Food for Less

Vietnamese Pork Chop

Vietnamese Pork Chop

On our last visit to PSP, we tried a new restaurant in Indio. It was called the Pho of the Desert and it is located on Hwy 111 in the Food for Less mall. The menu is extensive and they have everything that a Vietnamese PHO restaurant would have, including Vietnamese subs and bubble tea. When asked which bubble teas have fresh fruit, they said every drink uses fresh fruit so we tried mango and it was truly heaven. The bubbles were soft and fresh too.

I had ordered the Pork Chop and it was delicious. It comes with a side of salad and rice. The pork chop is marinated with Vietnamese spices and charbroiled. It is served with a bowl of sauce for dipping or salad dressing. Also they served us a bowl of PHO soup base and it was tasty. Next time, we will have to try a bowl of PHO knowing that the soup is well done.

Prices are reasonable and there is plenty of seating. I highly recommend a visit.

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Buffalo in Palm Desert

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

I have always wanted to try a Buffalo Wild Wings and so finally, I have. Located just off the Westfield mall in Palm Desert, this is a loud and busy restaurant. If you’re looking for some action when there is a college football game on then this place is buzzing. If you’re sensitive to noise then don’t go here. There is a considerable amount of hollering here and it reminds me a lot of a sports bar or Hooters. Buffalo Wild Wings is both a bar and restaurant. Does it get rowdy? Most definitely.

I was surprised that they let kids in but they restrict them from entering the bar section. The unfortunate part is that the restrooms is next to the bar so how do they restrict kids from walking by, I don’t know?

The food is great there. Next time, I have to remember to bring my ear muffs to hear my own chewing.

 

 

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Legacy is no more

Thai Lunch

Thai Lunch

I can’t believe I have to live without a great Thai restaurant in La Quinta because the Legacy Thai restaurant is no more.

I thought I drove past it the other day when I went to Lumpy’s but when I backed up to look, it was truly gone. I loved their lunch specials and the dishes they served there. It was always tasty and the service was good too.

I don’t know why they left us. Anyone reading this and knows, please comment.

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Royal Pain in Indio

Hole # 1, Royal Nine

Hole # 1, Royal Nine

I’m usually a happy camper when it comes to playing golf in Palm Springs and I was ready to make a statement about not disliking any golf course that I’ve met, but I really don’t care to play the course at Indian Palms CC again. My good friend Jack had warned me not to play there because he found it to be too narrow. I usually follow Jack’s recommendations but I found a good deal on GolfNow ($24 for golf and cart) and I had to try it out for myself.

We started on the Royal Nine which gave us a good feel for what Jack called narrow. I survived hole # 1 with a worm burner and got on the green safely after a bad approach shot and a mediocre bump and run. It wasn’t until the second hole that made me think twice. An errant tee shot landed me in someone’s backyard. Luckily no one was home. My ball ended up next to a patio chair and no broken windows – phew! After that incident, I decided to leave the big dog in the bag. Every hole after that became narrower and narrower. Even the par 5 that slowly shapes left was narrow. I couldn’t imagine anyone hitting driver there.

What was the golf course designer thinking? He should have made it a back to back par 3. I’m glad to say that the course opens up after hole # 7. There are fewer homes around the fairways and less chance of hitting into someone’s yard. I finally calmed down and played a few decent holes. Overall it was not an enjoyable round of golf.

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Taste like Paste

Camarones in Rancheros

Camarones in Rancheros

It was late and I didn’t feel like driving to the Date Palm area to eat at one of our favourite Mexican restaurants, La Salsas. Instead we tried a new Mexican restaurant located in the corner of Adams and Highway 111. It was called Mariachi and it served 2-for-1 Margaritas between 2 to 6pm, Monday to Friday. If you’re in for a show, try to drop in on Friday nights because they have a live Mariachi band that tours and drops in during dinner time.

A bowl of chips and salsa arrived at our table. There was nothing homemade about the salsa because it looked and tasted like a can of tomato paste.

We ordered the Ceviche Pescado (fish only) on a Tortilla but was disappointed. It had everything to make for a good ceviche but it didn’t have enough lemon juice. The result was a dry and tasteless dish.

When the entrees arrived, I was starving. My camarones (ie. shrimp) looked good but few in number. Rice and refried beans came along with the dish. The ranchero sauce was thick and spicy. Unlike La Salsas, the sauce did not have green peppers or onions. It was like the Diabla sauce but not as potent.

 

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Congrats to Lexi Thompson

Kraft Nabisco Trophy

Kraft Nabisco Trophy

It was another really good golf tournament at the Kraft Nabisco in Rancho Mirage. We weren’t in town to watch it but we followed it intently on television. Both Lexi and Michelle played exceptional golf.

From Thursday  on, we watched Lydia Ko, Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie play their best. We even saw Angel Yin a few times when she played like a pro. It was as though we knew her.

Last year, we met Angel’s father while in line when we were all waiting for the bus. When you attend the Kraft Nabisco, you can’t just drive up to the golf course and park unless you are a VIP, media or someone affiliated with the LPGA.

You park your car at south end of the Aqua Caliente parking lot and shuttles take you to the Mission Hills Country Club. Throughout the day, there are shuttles that pick you up from the golf course and take you back to the parking lot.

For a moment there, Angel was right up there on the Leaderboard. Something happened to her game because she ended up last, alone at 73rd position. Better luck next year Angel. We will be watching for you!

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Congrats to Novak

Novak wins

Novak wins

I guess I should congratulate Novak for his back-to-back wins at Indian Wells and Miami. I was disappointed after seeing my favourite player, Roger Federer lose to Novak Djokovic when I was sitting in the hot sun at Indian Wells. It was a great match and Novak really played well.

Novak Djokovic becomes the first player to win both the BNP Paribas Open and the Sony Open. It would have been nice to see Roger win it, like he did a few years ago. It was clear that Roger had improved since last year and there were signs of the old Roger coming back. I felt confident of Roger’s backhand. It was solid and well executed, unlike last year when I held my breath every time he went for his back hand.

It would had been nice to had seen Rafa, Milos and Andy but this year, we missed them because we only attended the Championship weekend. By missing them earlier in the week, we are now re-thinking our future purchase of tickets. Perhaps, we need to attend the week sessions just in case the top seeds don’t make it past the earlier rounds. I know Rafa had lost to Dolgopolov earlier on and so did Maria Sharapova. I also missed out on Ryan Harrison’s match and would have liked watching Ana Ivanovic too.

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Counting Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

One of my favourite things to do when I’m in Palm Springs is to visit the animals at the Living Desert Zoo. There you will find an assortment of animals like giraffes, lions, elephants, ostriches and birds of all kinds.

Another favourite event that I enjoy is to play a round of golf at the SilverRock resort in La Quinta. As a resident, I get to play this course for a reasonable dollar and enjoy a PGA championship course where the Bob Hope Invitational was played on.

Along the back nine, the fairways run along the canal and the mountains where often, big horn sheep comes down from the hills to drink water and to graze. I’ve seen them many times on the course but usually from afar.

This time was different because on hole # 16, a large male sheep was standing on the blue tees waiting for us. Luckily we were playing from the white tees so we stopped, took this picture and drove on. These are majestic looking animals but approach them carefully because they are still wild animals.

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Another Satisfied Customer at Salsa’s

Pork Shank

Pork Shank

Our friends are in town for the BNP Paribas Open and one of the restaurants we have recommended to them to try was Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant on Highway 111 and Date Palm Drive.

They tried it and loved it! And so did we (for the um-teenth time). On this occasion, I decided to try something new. I usually go for one of their Camarones (or shrimp) dishes but I was starving and needed some meat in my diet. I went for the Pork Shanks in Adobo Sauce. It was served with the usual stuff, rice, beans and veggies.

I found the pork a bit fatty but the sauce was incredibly delicious. The pork shank was a good size and there were lots of edible morsels of meat on it but let me warn you, it was quite fatty as well.

The adobo sauce is delicious which I used to slurp up with rice. Like always, corn tortillas or flour tortillas are served alongside, making it a pretty hardy meal.

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Rafa at Okura’s

Kobe Beef Carpaccio

Kobe Beef Carpaccio

I found out one of the favourite hangouts for tennis celebrities playing at the BNP Paribas Open is Okura’s on Highway 111 and Washington. I spoke with Carl who is one of the managers there and he told me that Ana Ivanovic had already dined there twice. He was hoping to see Rafael Nadal because Rafa really likes their sashimi and always enjoys the delicacies and quality of food at Okura’s. He has been eating at Okura’s ever since he started competing here.

I was doubtful to see Rafa because he had lost the match against Alexandr Dolgopolov. For some reason, Rafa wasn’t himself and Alex was playing extremely well. Maybe we’ll see Rafa next year at Okura’s.

At Okura’s, every item on the menu is high quality. I’m glad to hear that it is very popular to tennis celebrities because I like it too. Every time I’m in town, I try to make it to Okura’s at least once.

For the adventurous eaters, try the Kobe Beef Carpaccio which are very thin sliced beef from Kobe, Japan. The dish is served raw with slivers of pickles on it. To eat it, you simply roll the beef up with a slice of pickle inside and eat it. Okura’s has three types of carpaccio’s on the menu, Hamachi Carpaccio, Salmon Carpaccio and Kobe Beef Carpaccio. All of them are a must-try.

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