Space-Age Bachelor Pad Dining

Style Meets Flavor During Palm Springs Modernism Week

Workshop Kitchen + Bar

David A. Lee

Some of Palm Springs’ hippest restaurants enjoy the spotlight each February during Modernism week. These sharp-looking establishments serve up cuisine and ambiance that celebrates America’s post-war era of optimism and creativity. Many are located in the town’s trendy Uptown Design District.

After taking a double-decker bus tour of midcentury homes and public buildings and searching for the perfect chair or lamp among Uptown’s vintage shops, dine at one of these ultra-sleek hot spots.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar

The newest restaurant to open in Uptown Palm Springs, Workshop Kitchen + Bar is an arresting marriage of contemporary and industrial styles located inside the historic Spanish revival El Paseo building. A 25-foot concrete communal table for family-style dining bisects the dining room. Thin black cylindrical lights drop into every booth.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar is owned by Chef Michael Beckman, a former literary grad, and Joseph Mourani, a civil engineer from Montreal. They have created their cuisine on flavor profiles that are playful, creative, and based on seasonal as well as local products. Daily market pizza, or wood-charred Brussels sprouts with aged balsamic and herbes de Provence are two favorites. However, the real showstopper is the 30-ounce grass-fed rib-eye steak, cooked sous vide-style, then grilled.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar
800 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Jiao, Cheeky’s, Birba

Savvy restaurant entrepreneur Tara Lazar has a penchant for turning charming but difficult locations into hip, successful restaurants.

Three of her creations are in the Uptown Design District: JIAO, in The Corridor, serves eclectic Asian dishes. Cheeky’s, a casual breakfast and lunch stop, gives guests the best of both worlds with charming ambiance and great eats. Next door, Birba is a sleek Modern garden restaurant open for happy hour, late- night cocktails, wood-fired pizzas, and authentic Italian fare.

Lazar has stayed true to unifying the quality of her restaurants. Each is known for its fresh food and outdoor seating.  She also sources ingredients from farms within a 100-mile radius, and from local Certified Farmers Markets.

Entrepreneur Mark Stoltz jumped at the chance to bring a taste of Europe to Café Europa at The Corridor. Dine within three glass walls that open along The Corridor entrance, on a small patio facing Palm Canyon Drive, and a tree-shaded back patio overlooking the manicured lawn and San Jacinto Mountains.

Enjoy everything from Café Europa’s American-style scrambles and leafy salads to seasonal soups and grilled paninis.

515 N. Palm Canyon Dr., The Corridor,  Palm Springs

622 N. Palm Canyon Dr.,  Palm Springs

622 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Copley’s on Palm Canyon

One of the first restaurants to inspire the great cuisine of the Uptown Design District is Copley’s on Palm Canyon (in the former Cary Grant estate). 

Andrew and Juliana Copley along with partner Greg Butterfield have created a warm, gracious ambiance indoors and out. Outdoor flagstone dining and soft seating terraces surround a shade tree and fountain-centered lawn.

The award-winning restaurant recently expanded its outdoor dining with an enclosed patio and stacked stone wood-burning outdoor oven. The raised, roaring fire pit beckons for a pre- or après-dinner drink.

Copley’s on Palm Canyon
621 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Trio Restaurant

Creative, high-energy owners Tony Marchese and Chef Mark Van Laanen launched Trio in the Uptown Design District because of “its diverse neighborhood, village atmosphere, and art and furnishing community.” 

Designer Shawn Elmore’s interior offers a warm palette of orange, browns, and beige with luminous sea shell, spherical lighting, and its signature rubber-wrapped chandelier. Marvel at the diaphanous white curtains that separate dining the areas. A sidewalk patio offers excellent views for people watching. The cinder block, stone, and glass building is retained by a cylindrical steel grid that works as a compelling design element. 

Van Laanen brings his Wisconsin background into play with a variety of fish, steak, organic salads, and vegetarian dishes, plus seasonal favorites based on finds from local growers and farmers.  Feast on the lamb shank, seafood stew, and the Yankee pot roast. To complement the American modern-era food, Trio’s bar and lounge offers specialty cocktails and organic or biodynamic wines.

Trio Restaurant
707 N. Palm Canyon Dr.,  Palm Springs

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