Palm Desert is a relatively “new” town. It looks to me that it’s the “new” Palm Springs. This whole area seems to run together geographically. The boundaries are not clear as a tourist, but the cities are all administered differently. There is never charged parking in Palm Desert! Tourists can appreciate that. There’s a lot of parking and never a charge. You just park and walk. The shopping was amazing in the area where we parked. There were many specialty shops and art galleries to explore. It was a beautiful area and clean until the wind came up and started blowing tree parts down!
The wind came up slowly but then blew with a vengeance yesterday. By the time our tour was over it was in the area of 30 to 40 mph sustained with gusts up to 60 mph. Hold on to your hat and cover your eyes. It blew until about 11 pm even contributing to some flight cancellations. There were some planes that attempted to land and pulled up and went elsewhere. My daughter flew out in the midst of the storm with an excellent Delta pilot yesterday. 10 minutes into the flight it smoothed out but the first ten minutes was a little scary she said. The pilot cam out and spoke to them and told them what to expect so for him it was just another day in Palm Springs. To the passengers it was a little unnerving but at lest they knew what to expect. She arrived home safely last night!
So back to the Food tour news! We drove the 20 minutes to Palm Desert and parked in a garage. We walked a couple of minutes to our starting place. The name of the company that we booked with was Desert Tasty Tours and we selected the El Paseo (street name) tour. We were not disappointed!
There were a total of six restaurants on our tasting tour. Our tour guide was Laurie and she was knowledgeable and friendly. She stayed ahead of us and notified the next restaurants when we were on our way so most of them were ready for us within minutes of arrival.
The first stop was Pacifica Seafood Restaurant where we were treated to a ceviche salad that was excellent. It was a drier salad than most ceviche and was served with chips. It was delicious and definitely something I would order again. They are best known for their Vodka bar known internationally and daily fresh fish. They have great prices on their bar drinks and a very nice happy hour menu. They are located in an outdoor mall area with a parking garage directly behind it on the second floor. It’s very accessible with both elevators and escalators to the second floor.
We got a little history lesson on the tour in a shady spot (it was already warm even though the tour began at 11:30 am) and then proceeded to the next restaurant. One of the oldest in the area and one of our favorites in the end was Ristorante Mamma Gina. They started us with a lovely Pinot Grigio tasting and our menu was a gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce that was to die for! They have happy hour all day so there are plenty of low cost items to select from all day in the bar or outside patio tables. This place is a must do place for Italian food.