Showing posts with label palm springs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label palm springs. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Travel: Living Desert Zoo & Gardens (Palm Desert, CA)

So Palm Springs Restaurant Week started this past weekend. If you haven't checked it out, you still have time since it's running til June 16!

It's not just about restaurant deals, they also have specials on local attractions like the Red Jeep Desert Tour.

When I was there I also checked out The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens. There were so many cute animals there!

First we passed by an expansive model train display
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Next, giraffes! Giraffes eating, giraffes peeing ...
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The great thing about Living Desert is that you can get quite close to some of the animals there, since the zoo is not as large or popular as San Diego.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Palm Springs Restaurants Week Pick: Mastro's Steakhouse

Despite being a big national chain, Mastro's Steakhouse is still one of the top steakhouses. Now, why would I write about the Mastro's in Palm Desert, you ask? That's because they're participating in Palm Springs Restaurant Week!

Mastro's Palm Springs
A $38 dinner at Mastro's with appetizer, 6 oz petite filet (or other entree choices), 2 sides and dessert?? Unheard of! They really want new customers who have never been to try Mastro's with this approachable price. In the Beverly Hills location an 8oz petite filet is already $42! If I were going to be in the Palm Springs are during Restaurant Week, this is where I would go.

During the Restaurant Week media visit, we got treated to more than that, though. Of course, a splurge at Mastro's would usually include their famous seafood tower.
Mastro's Seafood Tower

An impressive three-tiered (or does that little thing at the top count as 4?) tower. Oysters, king crab legs, shrimp cocktails, and mmm ... lobster .. all very fresh!
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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Palm Springs Restaurant Week Preview: Dish Creative Cuisine (Cathedral City)

Dish was opened in October 2012 by Joane Garcia-Olson, a former trial lawyer who has loved cooking since she was a kid. Tired of the life of a trial lawyer, she threw in that towel and picked up another to serve up some of the most creative food in the Palm Springs area in a small restaurant in Cathedral City.

During my media trip, we had a preview of the menu for the upcoming Palm Springs Restaurant Week (May 31-June 16), plus a few small bites in between. Dinner at Dish typically starts with some sort of donut. We had some savory donuts with butter and sunflower seeds

Savory Donuts

Because it was a media dinner, the chef sent out quite a few amuse bouche to show off what she does, including pressed watermelon with golden tomato tartar, 18 year old balsamic, and pistachio crumble. I personally liked the Arancini made with cauliflower cooked risotto-style.

The $38 three course Restaurant Week menu starts with a choice of three "conversation starters", of which we tried .. well, all (in taster portions, though):
Mesquite smoked tomato bisque, goat cheese and white truffle oil foam
Red and green baby Romaine leaves, bacon buttermilk dressing, deep fried goat cheese
Black-eyed pea falafels, roasted garlic aioli, red rooster "caviar"
Appetizers
The falafels were perhaps the most interesting one, although I also enjoyed the bisque.

Another small bite was sent out, and this one was quite intriguing: Green grape filled with blue cheese semifreddo, port wine glaze, walnut.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Travel: Tour The San Andreas Fault with Red Jeep Tours (Palm Springs,CA)

One thing I love about Palm Springs Restaurant Week is the Eat.See.Stay deal they have going on. It's not just deals on restaurants but also hotels and attractions like museums, the Living Desert zoo, and tours of the San Andreas fault. During the Restaurant Week, Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours is doing a combo package with an Indian Canyon eco-tour and lunch at select restaurants ($125), or a San Andreas Fault stargazing/nightwatch tour with dinner ($150).

During our media trip to Palm Springs, we got a chance to experience the San Andreas fault tour.

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The red jeeps taking us on the tour
Our tour guide has been with the company for a long time and was very knowledgeable. Our first stop was the oasis. Oasis in the middle of the desert? Yep, apparently there's over 40 billion acres of water underneath this desert and there are palm trees everywhere in this oasis.
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Palm Springs Oasis
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Where to Eat for Palm Springs Restaurant Week: Catalan (Rancho Mirage, CA)

Catalan in Rancho Mirage opened in 2012 by father and son Mark and Drew Davis. Drew had worked in New York and moved to Los Angeles to be a private chef to Steven Spielberg before finally deciding to open a restaurant in the Palm Springs area. Catalan is a Mediterranean restaurant, emphasizing on Italian and Spanish influences.

For Palm Springs Restaurant Week, Catalan is offering a $38 menu that has not been determined and will probably change between the 2 weeks of May 31-June 16, in line with their policy to use local, seasonal products. We tried a lot of great dishes during our media visit, though, and you can probably expect the same for the prix fixe menu.

The entire table loved the Chicken liver flatbread, caramelized onions, roasted pears, smoked mozzarella ($17)

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I mean, you eat chicken liver with bread anyway right? So why not put it on top and bake it together, add on some roasted pears and caramelized onions as "condiments"? So good.

More chicken liver? Why not! Especially when they're fried, like these Buttermilk crispy chicken livers, manchego polenta, wild mushroom port reduction, herbs ($15)
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I wondered if the typical Palm Springs audience is adventurous enough for chicken liver but either way I'm glad the chef isn't shying away from it.

Greater Palm Springs, CA

Restaurants
Catalan Restaurant (Rancho Mirage)
Dish Creative Cuisine (Cathedral City)
Mastro's Steakhouse (Palm Desert)

Sights and Activities
Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden
San Andreas Fault Tour

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