Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Wed December 23 2015

Opinion Home | The Main Course

  • Gabe Zaldivar | December 23, 2015 8:00 PM ET

    Returning to Palm Springs For Much Needed Restaurant Review

    Returning to Palm Springs For Much Needed Restaurant Review

    Photos by Gabe Zaldivar

    I hadn’t been to Palm Springs since I was a child, which means the last time I was in this sweltering hotbed of culinary delights I was dousing food with ketchup and spilling a great deal of it on my shirt.

    Decades later, I am still fond of ketchup and can’t quite leave a restaurant with a pristine shirt devoid of any amount of food stains.

    However, I think I’ve learned how to appreciate food a bit more since my formative years.

    The biggest takeaway from my recent Palm Springs excursions is how much it has to offer tourists in the form of the ongoing Buzz trolley that whisks passengers through the vibrant section of town for free, amazingly comfortable accommodations including a burgeoning Airbnb scene and, most importantly, food.

    The food is hardly what got me to the desert but it certainly will bring me back.

    King’s Highway:

    The first stop was at King’s Highway, which is the kind of diner you might see in a Tarantino movie, only turned up one or two clicks on the hipster meter. Seriously, don’t play a drinking game that revolves around taking a shot when you spot Capri pants or you will leave heavily sauced.

    It’s the kind of place that you imagine truck drivers mingling with locals, talking about their ever-growing vinyl collection.,As far as food goes, it’s as you would expect from the décor, diner food turned a couple of notches towards sophistication.

    Do yourself a favor and get the house made ricotta, which was sweet, refreshing and in my case very nearly eaten by the spoonful. 


    You can always tell how good a restaurant is by how often you think of returning to the establishment during your vacation. It’s that fear of never returning that can get you.,The truly good places actually get you to come back, which is when I tell you that I ate here twice in just a few days’ time.

    Now the menu is always changing, so I can’t exactly recommend a main course. But I do highly suggest a bacon flight, if only for the ability to cross that thing off the bucket list.

    This place does simple food extremely well. From bacon and eggs to a fried chicken sandwich, I left satisfied and happy, which is a miracle considering the hangover I meandered in with one morning. 


    If you want to feel as if you are dining in a 1980s dystopian sci-fi movie, this is your restaurant of choice.

    If you are lucky enough to get a booth, you will get an immense amount of privacy, book ended by concrete columns that seemingly touch the sky. However, this isn’t to say the place is cold or uninviting, because it’s not. In actuality, it’s a highly romantic spot that serves delicious dishes that arrive beautifully.

    Copley’s on Palm Canyon:

    I’ve never particularly felt cool or all that “with it” as it pertains to style and panache. However, a romantic night at Copley’s will have you humming to yourself as if you were Dean Martin himself.

    Well, I should say Cary Grant, seeing as how this restaurant is located on a parcel of his former estate.

    Now it might look miniscule from the outside, but that’s just the façade. Walk through it and you are greeted by an open-air patio that features a number of tables and an inside that reflects a touch of class with frivolity. Then there’s the food, which is prepared and executed with the hand of caring craftsmanship.

    The New York Steak was pretty much the dining definition of a steak: juicy, tender with a nice crust on the outside, which is normally difficult to find when ordered medium rare.

    Couple that with wine and the desert moonlight and you forget that this is a new experience for a moment.

    The child in me was beaming from the inside—although the adult gets to have the last laugh, confident in the knowledge that the truly great stuff was left for this very special return visit.  


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Gabe Zaldivar The Main Course

Gabe Zaldivar Born on the rough streets of suburban West Covina, I learned a great many things, some of which has proved useful: knowing the tell-tale sounds of an ice cream truck and crafting a world-class burrito come to mind. You have seen my work on Bleacher Report and possibly my mug on CNN. Perhaps, if you are into archaic modes of entertainment, you have also heard me on the radio. Pop culture is my beat. If it has to do with the intersection of travel, entertainment and pop culture, I'm your guy.
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