By Pamela Bierie
Celebrating its sixth year, the Tropicale is one of the valley’s hottest go-to spots for its fabulous bar scene and innovative world cuisine. This former auto body shop-turned-tropical hotspot is the incredibly imaginative work of three entrepreneurs: Chef Tony Di Lembo, Rob Kenzi, and Ranz Wienert.
The Tropicale’s seasonally changing menus reflect creativity in its panorama of world flavors and fresh organic products. Bringing her talents to the kitchen along with Culinary Institute of America trained chef Tony is Chef de Cuisine Scooter Kanfer from Naya Restaurant, (Pasadena), and the House, (West Hollywood); among others. Scooter’s style, techniques, and philosophy harmonize with Tony’s regarding fresh, organic and locally sourced products.
“All of our meats are grass fed; poultry, free range; fish are sustainably line-caught; and our lettuces, tomatoes, berries, and produce are all organic,” says chef Tony. “Even most of our wines are produced sustainably. This shift has come about because we are all eating this way ourselves. Prime grass-fed beef is healthier and just tastes better!”
Flavors from Morocco, Korea, Vietnam, China, Cuba, and Japan to all across America find delicious expression here. Weekly printed specials are a large part of the attraction and highlight seasonal specialties and flavors that are often spawned from a trip to the local market.
Reminiscent of old Miami and mid century Palm Springs’-themed dinner clubs, the patio lounge and outdoor bar meander around olive trees, with lush foliage and tropical furnishings; misted in summer and heated in winter.
Since 2009, the Tropicale has annually taken top honors as an OpenTable’s “Diners’ Choice” winner and as “Best in the Valley” for martinis and happy hour.
Live jazz by renowned musician Derrik Lewis’ trio Tuesday and Thursday 5:30-9:30 p.m. Happy hour nightly from 4 to 7 p.m. and all night Wednesdays. Weekend Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Sushi features sushi, hand rolls and sashimi, sakes and Japanese beer. Dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.
The Tropicale Restaurant
330 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262
• Crispy bacon wild stone crab cake
• Jack Daniel’s BBQ’d baby back ribs
• Tangerine–glazed mandarin calamari
• Thai rice noodle, green papaya & crispy squid salad
• Chilled blue crab organic
• Iceberg wedge salad
• Southern-fried chicken salad with roasted peppers & corn
• Imported prosciutto, artichokes & Fontina
• Grilled Yucatan chicken sausage & jalapeño
• Pan-Roasted Jumbo Prawns with Coconut Rice
• Grilled Elkhorn Ranch Prime Filet Mignon a la Forestiere
• Roasted Boneless Organic Half Chicken with Creole Pan Sauce
• Chardonnay, Paul Hobbs, Ulises Valdez, 2009, Napa
• Chardonnay, Patz & Hall, Zio Tony Ranch, 2010, Russian River
• Sauvignon Blanc, Goose Bay, 2010, New Zealand
• Pinot noir, Flowers, 2010, Sonoma
• Cabernet, merlot, malbec, Flora Springs, Trilogy, 2010, Napa
• Zinfandel, Robert Craig, Howell Mountain, 2010, Napa
• Tropicale’s coconut martini
• Pineapple jalapeño margarita
• Black cherry lemon drop
• Lemongrass basil mojito