Sol y Sombra empanadas.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE PALOMA RESORT
Lulu California Bistro: With a lively outdoor patio and colorful multilevel main dining room centered around a bustling bar, there’s always a party at this downtown favorite. The unmissable happy hour includes a diverse assortment of beers, bites, wines, and cocktails.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS
Thai Palms: This unassuming restaurant prepares classic Thai curries, stir-fries, and soups that are big enough to share but also delicious enough to devour solo.
The Paloma Resort: When it comes to unwinding, this resort promises it all, from tapas-style bites at on-site restaurant Sol y Sombra to spa services at Grounded at The Paloma. Follow your poolside libation with a massage for the ultimate experience, then cozy up in a suite decked in murals of desert plants.
RANCHO MIRAGE (TIED)
Desert Island Country Club: Sample oysters, sea bream crudo, and other delectable bites at Desert Island’s restaurant, The Penney, where ingredients are king. The stylish space boasts views of the 18-hole golf course, which was private since the 1970s but opened to the public in 2022.
Shabu Shabu Zen and Sake Bar: Following an impressive career as a flight attendant for All Nippon Airways, famous for its hospitality, Miho Suma opened this authentic Japanese hot pot restaurant where diners cook their own meat, seafood, and vegetables in flavorful broth.
The Hideout Kitchen + Bar: Get ready for a family-style feast at The Hideout Kitchen + Bar on El Paseo. Top picks include avocado fries, pesto Brussels sprouts, marinara meatballs, and 10-inch wood-fired pizzas.
Indian Kitchen: Teeming with spices and topped with succulent sauces, the Indian dishes here are best enjoyed family style. The menu includes a bounty of meatless options.
Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill: You enjoy three for one at this Old Town La Quinta favorite: amazing happy hour specials, delicious appetizers and entrées that are best passed among friends, and bartenders who can shake up almost anything you’re craving.
Cork & Fork: The lively local gathering spot excels in items you can pass around (especially during happy hour, when small plates are 20 percent off). Try the crispy cauliflower, deviled eggs, and butter-poached lobster shooters.