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Café to Café

Palm Springs & Orange County Restaurants

We've been looking at neighborhood restaurants around Seattle and thought it might be fun to share a few in California we visited lately. Needless to say, there are a million places to eat; these are just a few to check out next time you visit.

Coachella Valley

The Palms Café, Atrium

A fairly large spot, the draw for those of us from cooler climates is the outdoor patio. Umbrellas, flowers, warm air. They do breakfast and lunch, all fairly standard menu-wise. They offer some vegetarian dishes, plus their Eggs Benedict on weekends with house-made hollandaise. Dogs are welcome on the patio.

69930-CA 111, #120, Rancho Mirage, California, 760-770-1614.

Louise's Pantry

An American diner, we went for breakfast. On Sundays, they offer a mimosa to each adult guest, either as they wait or at their table. First one's free, the rest are on you. They are open for breakfast and lunch daily, sharing home style cooking. Both menus are large. Breakfast includes lots of egg dishes, corned beef hash, waffles, pancakes, and south of the border items. Lunch is full of sandwiches, soup, salad, burgers, and dogs. They have kids' menus as well. Another restaurant is in La Quinta.

73155 Highway 111, Palm Desert, California, 760-837-3900.

Melvyn's Restaurant & Lounge

Haven't been her ourselves but it's a favorite of people we know who never miss a chance to go on Sunday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. for their "Fabulous Jam Session" where Pam Springs' top guest musicians and singers perform. Their Casablanca Lounge offers live entertainment and dancing at 8 p.m. most nights. A local DJ plays tunes Thursday-Saturday nights. The restaurant offers brunch, lunch, and dinner. Dinner boasts a large menu with plenty of seafood, lamb, veal, beef, spinach salad prepared at your table and more.

200 W Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, California, 760-325-2323.

Riccio's Steak & Seafood Restaurant

The Riccio family has offered fine dining in the dessert for nearly 30 years. Their steak and seafood restaurant offers a great patio where you can do some serious people watching, or you can dine inside surrounded by dark wood and Tuscan colors. They offer lunch and dinner. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches, paella, panini, soup, pastas, and children's items. Dinner focuses on seafood and steaks, but also chicken, veal, pork, and pasta.

495 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, California, 760-325-3111.

Wang's in the Desert

What drew us to Wang's in the first place was live music during happy hour. Singers perform on the covered patio that has misters. Fun people to listen to while you drink. It's vacation, right? We moved into the dining room and found that their food is really good. It's both Chinese (dim sum items, walnut shrimp, kung pao tofu) and Thai (larb salad, Tom Yum Kai Soup) and Japanese (edamame, ahi tuna tartar with avocado). You must return to taste it all.

424 S Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, California, 760-325-9264.

Sammy's Place

We wanted Italian and this was nearby so we gave it a shot. It's in a small strip mall, very unassuming. As we walked to the door, a staff member opened it for us, greeted us, and all we could smell was garlic. We were home! They use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients in their pasta, salad, seafood, and meat dishes. Italian sauces and dessert specialties are made in-house.

69034 E Palm Canyon Dr, Cathedral City, California, 760-835-0074.

Orange County

Ways & Means Oyster House

Part of a lifestyle area, Pacific City, with all kinds of restaurants and shops, Ways & Means offers specials every day, brunch, and their general food and beverage menu. Lots of oysters, of course, but also fish tacos, Asian seared steak noodle salad, fish and chips, crispy polenta sticks, clam chowder, French dip sliders, sweet and spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp lobster deviled eggs, lobster roll, grilled rainbow carrots, yes, something for everyone. Lots of custom cocktails and classics, wine, beer. You have a pretty good view of the ocean from their patio. It's a fairly new place and the staff really works to make you happy. Looks like they're opening in Portland, Oregon, this summer.

21022 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, California, 714-960-4300.

hopdoddy burger bar

With locations in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and California, you can't say it's an intimate local concept. But you can say it's fun and good. This location is in the Fashion Island shopping center which is a destination itself, including a Tesla dealership amongst the restaurants and shops. Their burgers are made from humanely-raised cows and they grind meat daily in-house. Buns are made from scratch and baked fresh all day. There are salads, a few sides, and shakes not to mention plenty of options for local beer, wine, and cocktails. Nice outdoor patio area.

311 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, California, 949-640-2337.

June 2017

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