Burrata bruschetta (left) at Grapefruit Basil.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurants Serve Spring-Inspired Dishes

Spring brings lighter fare with seasonal produce and herby, floral flavors to Coachella Valley area restaurants.

Amelia Rodriguez Restaurants

Burrata bruschetta (left) at Grapefruit Basil.

Burrata bruschetta (left) at Grapefruit Basil.

As photogenic wildflowers fill Greater Palm Springs with inspiring color, local chefs are embracing the season’s bounty of produce, creating vibrant bites and sips as fresh as the air outside. Here are five local dishes and drinks that sing spring.

Burrata Bruschetta

Grapefruit Basil
Indian Wells

Fruit for spring is hardly groundbreaking. Except on bruschetta, it is. Grapefruit Basil, the airy eatery at Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, marries rich burrata and artichoke hearts a refreshing pop of fennel, the bite of baby radish, and the sweet, acidic snap of mandarin oranges. A jolt of olive oil and vinegar brings it all together, and toasty grilled sourdough stands by to scoop it all up. Best nibbled alfresco on the restaurant’s patio, it’s “the perfect dish to start off your meal,” says chef Matthew Resler.

Roasted Beet Salad

Chúla Artisan Eatery
La Quinta

“I love food that has multiple dimensions,” says Katherine Gonzalez, owner of Chúla Artisan Eatery in La Quinta. This season, the restaurant’s roasted beet salad plays with flavor and texture to weave a complex and satisfying tapestry: peppery arugula, earthy beets, crisp watermelon radish, creamy goat cheese, and tangy citrus vinaigrette.

Chúla takes farm-to-table ultra-seriously, sourcing produce from nearby fields. Several ingredients, including the root veggies, cilantro, and radish, come from Aziz Farms in Thermal, while Coachella Urban Valley Farm provides the microgreens. “We like to go out and look at the farm and see what they’re doing that we could use,” Gonzalez explains.

Armando’s Bar

A tangy citrus vinaigrette dresses the roasted beet salad at Chúla Artisan Eatery.

Hanalei Cucumber Salad

Palm Desert

It’s easy to obsess over this cucumber salad at Wildest. And you can feel good about ordering it regularly. The Palm Desert restaurant sources most of its ingredients from family-run Coachella Valley farms, so your dollars stay local. The Hanalei cucumbers come from Temalpakh Farm operated by the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians rather than Hawaii. Meanwhile, Aziz Farms gows the grapefruit and mint. Salad toppers include crispy chickpeas; goat cheese from Drake Family Farms in nearby Ontario; and grassy olive oil by way of Temecula.

Beet Poke

Palm Springs

“Many associate [desert] terrain with barren grounds, but the California ecosystem is diverse and rich with an abundance of flavors,” says chef Jonathan Thoma, who leads the kitchen at Mīnerva’s, the bustling poolside restaurant at the recently opened Life House hotel in Palm Springs. “The inspiration was to deliver a menu that celebrates the vitality of Palm Springs’ desert landscape.” The result is a roundup of colorful and plant-forward plates, including a beet poke, a vegan take on the classic fish dish. Roasted purple and golden beets, cucumbers, avocado, and seaweed salad rest on a bed of crispy rice, drizzled with sesame dressing.

Minerva’s beet poke gets topped with thinly sliced cucumber.

Minerva’s beet poke gets topped with thinly sliced cucumber.


The Copper Room
Yucca Valley

“Because we’re technically an airport bar, we couldn’t resist featuring cocktails with a flair for the aeronautical in their name,” says Terry Six, beverage director at The Copper Room. Located at the Yucca Valley Airport, this eatery/lounge was founded in 1957. It became a hangout for frequent fliers like Frank Sinatra, and although its name and concept have evolved through the years, the current owners have taken things back to the glory days — and that includes great drinks.

To make the Aviation, Six plays up the floral notes in Ford’s gin with crème de violette. “The freshly squeezed lemon and the semisweet balance of cherry from [maraschino] liqueur bump up the profile to that of a perfect spring cocktail.” The finished product gets dressed up with a candied cherry.