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5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Oh, and Azul's website gives a pretty good and detailed account of the place (though of course to be taken with a grain of salt like any such company site): www.azultapaslounge.com

Mar 30, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Yes, Azul was quite fun, not a staid dining room at all. There's a large patio at ground level outside, with a bar in the middle and these fun swing chairs on the side along Palm Canyon Drive. (You have to reserve ahead to sit there, they're pretty popular.) The music was great (after a couple drinks, we were singing along with almost all the songs) and the people were young and good-looking. Mostly gay, but all types are welcomed (I was there with a girl and everyone was totally cool with that, and there were plenty of older folks too who seemed totally at home.) There is an inside dining room that I didn't see much of, but the weather was so nice that no one sat in there.

As for the particular dishes, the tuna tapenade was tasty, though it was really more like a bruschetta. I'd definitely have that again if I could choose only one thing. The shrimp cocktail was also solid; each shrimp comes in a shot glass with vodka-infused gazpacho, very nice. I also ordered a vegetable flatbread, which was generously sized and fine, though nothing special. I was kind of full by that point, so didn't end up finishing it. I heard other people at the restaurant raving about their flatbreads, but I thought they were just ok.

Azul describes its food as tapas-inspired rather than simply tapas, and that seems about right. Tapas are smaller and more delicate and you need more of them to comprise a meal, while two of Azul's plates would do fine. As this writeup suggests, I thought the food was good-not-great, but it's also not so expensive, and the lively, upbeat atmosphere (at least on the Saturday night I went) made it a great experience.

One final note: parking is hard to come by on Palm Canyon on weekend nights, but Azul has its own private spaces in the lot behind the restaurant. Very convenient but takes a bit of looking.

Mar 30, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Back from PS, and as promised here's my take on the places we visited:

Went to El Marisol the first night and it was as promised--excellent mid-range Mexican, exactly as good as I'd been hoping. I had the Chicken Mole and it was perfect--smooth and a bit tangy, not too sweet. My dining compadre had the carnitas and I ended up finishing them for her, not because I was hungry but because they were so damned good. The margaritas are also top-notch, poured with a heavy hand. The large was enough to get me through dinner, and I likes my beverages. This was probably my favorite place of the trip, evidenced by the fact that we went back there for dinner the last night.

Next night, Matchbox. I like the Matchbox in DC, and I like this one better. My tip is to go for happy hour: miniburgers are $1 apiece, you can design your own small pizzas for some other very low price, and get a good deal on their many excellent beers. Plus, the outdoor bar/patio is a nicer setting, I think, than the main dining room. We had a great dinner + some drinks and got out of there for around $40 for both of us.

The street fair on Thursday nights was fun, but the tip not to eat there was well-taken. There were plenty of decent looking stands, including many with bratwursts and one with indian food (and a very long line), but I don't think it warrants skipping dinner at one of the local PS restaurants.

Ended up at Kiyosaku on Friday night, which was a bit of a disappointment. The menu is a bit underwhelming--hardly any rolls--and while the nigiri sushi was quite good and with generous portions, I'm not sure it warranted the rather high prices. I'd likely say that skipping sushi while in PS is the best move.

The next day we went to Crazy Coyote Tacos in Ballard, and it was great. The place is in the middle of nowhere, right off the 10 and near the entrance to the Morongo Indian Reservation. Despite that, it gets all kinds of customers who know to go out of their way for delicious, authentic Mexican fare. It's just a stand, of course, so nothing fancy, but I love that and it was one of my favorite places we went. The giant tacos are their specialty, and they really are special. Everything is homemade, and the guac and corn tortillas are superstars. Well worth the twenty-minute drive (plus a great lunch destination if you want to see the Cabazon dinosaurs, which I totally did).

That night we went to Azul for dinner, and I liked it quite a bit. We sat at the bar outside, which was a very fun, lively atmosphere. The food was pretty good. I liked the gazpacho shooters with shrimp and the tuna tapenade best. Good drinks, too.

Overall assessment: probably true that the food in PS doesn't approach what you would get in LA or Chicago, but that said it's still really good and I have some really nice memories of it. THanks again for all the tips!

Mar 30, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

PSFG, you're truly a font of great info. This is all very helpful, thanks.

Mar 17, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Thanks. Did you try Kyosaku and find it subpar, or just not go (or does the place even exist? I'm beginning to doubt it!).

Mar 15, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Thanks, Naven. There's a place in DC called Matchbox with good pizza and drinks that sounds quite similar--I wonder if they're related?

Mar 11, 2007
max_power in California

5 Days in Palm Springs: Qs and comments

Hi all--

I'm going to Palm Springs for five days week after next (late March) and have read all the posts about the area, so instead of just asking for suggestions let me summarize my current thoughts and questions, and if the local experts have anything to add or answers to the questions, that would be great. I'm looking for a range of places, maybe do a couple upscale dinners, but also would like to try Mexican food (mid- and low-range) and anything else that's good (diners, bbq, etc.). Here's what I've distilled from the boards so far:

The clear Chowhound consensus appears to be that Zin is the best high-end eatery in the area. I'm going to make sure I go here (though perhaps not on a weekend night in order to avoid hectic crowds). As a second choice, people seem to say great things about Johannes so I want to try that place as well. I've also heard mention that the Chop House on Palm Cyn Drive is good, though I'm not sure it's particularly special (I live in Chicago and am surrounded by such places). Aji Cuisine sounds intriguing, as does Citron, but people haven't said as much about these places, so I have less of an impression of them.

I loooove sushi and have done searches on Chowhound and elsewhere for PS sushi, but the only thing I've come up with is a few oblique references to Kyosaku (sp?) on E. Palm Cyn. Any thoughts about this joint? Alternatively, if sushi is simply not something one should spend a meal on in PS, that would be good to know--there is plenty of good sushi in the Windy City.

I'm also very excited about the Mexican options. People seem to love El Mirasol for slightly more upscale Mexican, so I'm going to put that on the list. Reviews of Las Casuelitas have been mixed to poor, so that one's out. As for cheaper taco joints, I'm considering Crazy Coyote Taco (in Cabazon) and El Gallito (in Cathedral City--though is that very far away?). Or are there any comparably good places right in PS?

Although I'm not wild about Thai food, Thai House on S. Palm Cyn seems to be the best of the several Thai places in PS.

Other eateries that appear promising for a mid-range but tasty meal that I'd love to hear more about are: Wally's Desert Turtle; Dale's Lost Hwy; and Matchbox (pizza?).

I've also heard that Palm Canyon shuts down on Thursday nights to become a ped mall with street food--how is this, and does it warrant reserving a night to eat there?

Finally, I haven't seen much about places to go out. The bar in the Falls seems to be popular, but that's the only suggestion I've seen.

I'd much appreciate any thoughts about the above. Your posts have already been very helpful, but if anything's changed or if I'm on the wrong track, please let me know. Thanks in advance, and I promise to write up a full report when I get back.

Mar 11, 2007
max_power in California

Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos in Reno, NV

Thanks for your posts. I'm a bit confused. So Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos does not have a location in Reno but does have one in Long Beach? If that's right, I'd love to know where (I'm in SoCal quite a bit so could stop by if in town). I didn't realize it was a chain.

Oct 24, 2006
max_power in Southwest

Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos in Reno, NV

Hi all,

I am a big fan of Comedy Central's Reno 911! and as other viewers may know, many of the show's finest scenes are set in a low-end Mexican joint called "Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos." Apparently the establishment features mescal shots and an all-you-can-eat salsa bar.

As it happens, I'm going to Reno in the next couple of weeks and would like to stop by. Can anyone tell me where Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos is located and if it's worth the trouble to go there? Thanks!

Oct 24, 2006
max_power in Southwest