We have been in the Palm Springs area for the past few days and had one very good and one very bad dinner.
First the good! We had an excellent dinner at Wally's Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage. We were greeted warmly and taken to a table for 2 that didn't seem especially comfortable to us. Although the restaurant was packed, they graciously showed us to a far more comfortable four-top. The service was perfect...professional, competent and appropriately friendly. The food was excellent. Appetizers were delicious, and our entrees (imported Dover sole and rack of lamb were beautifully presented and perfectly cooked. During our meal, the maitre d' came to our table at least twice to make sure all was good. All in all, this was an excellent experience.
Perhaps we hit it on an off night, but we had a pretty awful meal at Circa 59 the newly remodeled Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs. The hotel remodel is spectacular and the restaurant is very pretty, but that's where the favorable part ends. Our service was friendly enough, but the server was obviously inexperienced, and generally incompetent. Each request had to be repeated at least twice, espressos were served without sugar or spoons, an inedible dish (mussels) took ten minutes to remove, and then appeared on the bill. The food was between poor and mediocre. The aforementioned mussels were pasty in texture, as though they had been frozen, and were essentially inedible, the chicken breast special was dry and bland. Indeed, nothing was better than simply ok. No manager or captain came by our table to inquire about our meal, and indeed we were looking for someone to offer constructive criticism to. We sincerely hope that the restaurant improves, but it has a long way to go. It's truly a shame because the hotel is so nice.