Beyond its recognition by the Michelin Guide, Workshop Kitchen + Bar has received a James Beard Award for its brutalist interior design.
PHOTO BY AUDREY MA, COURTESY WORKSHOP KITCHEN + BAR
While no Coachella Valley restaurants have received a coveted Michelin star — yet — eight Palm Springs hot spots are listed in the Michelin Guide, an esteemed handbook documenting the world’s best culinary and travel experiences.
From a modernist temple of concrete and a dog-friendly haven to a poolside property entwined with mobster and old Hollywood lore, these locations promise superb dining experiences — and they truly are experiences — that raise the bar on service, flavor, and restaurant design.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Awarded the 2015 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design in the category of over 75 seats, Workshop is fastidiously devoted to all aspects of the dining experience. This includes a dedicated garden at chef/owner Michael Beckman’s home in Rancho Mirage that utilizes volcanic rock dust, worm castings, and bio char to grow nutrient-dense vegetables and aromatic herbs for a seasonal menu.
Hearty American fare, like a signature burger with Comté cheese, pairs with a section on the menu labeled “Why not?” that includes a $50 martini, served perfectly chilled with a caviar-topped deviled egg. Every inch of the restaurant feels like a celebration — of food, libations, art (check out the hallway and bathrooms!), and each lucky patron who has snagged a seat for the evening.
The name suggests this restaurant’s top-shelf cocktail program, but it also hints at the four-legged guests welcomed through a separate “doggy door.” Executive chef Aric Ianni incorporates global influences with seasonally inspired Southern California cuisine, like miso Chilean fish and chips. (There’s a chef-crafted menu for pups, too.)
“We created an elevated cocktail menu to complement the diverse and robust flavors,” beverage director Jake Lemmen says. “A perfect example of this would be our Sichuan Fizz, a cocktail showcasing a punchy Sichuan peppercorn foam, resulting in an aromatic, spicy cocktail that perfectly enhances the complex flavors found in our signature dishes.”
A chicken sandwich at Cheeky’s.
PHOTO COURTESY F10 CREATIVE
Everything on the menu at Cheeky’s is made from scratch using the freshest local ingredients (produce usually comes from within 100 miles), and the dishes rotate weekly. This breakfast darling is perhaps best known for its bacon flight, but get this: The eggs come from the restaurant’s own chickens.
While a lot of Mexican restaurants focus on dishes from Guadalajara, Tac/Quila’s cuisine reflects the diversity of Jalisco, drawing from the state’s south, east, and western regions, incorporating coastal and inland recipes. The restaurant recently added new vegan offerings, and chef David Arreguin is particularly proud of the three aguachile presentations.
“Our dishes are made with love by people who are happy to be working together. The back-of-house and front-of-house relationship is clear to customers that feel like they are dining among friends,” Arreguin says. “Guests return for an experience and not just a meal.”
Jalisco-style dishes at Tac/Quila.
PHOTO COURTESY TAC/QUILA
The interior of 4 Saints.
PHOTO COURTESY KIMPTON ROWAN PALM SPRINGS
Coastline catches such as grilled Spanish octopus and ranch fare like grass-fed beef short rib with root vegetable purée pair with stunning views of the San Jacinto Mountains at 4 Saints. The seventh-floor rooftop perch over the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs hotel encourages a slowly savored meal.
The Barn Kitchen
“The foundation of The Barn Kitchen has always been based on local, seasonal, and familiar foods that we bring to the table with a very humble sensibility,” chef Shawn Applin says. With ingredients gathered at local markets and served family-style at communal tables in a garden setting, eating at this Sparrows Lodge restaurant is akin to a dinner party at your closest foodie friend’s desert abode.
The Colony Club
This Moroccan-style oasis at The Colony Palms Hotel and Bungalows features elevated comfort dishes alongside innovative creations like a delectable poche (or pocket) of Pacific cod and scallop mousse wrapped inside of a Savoy cabbage leaf. Save room for the burnt Basque cheesecake — it’s cheesecake meets Creamsicle heaven.
“We were so honored and excited when we first learned in 2022 that The Colony Club had been listed in the Michelin Guide,” executive chef Michael Hung says. “It’s wonderful to see that our focus on giving guests a special experience each time they dine with us is being recognized. As we move forward, we are always trying to improve — every plate, every cocktail, every glass of wine. Each and every day is a chance to better ourselves and delight our guests. Hopefully, Michelin continues to see the improvements in our journey and sees fit to award us a star.”