Mussels stacked up high, wallowing in a steamy little sea of garlic butter. Shoestring fries sprinkled with flakes of parmesan cheese. A nice chilled sauvignon blanc. Dry desert air and a shady patio. Attentive friendly service.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It wasn't just because of all of the above mentioned desirables in a dining experience----it was drowning the last crispy fries in the remains of the mussel-garlic butter broth !
There are plenty of elegant restaurants in the Coachella Valley: Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indoi, and this is certainly one of them.
In southern California an elegant ambiance does not call for a tie or a fancy dress. Casual golf chic seems to be de rigueur for all outings, so put the flip flops back on. Cutoffs and a T-shirt, maybe not.
You will get great bang for your buck in a cozy and well-appointed atmosphere at La Brasserie. Beet salad with goat cheese. Crepes of all persuasion. Vegan ravioli. I especially liked my iceberg wedge with bleu cheese crumbles and bacon.
The wine list is extensive and interesting, French champagne, Rohtschild white bordeaux, Alsace rose, Cotes du Rhone red, and some choice Californian and Argentinian reds for good measure. Let us not forget the pinot noir from Bourgogne and Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Seafood selections are fresh and delicious, considering the coast of California is two hours away. Classic French dishes such as cassoulet with white beans and duck confit and French onion soup share the menu with inventive nouveau Californienne cuisine like sesame encrusted seared Ahi tuna and Crater Lake vodka "Gravalax": cured salmon with toast points, horseradish sauce and whole grain mustard emulsion.
La Brasserie is on the corner of Washington St. and Highway 111, the main drag from Palm Springs down the Coachella Valley. The restaurant is easy to miss, as it istucked back in the corner of in a shopping center. Easy access from Interstate 10 by the Washington St exit.
For first time visitors who may be staying north of there in Palm Springs, it makes a nice scenic circuit to drive down the freeway, stop for a La Brasserie gourmet extravaganza dinner and take the 111 back to Palm Springs.
All the way there are gorgeous mountain views of the 10,000 ft Mt. San Jacinto range looming over the valley, the vast dry sandy desert, and palms and eucalyptus shading beautifully landscaped golf courses.
It will give you a twenty mile round trip tour of the valley with a fabulous dining experience in between.
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