 111
La Quinta, CA  92253
Phone: (760) 564-5820


Sunday - Thursday: 4 - 9:30 pm
Friday - Saturday: 4 - 10 pm


Visit Okura online… and on Facebook…

Dining Around the Desert: Wildest in Palm Desert

Palm Desert’s newest hot spot is Wildest Restaurant + Bar.

Michael and I attended Wildest’s grand opening about a month ago, and we revisited it along with team members Betsy and Adam this past week.

WILDEST’S DYNAMIC FOOD originates in wild-caught fish, local pasture-raised and grass-fed poultry and beef, as well as plant-based meals that promise to be flavorful options to those who choose to eat meat-free. There are zero hormones and steroids in their proteins, as the restaurant strives to be cruelty-free and supports local organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms. Provisions not made in-house will be sourced from the coolest epicureans.

We enjoyed the Crispy Cauliflower Florets with coconut milk ranch and buffalo sauce for a starter.

Betsy had the Jackfruit Chile Relleno with vegan cheese, enchilada sauce, and black beans. It had a nice kick to it, and we all agreed that we’d order that in the future.

Adam had the Pan Roasted King Salmon with shaved Brussel sprouts, wheat berries, and a walnut-garlic sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked, as were the sprouts.

I went for the Grilled Moroccan Pasturebird Chicken with two quinoa vegetable salad, rosemary, and cold-pressed apple. The chicken was super tender, and the quinoa was delish.

Michael decided to try his first Roasted Plant-Based Chicken with roasted sweet potato puree, wild mushroom sauce, Brussel sprouts, and cranberries. The veggies were great, and the “chicken” was interesting.

We all partook of libations, Old Fashioneds, and red wine. They have an extensive wine list with something for everyone.

Overall, we all really liked the space, with the open kitchen, bar, and dining areas. The food was delightful and tasty, and it’s nice to have a new place to enjoy that supports local farms. We’ll all be back soon.

For more information, menus, and reservations, click here…


Dining Around the Desert: Eddie V’s in Palm Desert

I promised you back in August that when the Palm Desert Eddie V’s opened, we’d do a review, and we are so happy to report that this much-anticipated addition to the desert dining scene does not disappoint.

Michael and I were invited to the soft opening a couple of days prior to Thanksgiving, and everything from the greeting from the hostess to the wait staff to the food and wine was top-notch. As this was the staff basically practicing on us, I’d say the training is excellent, which is not something you can say these days about too many restaurants.

We both started with the Crab and Corn Chowder featuring Lump Crab, Smoked Bacon and Sweet Corn. I could honestly eat that chowder every day, it was that good. Michael had one of their special Smoked Manhattan’s which was an excellent cocktail, with an impressive presentation to boot.

Michael enjoyed the 22 OZ USDA Prime Bone-In Ribeye, and I had the Georges Bank Scallops, Sautéed with Citrus Fruit, Roasted Almonds and Brown Butter. As a side, we had the Crab Fried Rice with Mushrooms and Scallions. Dessert was the Dark Chocolate and Crushed Toffee S’Mores with Toasted Homemade Marshmallow.

In talking to a lot of friends that have also been in the past month, everyone has reported an excellent experience. We look forward to making it one of our regular stops.



73040 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA  92260
(760) 340-9455

Read about Eddie V’s, directions, menu, and reservations….

Dining Around the Desert: RD RNNR in La Quinta

RD RNNR is the newest restaurant to open in Old Town La Quinta. Located in the old Solano’s space, which has been opened up a bit, brightened up a lot, and televisions added to the main dining room, it’s a nice addition to La Quinta.

I was greeted at the door by the host Chris, who I know from Melange, The Grill, and AC3. Turns out his wife is the owner of RD RNNR.

My friend Leslie and I sat at a high-top in the bar which is my preferred place to be. That seems to be the case with a lot of patrons, but the bar is pretty small. That’s the reason for the televisions and more casual feel to the dining room now.

The menu has a good variety of items ranging from Lamb Chili, Ahi Tuna Nachos, Huevos Diablos, Cali Toast and Cooked Dirty Fries for starters amongst others.

There are eight different salads from Watermelon & Tomato Caprese to Pavo Taco Salad. They all sound interesting.

Under GRAZING ALL DAY you’ll find Black & Blue Fin Tuna, Charcoal Angus RD Burger, Shrimp & Grits, to Grilled Cheese.

You’ll also find Scallops & Prawns, Brick Chicken, Flat Iron Steak and Atlantic Salmon.

Prices range from $6 - $25.



We enjoyed the MAC & WHAAAT as a starter. It’s jalapeño and cauliflower mac & cheese featuring smoked gouda, white cheddar, parmesan, and RNNR Dust. I expected it to be a pasta made of cauliflower, but instead it was actually cauliflower chunks covered in the delicious sauce. We finished off every drop.

Leslie had a BUILD YOUR OWN meal where she picked Grilled Salmon with Roasted Mixed Vegetables and Quinoa. It was a generous portion and she took half home.

I enjoyed THE CHEESY DATE salad under the FORAGING FOR GREENS. Made of Burrata cheese, Coachella dates, organic arugula, tomatoes, fresh basil, and a date vinaigrette dressing.

I didn’t see any desserts, but next time I’ll be asking about that.

RD RNNR has a nice selection of beer, wine, hard cider, mocktails, and specialty cocktails.

Leslie and I stuck to a rose and red wine. Both were nice and priced well.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll have to wait til I go back again for that. Or better yet, go on by and check it out for yourself.

Monday - Friday 11:30 am to 9 pm and Saturday, Sunday 10 am to 9 pm
Everyday 2 - 6


78075 MAIN ST, Unit 105
La Quinta, California 92253-8961

Get Directions

Dining Around the Desert: 4 Saints at the Kimpton Rowan Hotel in Palm Springs

On a recent weekend in October, Michael and I stayed at the Rowan Hotel and enjoyed several meals and cocktails. As the Coachella Valley’s only rooftop venue, 4 Saints offers a variety of different atmospheres, from the intimate lounge to the outdoor patio bar.

The highlight was dinner at 4 Saints, the fine dining option at the hotel.

As the highest restaurant in Palm Springs, 4 Saints raises the bar — literally — on desert dining. Perched on the seventh floor of the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, the rooftop restaurant showcases clever cocktails and the global cuisine, set against a backdrop of 270-degree valley views.

4 Saints’ beverage menu, with its creative cocktails, local brews and thoughtfully curated wine list, is designed to complement their seasonal menus of snacks, small plates and shareable entrees.

We started with the Pristine Oysters on the Half Shell with a Shallot Vinaigrette which were delicate and delicious. I then had the Seared Firecracker Tuna with Springtime Sprouts, Black Garlic and Chili Oil and the Crispy Spanish Octopus with Minted Peas, Blue Potato Salad, Yuzu, and Greens. The tuna was like butter, flavorful, spicy and perfectly seared. My favorite was the Octopus. Cooked to perfection, and the peas were like a taste of Spring.

Michael had the Fish in the Forest which was Steelhead Salmon, Spring Vegetables, Cedar, and Smoking Wild Juniper. He said that it was some of the best salmon he’d ever had.

I tried to resist, but Michael ordered The Four Sinners for dessert which is a Chocolate Cake with Ganache, Espresso Cream, and Mascarpone Mousse. Even with all that chocolate, it wasn’t too sweet and was wonderfully moist and decadent.

We enjoyed the hotel’s spacious guest rooms, gym, poolside lounge and the eating venues. All in all it’s a great addition to the Coachella Valley.


Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm - 10pm
Friday-Saturday 5:30pm - 11pm

Brunch: Saturday-Sunday 9am - 3pm
Bar: Sunday-Thursday 3pm - 11pm
Friday-Saturday 3pm - 12am


100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Phone:  760.392.2020

SilverRock Development Update

SilverRock Resort in La Quinta

Owned by the City of La Quinta and Managed by Landmark Golf Management, SilverRock Resort's Arnold Palmer Classic Course is a challenging 7,239 yards sprawling over 200 acres with massive native bunkers and stunning water features. Set against the backdrop and natural beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains, SilverRock is a former home course of the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic from 2008-2011.

Development Overview

The City, in conjunction with SilverRock Development Company, LLC, has created a development program for SilverRock Resort. The program includes a luxury hotel with branded luxury residential, a lifestyle hotel with branded lifestyle residential, a conference and shared services facility, a mixed-use village, resort residential village, renovation of the existing Ahmanson Ranch House, construction of a permanent golf clubhouse, and associated road and utility infrastructure.  This $420 million dollar project specifically encompasses:

  • A 140-room, 5-star quality luxury hotel and spa and a 200-room, 4-star quality lifestyle hotel;

  • A 71,000 square foot conference center and shared services facility shared by the luxury and lifestyle hotels;

  • A resort village with 150,000 square feet of resort residential units and up to 40,000 square feet of retail space with recreation areas;

  • 35 luxury and 60 lifestyle branded residential homes that are associated with their respective hotels;

  • 160 resort style homes for private ownership with the option for owners to offer as short-term rentals;

  • Renovation of the Ahmanson Ranch House facility as a public event center and to serve as an amenity to the resort; and

  • 5,000 square feet of temperature controlled space with large outdoor patios and event lawn.

To keep up to date visit:

Dining Around the Desert: Coming Soon: Eddie V’s in Palm Desert

On a recent weekend trip to Austin, Texas, Michael and I had the pleasure of dining at Eddie V’s, a high-end chain with locations from Newport Beach to Boston to Orlando. I was especially interested as we are getting our own Eddie V’s soon in Palm Desert.

I’ve heard of Eddie V’s described as “The Mastro’s of seafood”, and I’d say that’s an apt description.

This quote from their website gives you an idea:

Seafood is what we’re known for, but our specialty is excellence. Fish arrive daily from pristine waters around the world including Swordfish from Block Island, Scallops from George Banks, and YellowFin Tuna from the Caribbean. USDA Prime steaks are hand cut and specially aged for more than 28 days to ensure peak flavor. Devotion to excellence is the guiding principle in all that we do. From making fresh tortillas by hand daily for our lobster tacos to including a full half-pound of Jumbo Lump crab meat in our crab cakes, we strive to go above and beyond in every step of preparation. Our intent: to prepare the finest meal you’ve ever had.

Michael and I enjoyed a glass of champagne along with Kung Pao Calamari with Wok-Fried Vegetables and Roasted Cashews, and an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Italian Burrata Cheese, Basil, EV Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. It was one of the best Calamari dishes either one of us had ever had.

Moving on to entree’s, I had Gnocchi with Shiitake Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Sundried Tomato Pesto, which was melt in your mouth delicious.

Michael enjoyed the Texas Redfish with Sautéed Jumbo Lump Crab, Meunière Style.

We also couldn’t resist the Brussels Sprouts and Truffled Mac and Cheese.

We topped it all off with Creme Brûlée but next time we’re looking forward to the Dark Chocolate and Crushed Toffee S’Mores with Toasted Homemade Marshmallow.

We were seated next to the piano at a high-top booth and were fortunate to be up close and personal with the trio providing classics along with the great atmosphere.

The service was outstanding, the vibe was fun and happening, and overall it was a great experience. We are looking forward to having our very own Eddie V’s this coming season.

What to Do at the Top of the Palm Springs Tram

Enjoy More than Just the View at 8,500 Feet


We found a special deal and activities that will enhance your experience at 8,500 feet above Palm Springs.


Once you've taken the 2.5-mile ride along the cliffs of Chino Canyon on the Palm Springs Tram, here are five things to enhance your experience at the top at Mountain Station.

You have about a month before the Tram shuts down from Sept. 9-29 for its annual maintenance.

First you're at 8,516 feet elevation, so note the temperature difference (about 15-20 degrees cooler than the desert) and let your body, particularly your breathing, adjust to the altitude. That means hydration and operating at a little slower pace to start. Plan ahead to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the surroundings rather than try and rush through a hike or physical activity.


From now until the end of the year, you can buy a $36 ride and dine combination ticket from 4 p.m. daily with dinner from 4:30 p.m. at the Pines Café. Children are $23.50, ages 3-10. visitgreaterpalmsprings.com


Mt. San Jacinto State Park is located at the top of the mountain, giving you access to 54 miles of hiking trails and 14,000 acres of amazing terrain. There are several easy hikes to try first – from three-quarters of a mile following nature trail posts to a 2.5-mile trail that is considered moderately strenuous. There is no fee for hiking.


There are six designated camping areas ranging in distance from the Mountain Station of 2.5 miles to 6.0. Each sits at a different elevation level – the highest is 9,700m feet – so take that into consideration. There is a $5 fee per person for camping permits. Depending on how much you want to rough it, some come equipped with water access and all of them have a pit latrine.


In association with the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association, you can register for guided nature tours in August and again in October. In addition to high altitude exercise, you receive an education on a variety of topics from photography, the San Andreas Fault, to the environment. The classes are free, but you must register. msjnha.org/events


The Pines Café offers the typical food selections you might expect at a tourist attraction — pizza, sandwiches, soup and salad — but the Peaks Restaurant offers an opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience. The accompanying Lookout Lounge serves a variety of alcoholic beverages. The last reservation taken for the Peaks is 7:45 p.m., and reservations are recommended.

For more information on the Palm Springs Tram, visit pstramway.com.

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