A few weeks back we heard from LAIY friend Natalie James of Fashion Intel. Natalie is a woman about town who knows just about everything. Like, she *literally* knows about everything. With Coachella coming up this weekend and everyone getting all excited to trek out to the desert to jam out and veg, she had an idea: wouldn’t everyone want to know where to get some food? Ummm, yes! Thus, here are nine food pitstops you may not have heard of or may have heard of that Ms. James has some notes on…
Cheeky’s is one of the first places you will see on the major strip in Palm Springs. Serving up one of the most popular breakfasts in all of the desert, this spot is where you will catch those who partied hard the night before and are now in the need of some strong coffee and bacon! With an every changing menu, you can always count on new dish catching your eye. This week it looks like they’ve rolled out the Hipster Omelet just in time for Coachella, adorned with green garlic, squash blossom and truffle goat cheese. One of my favorites is Blondie`s Eggs Benedict made with a special cheddar scone, if you dig hollandaise go for it. Whatever you do, don’t expect to be seated right away if you arrive at 9:30 am, locals and visitors alike love this place and it fills up quick!
The Ace is where the kids will be hanging so you’ve got to at least drop by to see what the fuss is about. Plop down in a cozy booth in Kings Highway, examine the menu and order a plate that is a modern take on a diner classic. Might I suggest their juicy Amigo Brisket Burger or the crispy Alaskan Cod Fish & Chips. For those who get those late night munchies from toking that herb, don’t forget to raid the desert counter, packed with cupcakes, pies, brownies and everything you’ll want to stuff in your mouth at 2am. Swing by the photo booth on your way out or back to the room!
No desert write up of mine would go without a mention of some delish India fare. The moment you drive up to Monsoon Indian Cuisine, the incredible fragrance of spices will capture your nose and you will know that you arrived at the right spot. Whether you want to eat a la carte or lunch buffet style, Monsoon promises to please your stomach with their favorable bites of Garlic Naan, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Saag Paneer. For those who like it especially spicy (like me) order your dish at level 10 and let the heat dance on your tongue.
For the few who decide to stay in Joshua Tree during the Coachella festivities, you will come to know and love Natural Sisters very quickly on your stay. One of the few cafes on 29 Palms HWY, this sweet little spot is serving up the best fresh juices and smoothies in J Tree. Highly recommend is the Green Goodness, packed with apple, celery, spinach, parsley, and wheat grass. Need something a bit more heartier? You must check out the Rock Climber smoothie, a perfect blend of almond milk, dates, and bananas. If you’re thinking lunch, Natural Sisters makes a stellar vegan sandwich with gluten free options!
This is the place where magic happens. If you like feeling fresh after your meal then look no further than this spot! In addition to the incredible selection of drinks available, think fresh coconut water, kombucha, and chia, Nature offers up an exciting menu for your perfect afternoon pick me up. With a menu that boasts organic vegan entrees like soy beef tacos, soy chicken stir fry, and a bountiful burrito packed with avocado, sprouts, beans and rice, how could you go wrong? My favorite item on the menu is definitely the Falafel Burger, order that and you can thank me later.
Two of my loves together at last! Greek? BAM! Pizza? BAM! Roll up to this mom and pop joint on Sunrise Way and order yourself a Gyro Pizza, topped with feta cheese, lamb and beef. A perfect pie to sober you up while partying under the desert sky. Even if you’re not hitting the booze, this delightful combination of flavors will have you saying singing “opa!” on your way out the door. Don’t forget to order some baklava to go!
Norma’s is by far my favorite place for brunch in Palm Springs. Pull up a chair in the Jonathan Adler designed space before 2pm to get your hands on a delicious selection of eggs, pancakes, lobster macaroni and salads galore. My personal favorite is the Upstream Eggs Benedict made with smoked salmon smothered in a perfect hollandaise sauce. Want something sweet? Don’t pass up their Irresistible Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks or their Waz-Za Waffle. Bonus is the complimentary smoothie shot they give you before each meal! This is not your average priced brunch, so make sure you have a little dough in your wallet.
With every visit to Koffi I ask myself “why can’t we have this in L.A.?” This is a coffee spot for everyone, the people who enjoy a delicious cup of fair trade espresso and those who want a sugary-blended-mocha-crazy drink without being judged. This is the place where coffee lovers of all walks of life can come together in harmony. Even better is that there are two locations, one being across the street from the Ace Hotel. Bingo!
Shield’s is the must stop in Indio for all things date related but most famously known for their delicious date shake. Whether you are staying the the neighborhood or hanging in Palm Springs, make this institution a priority on your desert food crawl. Around since 1924, discover why this sweet oasis has remained a staple in the Coachella Valley.
If you are heading out for Coachella or out Inland whenever for some desert R&R, you will have to take Natalie up on these food offers and check out these great spots. For more on Natalie, be sure to check out her very cool and very LA site Fashion Intel, give her a Like on Facebook, and a follow on Twitter.