What’s for Dinner

Trying to decide where to eat in Palm Desert? You'll find restaurants to satisfy everyone in your group on El Paseo. Here are the best spots!
Photography by Brandon Harman

Casual Night With the Crew

Two words: food crawl. Grab your favorite people and spend the evening chasing all the culinary bliss El Paseo’s restaurants have to offer.

On the breezy patio at Piero’s PizzaVino, nibble on grilled Parmesan artichokes and black mussels in housemade marinara. Or go for sashimi and rolls prepared by a master sushi chef at The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge, where spicy tuna and tart pickled gobo meet seared salmon and spicy aioli in the house’s signature roll. (You’ll find even more rolls at Mitch’s on El Paseo, Porta Via, and Shorebird.)

For elevated comfort food and quieter surrounds (all the better to hear your friends’ latest gossip!), head to The Daily Grill and dig into a flaky chicken pot pie, crispy fish and chips, or a juicy, Thousand Island–topped burger. Or grab a patio table with a view upstairs at Tommy Bahama Restaurant to sample crispy coconut shrimp, blackened mahi mahi tacos with island-style slaw, and crab cakes.

What’s for Dinner

Mitch's on El Paseo (also shown above)

Round out the night rocking to live music with a late-night wood-fired pizza to fuel the fun at Kitchen 86 + Bar. Stick to the classics with a sausage-and-pepper or margherita pie, or get adventurous and go for fruit — one sweet-and-savory version comes with blackberry sauce, apricot ricotta, and smoky bacon. On weekends, live bands add to the atmosphere at Hotel Paseo’s Larkspur Grill, an easy choice for an elevated yet laid-back meal inspired by our local bounty of ingredients.

Special Occasion

So, it’s your anniversary. Perhaps you’re fêting a professional milestone or a birthday. Or it’s a random Tuesday, and you’re in Palm Desert, and you simply want to treat yourself. Don your finest and book a reservation at one of El Paseo’s most elegant establishments. Revelers who believe that nothing says “cheers” like white-coat service and a 32-ounce Tomahawk chop should take a seat at Mastro’s Steakhouse. The restaurant’s El Paseo location serves top-shelf wagyu beef with luscious accompaniments including lobster mashed potatoes and wild mushroom and black truffle gnocchi.

Authentic Italian fare stars at Ristorante Mamma Gina and Il Corso, both romantic options for an evening of fresh, scratch-made pastas and signature entrées prepared with regionally influenced recipes. Le Paon is an upscale option for French cuisine (take a seat on the upstairs patio for a view), while Pacifica Seafood Restaurant punctuates a robust steak and seafood menu with an incredible selection of top-shelf vodkas.

Folks who like a prix fixe menu should dine at Sullivan’s Steakhouse, which offers three delicious courses (including prime filet mignon) for under $50 per person. A few blocks away, Mitch’s on El Paseo has one of the largest patios on the street, which was recently renovated to further elevate the guest experience. An artful sushi menu complements the well-rounded mix of pescatarian-friendly steakhouse fare (hello, miso-bathed Chilean sea bass). Eddie V’s Prime Seafood will also please a variety of palates with its selection of perfectly cooked steaks and fine fish dishes, from New York strip and ribeye to Parmesan-crusted sole and seared ahi tuna. Don’t overlook the chef’s specials!

What’s for Dinner

Porta Via

What’s for Dinner

Il Corso

Sweet Finish

If you saved any room, try this for dessert.

Chocolate Lasagna
Farm-to-table establishment Sweet Basil layers rich mascarpone cheese and cocoa with thin crêpes and an Oreo crust to create a playful, sugary take on the classic pasta dish.

Coachella Date & Walnut Frozen Custard
The frozen custard specialists at Perfect Pint craft this locally inspired flavor (similar to ice cream) from Coachella-grown Medjools, nuts, and a generous sprinkling of organic cinnamon.

Crêpes Suzette
Parisian-style bistro Café des Beaux-Arts transports diners to the City of Lights with this beloved French dessert: housemade crêpes flambéed in Grand Marnier and orange and lemon juices are finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and mandarin zest.

Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake
Fruit, whipped cream, and graham cracker crumble crown this decadent mini cheesecake at The Daily Grill. The strawberries are roasted for a melty consistency and deeper flavor.

This Sicilian dessert, made fresh at Il Corso, balances the crunch of a crisp Italian wafer shell with a sweet and creamy cheese filling. A chocolate sauce drizzle and strawberry slices top it off.

Key Lime Pie
Afficionados of this delectably tart creation know it’s hard to beat the slice at California Pizza Kitchen, made traditionally on a graham cracker crust and adorned with a dollop of housemade whipped cream.