Friday, May 18, 2018

Food Review: Travel Edition Palm Springs

Here is another post long over due from when Chris and I spent a few days in Palm Springs for the first time. Hearing it was a great place to have some yummy eats and also do some antique shopping we made the hour a a half road trip in the blistering heat. Our first foodie stop was Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise.

I was excited to try this place because of the traditional Japanese pub style and also because the menu offered things not typically seen on your average Japanese restaurant food menu in the US.

Our first pick of the menu were the Chargrilled Shishito Peppers w/ caramelized miso. I love shishito peppers! It is always fun when you get that unexpected spicy one in the bunch.

Next we had the Portobello Fries. Big strips of portobello mushrooms deep battered and fried to a crisp and served with some spicy aioli sauce. These were really good. Gyoro Gyoro offers a big selection of yakitori items. Yakitotori translated is grilled bird, but can also be small bites that are grilled on and served on skewers. It is a very popular item at traditional izakaya restaurants in Japan.

The Scallop and Salmon Belly pictured first were pretty simple. The scallops could have used a little more seasoning and they were a little on the rubbery side, but the salmon belly was moist and delicious. The Pork Toro pictured underneath was grilled pork belly, topped with a Japanese mayo, green onion and nori. It was my fave of the three things we tried from the yakitori menu.

The toro was not on the menu but something I always ask for when I dine at a Japanese restaurant. This tuna belly was buttery and sooo good. I also love that Chris will not eat sashimi so I never have to share my toro.

We had to try one of their sushi rolls so Chris chose their signature Lobster Roll. Lobster tempura, snow crab and avocado with diced jalapeno and Serrano peppers. It was topped with a sauce americaine. The roll was good, it would have been extra special if the lobster tail pictured had contained some lobster meat in it. Unfortunately it was just a shell used for plating.

As if all this food wasn't enough, we ordered dessert, because I can never pass up Creme Brulee when it is on the menu. This was a Creamy Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee it was probably my least favorite thing I tried the entire meal. It was pretty bland and while the bruleed part on top looks like it is crisp in the photo, it was not. The matcha green tea cookie with vanilla ice cream next to it was much better. This one was also not on the menu but was suggested by our waiter. The cookie was crisp and buttery served warm which made the ice cream topping extra special. If you like Japanese food Gyoro Gyoro is a must try on your next trip to the desert.

I surprised Chris with a stop at Truss & Twine, a cocktail bar with an appetizer menu. The reason I chose Truss & Twine is because on their cocktail menu they had a Hanky Panky, Chris' favorite drink, and not one you see very often. This cocktail consists of barrel-aged gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet Branca. I would suggest also ordering one of their original cocktails like the Game Changer. A combo if gin, lime, cucumber, sugar, onion brine, sea salt and celery bitters. I know it sounds a little strange but it is actually very tasty and refreshing, and I am not even a fan of gin. We ordered some small plates to enjoy with our drinks.

The Pretzel Sticks wrapped with house pastrami and served with a mustard butter were pretty unimpressive. The pastrami was almost jerky-ish but it did have good flavor.

We also ordered some charcuterie and cheese. I honestly can not remember exactly what we ordered only that it was good. The round cheese pictured underneath was coated with hibiscus flowers and was especially yummy. I like that you can pick from several meats and cheeses and create your own little tasting board. Truss & Twine  was a great experience. I love the dark atmosphere and vintage cocktails but the music that was playing on this particular night did not fit the mood. It was a little elevator-ish in the worse possible sense.

The last place I want to share with on our Palm Springs adventure was a breakfast spot on our way out. Pinocchio in the Desert is the go to breakfast place according to all my google research. It was packed when we went and had to wait a bit to be seated. Unfortunately I was unimpressed with this place. It was crowded, I assume with mostly tourists who also got the word from Google. Not that their is anything wrong with tourists after all that's what we were, no, the part that unimpressed me was the fact that the place wasn't the cleanest and the food was just meh.

The Country Benedict hat Chris ordered consisted of biscuits that were a little too mushy, topped with a sausage patty and country gravy that was a little too bland. The breakfast potatoes were pretty good.

My Smoked Salmon Benedict was plated differently than I had expected. The benedict itself was a poached egg on an English muffin with Hollandaise sauce on top. The salmon was given to me on a separate plate. I actually enjoyed this plating because I was able to put just the right amount of salmon on my fork with every benedict bite. They also were not stingy with the amount of smoked salmon served. With the long wait and all the people and hype I thought this place was just okay and there is something about dirty utensils and spotty drinking glasses that always put me off at a restaurant.

Their are a ton of places to eat in Palm Springs and I am eager to make another trip someday soon and give them a try.

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