Morgan’s in the Desert is older than La Ouinta Resort & Club itself — if you go by their names, that is. This swanky fine-dining destination was the prominent resort’s first eatery, opened in the late 1920s when Bay Area businessman Walter H. Morgan bought land from the Cahuilla Indians and created a desert retreat for his Hollywood friends. In those days, a rustic communal table sat amid luxury casitas that provided refuge for the likes of Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo.
Morgan’s still has a long chef’s table for private parties, but the restaurant inevitably expanded and evolved with the times. It remains on the A-list for modern-day celebrities; of course, today’s guest list extends far beyond the jet set. Many are drawn to its historic charm coupled with cutting-edge cuisine and mixology. You’ll find comforts from the past, like the fireplace, piano music, and cowboy mural that’s been here since 1926, while the epicurean experience has evolved to include seasonal ingredients, with special attention paid to local flavors.
The menu is ever diversifying. Given offerings deeply rooted in California cuisine, you can always expect fresh market salads, savory small plates, Prime steaks, and chargrilled seafood, plus an extensive wine list to perfectly complement every meal.
At the entrance, a walkway trellised by bougainvillea plumes spills into the homey yet upscale dining salon and lounge, featuring frequent live entertainment. The front patio is ideal for people-watching, while the outdoor firepit is as cozy as the cinnamon-smoked old fashioned — one of many signature libations at Morgan’s.