Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

Tastes + Flavors

To Eat Is To Live. Chew Slowly And Relish The Ingredients. Each Bite Is A Gift.

El Paseo Palm Desert Dining

Brook wears a Rails dress and Nest earrings, Saks Fifth Avenue; sport sandals, Cactus Flower Shoe Salon. Zac wears a Mr. Turk polo, Trina Turk; Vince shorts, Saks Fifth Avenue. Photographed at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar.
Photograph by Fab Fernandez; Styling by Neil Cohen; Hair and Makeup by Jen Plus Colour

Breakfast or lunch? Coffee or cocktails? Wine or beer? Apps or dessert? You've likely picked up on the fact that El Paseo is an all-of-the-above kind of destination. As another gorgeous desert morning begins, coffee shops, cafés, and local brunch institutions prepare their best recipes to start the day. At Wilma & Frieda, bulk up on protein with a Benedict or give in to the sweet temptation of a churro-waffle paired with locally roasted coffee by Koffi. Take an iced tea or chai latte to go and head down the street to shop, stroll, or see a friend.

Lunch over sandwiches, salads, pastas, or sushi is a prelude to happy hour. Set your phone alarm. On El Paseo, drink specials start as early as 11:30 a.m.. Dinner offerings highlight global gastronomic traditions as chefs hail from culinary landmarks far and wide. Feel the European flair with a long, leisurely, multicourse meal shared at a table among your favorite people. Pair it with wine and forget about the clock — let your conversations trickle late into the evening hours.

The phrase "signature dish" is too limiting for this sophisticated stretch of restaurants in Palm Desert. Restaurants well-known for one thing bring their A-game for every section of the menu. Next time you're looking for a dish you haven't sampled yet, consider these.

— BREAKFAST

Weekday brunch is a longstanding desert tradition.
A Cinnamon Roll and Short Ribs Eggs Benedict at Wilma & Frieda
The ultimate sweet and savory combination. Start with a Bloody Caesar, garnished with pecan wood-smoked bacon. Juices, spices, and dates are sourced locally.
A Crêpe with Seasonal Fruit and a French Denver Omelet at Café des Beaux Arts
Petit déjeuner is de rigeur at this Parisian-style bistro with a climatecontrolled patio and a French-inspired menu. (It's brie that makes the Denver omelet so French.)

— LUNCH

Revive the lost art of midday respite and refreshment.
Char-Grilled Filet Mignon Salad at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar Light but filling, this entrée salad has staunch devotees for its crispy shiitakes, garlic aïoli, tamarind vinaigrette, and steak prepared to order. Seasonal cocktail optional.
Protein Specialty Roll at Mitch's on El Paseo
Those shying away from gluten fall back on this roll that wraps five kinds of seafood (snow crab, spicy tuna, albacore, shrimp, and spicy scallop) plus avocado in ultra-thin soy paper … no rice! Served with tangy ponzu dipping sauce.

— APPETIZER

Because every meal needs a bold overture.
Escargots de Bourgogne at Le Paon Ease into the evening's delights with this quintessential French specialty in garlic butter sauce. Contemporary French cuisine meets an Old World setting of chandeliers and tuxedos. Finely prepared veal, duck, frog legs, and Steak Diane are but a precursor to the Grand Marnier soufflé.

— DINNER

The sun just slipped behind the mountain. Your reservation awaits.
Miso Glazed Salmon or Trout Almondine at Daily Grill Regulars say the menu is so diverse (from French dip to pot pie) they could eat here, well, daily. The popcorn shrimp starter, wedge salad, monkey bread, chicken waffles, and key lime pie are other favorites.
Linguine alla Puttanesca at Ristorante Mama Gina Italian classics and pasta as it should be: with tomato sauce, garlic, capers, black olives, and a touch of anchovy — just enough for nuance.

— DRINKS

With food, or without.
Margaritas at Armando's Dakota Bar and Grill This happy hour meet-up spot, where locals and El Paseo merchants like to gather, makes a mean (read: potent) margarita. Limit: two.
Global vodkas at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant A clearly superior vodka bar stocked with more than 150 varieties from around the world joins a vast selection of beers and wines.

— DESSERT

The most-anticipated course, for good reason.
Warm Butter Cake at Mastro's Steakhouse Go for the steak, stay for this melt-in-your-mouth cake. Even if you've already indulged in lobster mashed potatoes (presented with lobster on top, then mixed tableside), save room for sharing some butter cake decadence.
Tiramisu at il Corso This one has a made a believer of the skeptics. A confection that rivals the Italian restaurant's romantic brick-walled atmosphere.

El Paseo Palm Desert Dining

Zac wears a Mr. Turk burnt orange sweater, Trina Turk; Vince shorts, Saks Fifth Avenue; bracelet, stylist’s own. Photographed at Wilma & Frieda.
Photograph by Fab Fernandez; Styling by Neil Cohen; Hair and Makeup by Jen Plus Colour