This is a mini-report of last weekend’s trip to Palm Springs. We went with another very foodie couple and all of our research before the trip pointed to the #! place to hit as Copley’s and then a number of less-spectacular second choices. If you don’t have time to read the whole review here’s the summary:
--Copley’s was terrible!!! Do not waste your money here.
--Zin was very good (not excellent) and we all agreed we would go there again next trip.
--Elmer’s for breakfast was adequate but nothing special.
Copley’s Review--We were pleasantly pleased with the setting because inside the courtyard is much nicer than what you see from the road. But from there, everything was down hill. (Our waiter was the only very positive part of the evening--he was attentive and charming.)
I ordered the ahi tuna tacos. The chef has tried way too hard to come up with some unique fusion experiment that fails miserably. The ahi tuna tartar was fresh but it's put inside a microscopic candied taco shell surrounded by a plum sauce ring and a side dollop of wasabi fish eggs. Sweet and fishy just don't go together and 2 mini tacos consisting of one bite each for $11 is ridiculous!
I ordered the rack of lamb and my husband got the lobster pot pie. From the reviews we read prior to our visit, these are two of Copley’s signature dishes. My plate had 3 lamp chops in a light BBQ sauce (I'm sure it really wasn't BBQ sauce but that is the closest think to compare it to), sitting on top of plain wilted spinach and BBQ beans (yes BBQ beans like the kind out of a can!). I’m not sure whether it was better or worse that our table was so dark that it was hard to know exactly what we were eating.
My husband had the lobster pot pie. I would call it a creamy fish stew with a tiny puff pastry circle on top--no part of this dish is a "pot pie." The soup bowl included about 3 large bites of lobster, 3 large shrimp and a few other pieces of white fish and potato. Imagine paying something like $30 for a bowl of ordinary fish chowder! (Sorry, I can’t remember the exact cost of our meal—I’m trying to forget.)
We skipped dessert assuming it would be a lost cause. Out of four of us (our dinner partners also had the lamb and lobster pot pie), none would recommend this restaurant.
Zin Review--My husband got the prix fix with squash blossoms, braised rabbit and peach bread pudding. All were tasty although he thought the rabbit was a little gamey. The portion on the rabbit was the smallest of all entrees we ordered but my entrée -- the buttermilk fried chicken – was so large I was happy to share. I'm really picky about fried chicken so I was not expecting too much but I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken batter was extremely crunchy—maybe too crunchy for some. The batter was also a bit salty but not too salty. As often is the case, the breast was a bit dry. Overall, I was pleased with my choice.
Our friends had mussels in garlic wine broth and the wild mushroom soup as starters, both were excellent. They had the hanger steak and the stuffed quail--they enjoyed both of them.
The atmosphere is typical bistro with white table clothes. Service was good. We all agreed we would recommend to others and would try again on another trip.
Elmer’s Review—We hit Elmer’s on our way out of town Sunday morning. It’s like a Bob’s Big Boy. Most everyone ordered regular breakfasts like eggs and French toast—all were ordinary. I ordered the German pancake, which I had ever had. I really liked it—a thin pancake with butter, powdered sugar and lemon. Not very filling but tasty.