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"Fancy" dinner recommendation

Level Contributor
258 posts
2 reviews
"Fancy" dinner recommendation

My wife, daughter (15) and myself will be in PS at the end of March. We need a recommendation for a special dining experience. It could be the food itself (although we are not big foodies) but also a place that wows. Maybe the decor or the scenery, or maybe a famous place that the celebrities of old used to eat at. We are also willing to drive to outlying areas for this experience.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Edited: 24 January 2010, 03:50
Level Contributor
39,028 posts
1,014 reviews
1. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

Wally's Desert Turtle is very elegant and formal and they have excellent food. I have a review of our time there this past April when we stayed at the Westin Mission Hills. You can book on www.opentable.com We also loved BluEmber @ the Rancho Las Palmas Resort, there is patio dining there and live music, excellent food here, also. Have a great trip! :)

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
16,035 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

The last time I was in Palm Springs my group and I had a fantastic meal at LJ's Prime Steakhouse. The wow factor was the food. Everything else about the place was very nice too.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
21,770 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

There are so many excellent restaurants in Palm Springs. A place where movie stars went is:

Melvyn's Restaurant and Lounge (think Frank Sinatra).


One of the very best places we've been to in PS, is Le Vallauris, truly a superb experience.


Also Falls Prime Steak House is very popular. Fun to sit out on the balcony and people watch.


As you are willing to go down the valley, one of my favorites:

Jillian's in Palm Desert


Sullivan's Steak House


Shame on the Moon in Rancho Mirage


If you are in La Quinta, the Desert Sage


or Arnold Palmer's


Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
Level Contributor
6,730 posts
189 reviews
4. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

I was very disappointed in Falls Steak House. The quality was mediocre at best and the prices were outrageous. It is also not at all "fancy."

My favorite for a special meal in Palm Springs is Le Vallauris http://www.levallauris.com/ Always great food and service.

My conference group used to go to Wally's Desert Turtle every year until everyone protested that it was overpriced and pretentious. Nothing unique at all.

Grants Pass, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,133 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

Cuistot @ 72 595 El Paseo, Palm Desert is a very pretty french menu restaurant. PH: 760-340-1000. Although it does get mixed reviews on TA, we have always enjoyed it as a 'special' dinner place.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

I thought I heard that The Falls has gone out of business? Not a great loss to us, as, for a steakhouse, we far prefer LG's down the street. Desert Turtle is a hoot if you are into people watching -- my kids love the Old Hollywood clientele. Arnold Palmer's is all about comfort -- a big bar, unpretentious service and basics like meat loaf, mac and cheese, pork chops and applesauce.

I like the intimate ambience and the food at Jillians, which is in a historic house, and the glorious settings of two of the La Quinta Resort restaurants (Adobe Grill and the newly re-opened Morgan's) both of which include under-the-stars options. Mamma Gina's is a very genuine offshoot of a restaurant in Florence, Italy (and you HAVE to have to tomato bread soup if you go). Jackalope Ranch is huge and rambling and has very possibly the youngest crowd out there among the more upscale restaurants.

Finally, The LaQuinta Cliff House has a few tables outdoors, right up against the rocks, with a small waterfall crashing down. The food is good enough even indoors, but we love the outdoor setting!

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
21,770 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

The Falls Steak House is very much alive and popular. To the OP, It's very nice to get one of the outside tables on the balconies (it's upstairs) which look over Palm Canyon Ave. in the middle of downtown. You can see it when you are staying in PS and decide if that's something you might like to try.

nomonoloco, perhaps you are thinking of the second Falls location that was in a strip mall in La Quinta. They are closed now.

Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
8. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

In answer to you question in order of preference:

1) Jillian's-outstanding food in a great environment. My top choice.

2) Wally's-Also outstanding food and service

3) Quistot-Very good just a notch below Jillian's and Wally's in quality of food, service and atmosphere.

4) Shame on the Moon-Less expensive but very good quality. A local favorite.

Commentions on other suggestions:

1) Melvyn's-Stay away from, really has slipped in quality. Not anyway near the quality of the restaurants above.

2) Falls and LG"s-both average at best and way overpriced for what they are. The best steakhouse in the desert is a chain, Morton's BY FAR!

3) Jackalope-Average food served for a mass amount of people. Very average.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

CANative -- yes, I was thinking of The Falls in LaQuinta. Thanks.

Mortons we have in Chicago. What we can't get here are palm-framed views of mountains by starlight, and well-preserved show biz folks. :-) Wish I were there right now! Best to all.

10. Re: "Fancy" dinner recommendation

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