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Wally's Desert Turtle

Map71775 Highway 111
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
  • Restaurants
  • Californian
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The Desert's Most Highly Awared Restaurant, Family Owned and Operated

By Pamela Bieri

Savor unforgettable modern California cuisine in the most exquisite restaurant in the desert. Wally’s Desert Turtle, a dining destination and landmark for more than 36 years, is steeped in history and immersed in awards — Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four Diamond, and OpenTable Best Overall to name a few. Enter amid twinkling lights to be swept away by beveled mirror ceilings, Peruvian artifacts, and hand-painted murals. Internationally acclaimed interior desinger Steven Chase set the tone for Wally’s ambiance of understated luxury, a Desert classic with a “vintage-retro” vibe.

Wally’s was created by Wally Botello, founder of the famed Velvet Turtle chain, a legacy, which evokes fond memories to clientele who grew up in California. Owned and operated by Michael and Nicole Botello, Wally’s continues its exquisite legacy, incorporating a commitment to sustainable, farm-to-table, and organic fare. Partnering with Aspen Ridge Farms for premium, naturally raised beef, Mary’s Farm for organic poultry, and responsible purveyors for sustainably raised seafood, Wally’s offers inspired, delectably prepared dishes.

Signature appetizers include Wild Mushroom Soup, Pacific Northwest Oysters served with “faux” caviar and green apple-wasabi “granite,” and Honolulu Tuna Tartare with ponzu emulsion and “nori dust.” Entrées range from imported Dover Sole to Superior Farms Napa Valley Roasted Rack of Lamb with Moroccan couscous to pan-roasted Aspen Ridge Filet of Beef topped with bone marrow horse radish crust in a red wine reduction. And no night at Wally’s would be complete without experiencing their world-famous Soufflés made with Grand Marnier, Valrhona Chocolate, Apricot, Blueberry, or Cappuccino. Other desserts include the Crème Brûlée and Macadamia Nut Banana Bread Pudding.

For private functions, special occasions or business events, Wally’s offers many options. The Mirage Room, a European style glass-enclosed terrace with views of the surrounding mountains, or the elegant Sable Room are two private dining options. Many semi-private dining rooms offer intimacy while still enjoying the famous Wally’s experience. The entire restaurant is also available for guests’ dining and dancing pleasure.

Wally’s private events concierge is available to handle every detail from flowers, linens, entertainment, and lighting to wine pairings and custom menus. Or, take Wally’s catered events into your home or venue of choice.

Don’t miss Wally’s annual holiday events, and famous fashion show luncheons every Friday in season showcasing local boutiques and designer collections with table-to-table informal-modeling.

Wally’s Desert Turtle
71775 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
760-568-9321 •

Additional Information:

Price Range: $$$
Great Restaurants: 2014

Quick Facts:


Partnering with:
• Aspen Ridge Farms for premium, naturally raised beef.
• Mary’s Farm for organic poultry.
• Responsible, Local purveyors for sustainably raised seafood.


• Escargot a la Bourguignonne
• Honolulu Tuna Tartare with ponzu emulsion and nori dust

• Di Stefan Barata and Heirloom Tomatoes — balsamic droplets
• Red Beet Risotto with Reggiano Parmigiano
• Wild Mushroom Soup

• Sautéed Imported Dover Sole Amandine or Meunière
• Napa Valley Rack of Lamb — eggplant relish, lamb au jus
• Aspen Ridge Filet of Beef — horseradish crust, Cote du Rhone sauce
• Loch Etive Steelhead Salmon — Wong Farm tomatoes, olive oil verge
• Mary’s Farm Seared Duck Breast — onion fennel compote, medjool date sauce

• Wally’s Soufflés: Valrhona Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Apricot, Blueberry and Cappuccino
• Warm Chocolate Lava Cake
• Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Cherries Jubilee
• Baked Alaska with raspberry coulis


• Chateau Montelena
• Jordon
• Duckhorn
• Silver Oak
• Caymus
• Château Margaux
• Château Lafite Rothschild

• Grgich Hills
• Far Niente
• Kistler
• Chalk Hill
• Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
• Clos des Mouches

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