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Exclusive | Palm Springs: Where to Eat Part Three

Exclusive | Palm Springs: Where to Eat Part Three

Mainstream, but Gay-friendly Restaurants continued...

St. James Restaurant (265 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-320-8041; $15-$ $36) is consistently excellent, with reasonable prices considering the high quality of cuisine. The decor is modern Moroccan, with beautiful imported masks on the wall. The restaurant specializes in contemporary Mediterranean fare, much of it with Asian hints, such as grilled tuna with a balsamic sauce and Burmese bouillabaisse with lobster tail and lemongrass-coconut milk. Co-owner Judith Chapman is a former General Hospital soap opera star.

Europa (1620 South Indian Trail; 760-327-2314; $15-$30) is a charming old-world restaurant in a small hotel. It's a major gay date restaurant. The cuisine is heavy, but tasty. There is a romantic outdoor dining section. Savor Mexican and Southwest specialties at the Blue Coyote Grille (445 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760 -327-1196;; $9-21), where orange-based Wild Coyote Margaritas and live Mariachi music will inspire you to linger.

A favorite of locals, including a roster of celebrities, Kaiser Grille (205 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-323-1003; $17-$40) focuses on creating delicious and innovative riffs of traditional favorites. Try the Italian bacon-wrapped shrimp with Coachella Valley citrus sauce. Service is friendly, the crowd affable, and the high-tech interior and open kitchen create an exciting atmosphere. Across the street, the owners of the Kaiser Grille run a double-decker restaurant: Downstairs is the elegantly decorated Chop House (262 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-320-4500; $19-$40), serving prime cuts of meat; upstairs, The Deck ($9-27) offers lighter fare, with a pleasant, open-air deck overlooking the main strip and the mountain.

Enzo's (140 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-416-4418) serves excellent traditional Italian fare, such as ravioli stuffed with lobster and crab, served with a light pink sauce and topped with shrimp and scallops; and grilled eggplant filled with ricotta and goat cheese over a bed of fresh-tomato sauce.

Las Casuelas Terraza (222 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-325- 2794; $9-$21) is fun; it's not really gay, but is gay-friendly, like most other places in town and it serves slammin' margaritas. Ask for a booth for two in the back. Located at the intersection with Alejo, Edgardo's Cafe Veracruz (494 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-320-3558; $6-$14) serves delicious regional Mexican food (try the tamales huestecos).

The best Mexican food in town can be found at El Mirasol (140 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-323-0721; $9-$20), a local favorite that serves up tasty and authentic fare to a largely gay and lesbian crowd. The chicken mole is to die for and vegetarian options abound. Don't leave without sampling the jericaya (caramel flan) dessert. Thai Palms (1418 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-322-3992; $8-$17) is good for decent Thai at very reasonable prices, and tops locals' list of recommendations for Thai in the area.

Wasabi (333 S. Indian Canyon Drive; 760 -416-7788; $6-$18) serves some of the best sushi and Japanese fare in town. If you're more budget-conscious, Sherman's Deli & Bakery (401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way; 760-325-1199; $5-$14) offers Manhattan-style deli goods at reasonable prices. Join the blue-haired retirees 4-6 p.m. and enjoy an entire meal from soup to coffee for $11.95. Vegetarians rejoice! Take respite from the meaty menus of Palm Springs' dining establishments at Native Foods (1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-416-0070; $8-$14), serving up ethnically diverse and creative fare, with dishes ranging from a Rasta pasta primavera to soy meat Moroccan tagine.

Nature's RX (Totonaca Shopping Center, 555 S. Sunrise Way; 760-323-9487; $ 4-$8) is a handy little natural-foods store and cafe that has about eight tables. You can order healthful sandwiches and salads and pick up bottled water and juice. Peabody's (134 S. Palm Canyon Drive; 760 -322-1877; $4-$10) is the plar breakfast. Lesbian-uneaody's also serves lunch and dinner.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Palm Springs: Introduction
Palm Springs: When and How to Go
Palm Springs: Where to Stay
Palm Springs: Where to Play/Meet
Palm Springs: What to See & Do
Palm Springs: Resources

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Joe Okonkwo