Morongo Casino Restaurants Stand Out in the Desert

Tacos & Tequila, Natural 9 Noodle Company offer contrasting looks, tastes and ambiance

The entrance to Natural 9 Noodle Company features a bright, open space dining area away from the casino fray.

Morongo Casino Resort & Spa

Driving along Interstate 10 at night, the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon appears to be a mirage — at least in the sense that you certainly won’t come across anything else quite like it.

Zig-zagging sensors flash across the top of the building and the entire structure undulates in an ever-changing array of colored lights. Inside the casino, another mirage appears not far from the High Limit Slots.

There, just beyond some retro-looking orange acrylic panels, sits Drive This! Entertainment’s recently opened restaurant Tacos & Tequila (also known as T&T). You’ll find a large selection of traditional Mexican dishes, such as chicken enchiladas in a tangy roasted tomato guajillo sauce and 11 taco plates (even a veggie option).

The main dining room is decorated with huge photo murals and a ceiling hung with an abstract sombrero composed of brushed-aluminum panels that feature thousands of laser-cut images, including dancing tequila-drinking skeletons.

Up a few steps from the main level, there’s a large L-shaped bar clad in backlit panels of red, orange, and yellow acrylic. It’s the perfect spot to sample one of the restaurant’s many tequilas and have a bird’s-eye view of the restaurant and the casino floor.

If, on the other hand, you’re seeking a few zen moments before trying your luck again, Natural 9 Noodle Company has opened right next door to T&T.

Blond woods, an open beamed-ceiling and faux-bamboo tabletops take things down a few notches from its colorful neighbor. Dining in this bright, open space will have you feeling worlds away from the animated activities on the casino floor.

Natural 9’s menu is simply laid out and offers a wide variety of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese wok-fried and soup noodle specialties, such as Singapore Curry, Chicken Pho, and Seafood Udon.

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