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The Eight Best Places to Eat on the Drive from LA to Palm Springs

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The desert is calling, and these are the spots to try on the way there

Burrito Los Angeles Joshua Lurie

The 210, 10, and 60 freeways all cut through the San Gabriel Valley before the 10 delivers one from L.A. to Palm Springs for Coachella and Stagecoach, mid-century modern architecture, and general leisure. Those three routes all provide compelling dining choices, but Eater went with the 10, which has just a bit more to give in the dining department. One can almost bother making not Palm Springs dinner plans considering all the great food to eat en route, but just in case, here’s a handy map of all the new places to try in the greater Palm Springs area.

Tip Top Sandwiches

Banh Mi Los Angeles
BBQ pork is just one Tip Top banh mi filling.
Joshua Lurie

People have strong opinions about where to eat banh mi, but it’s hard to argue with an establishment that bakes supple, crisp-crusted baguettes for their sandwiches. Tip Top Sandwiches started in Little Saigon in 1988 and expanded to Rosemead in 2010. Find high-value banh mi piled with fillings like caramelized BBQ pork, crumbled pork meatballs, and pungent sardines. Tip Top also serves flaky, savory pastries called pate chaud filled with pork or chicken, a variety of sweet baked goods, and high-octane Vietnamese iced coffee. 8522 Valley Blvd., Rosemead, 626.280.8883

Burritos La Palma

Burrito Los Angeles
Beef, beans and cheese star in a Burritos La Palma burrito.
Joshua Lurie

Albert Bañuelos is building a burrito empire with Burritos La Palma, his Jerez, Zacatecas-style burrito spot that started SoCal domination in El Monte. The focused concept features red and white walls and an overhead menu. Birria, frijoles y queso is a tightly wrapped wonder featuring juicy, spiced shredded beef, refried beans, and cheese tucked in a griddled, house-made flour tortilla. Road-friendly burritos are also available with deshebrada (shredded beef with green chilies), chicharron, and chicken tinga. Each burrito comes with a packet of salt, raw Serrano chile pepper, and salsa of tomato, serrano, cilantro, and onions. Pork loin tortas and shredded beef flautas are also in play. 5120 Peck Rd., El Monte, 626.350.8286, www.burritoslapalma.net

In-N-Out Burger

Hamburger Los Angeles
Get an In-N-Out burger at the source.
Joshua Lurie

In-N-Out needs no introduction, but one may not know that the drive east from L.A. passes right by the family-run chain’s birthplace. The original location still stands at the Francisquito Avenue exit, just north of the 10 freeway. The structure is no longer operational, but you can see where Harry Snyder and Esther Snyder set the juggernaut in motion in 1948. A shiny new outpost, the In-N-Out company store, and In-N-Out University manager training facility, are located just south of the 10. Grab a Double-Double, French fries, and a Neapolitan shake for nostalgia’s sake. 13850 Francisquito Ave., Baldwin Park, 800.786.1000, www.in-n-out.com

Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch

Cal Poly Pomona’s charming resident grocery store features produce grown on the campus farm. Taste the fruits (and vegetables) produced with agricultural student labor, including Navel oranges, several varieties of avocado, and summer squash. Our visit yielded a great salad with Bibb lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon avocado. They also squeeze orange juice and brew beer with names like Rubottom’s Red and ’66 Blond. Grind your own almond butter or peanut butter and walk away with local wildflower honey. 4102 S. University Dr., Pomona, 909.869.4906, www.cpp.edu/~farmstore

Al Amir Bakery

Flatbread Claremont
Cheese and za’atar team on an Al Amir Bakery flatbread.
Joshua Lurie

One of Little Arabia’s leading flatbread practitioners also operates in a Claremont strip mall. Lebanon native Abdallah Soueidan and family produce crisp flatbreads with good give that live up to their lofty name, which translates from Arabic as “prince.” Their ultra-savory zaatar and cheese version features a blend of bubbly white cheeses slathered with, a blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, olive, and vegetable oil. Other discs include spicy ground beef sausages called soujouk, scrambled egg and cheese, and sfeeha, a blend of ground beef, tomato, tangy yogurt and pomegranate, and pine nuts. 426 Auto Center Dr., Claremont, 909.625.0500, www.alamirbakery.com

Ashirwad The Blessings

Indian Food Upland
Lacy rava masala dosa stars at Ashirwad.
Joshua Lurie

Ashirwad is arguably SoCal’s best Indian vegetarian restaurant. Kalpesh Joshi and uncle Pravin are originally from Gujarat and now run a restaurant and sweets shop in a Route 66 strip mall. Their humble Upland setting produces delectable dishes like shaak, thepla & dahi, which translates as singed fenugreek leaf “tortillas,” tangy yogurt, and stewed, well-spiced potatoes and vegetables. Rava masala dosa resembles Swiss cheese, but the lacy crepe comes with tart tamarind tomato and tangy yogurt coconut sauce.

Bhel puri is a puffed rice salad piled with sev (crispy vermicelli strands), onions, potatoes, sweet & sour chutney, tamarind jaggery and spices. Ashirwad also houses a display case loaded with Indian sweets. Kesar bafdi combines milk, sugar, almond, pistachio, and saffron. Adad-yo captures “winter energy food” in a square of wheat, jaggery, ghee, and Ayurvedic medicine. 583 E. Foothill Blvd., Upland, 909.608.1313, www.ashirwadtheblessingsupland.com

Crazy Coyote Tacos

Tacos Banning
Giant tacos are really, and right near the outlets.
Joshua Lurie

Just west of the Cabazon Outlets, right off the freeway, find a Banning taco stand from Helen Miller and father Sonny Miller, who helped bring a case to the Supreme Court on behalf of The Morongo Band of Mission Indians that opened up Native-American gaming. For over 17 years, the family has served a unique style of “giant taco” featuring thick tortillas crafted with corn, lime, and water. Each taco comes with a choice of chicken, steak, or chile verde, along with cilantro, onion, and cheese. They provide two types of salsa, depending on whether you prefer medium (jalapeño) or hot (habanero). 13033 Malki Rd., Banning, 951.849.2000

Hadley Fruit Orchards

Hadley Fruit Orchards has been a Cabazon institution since 1931 and now has a sleek stone-fronted flagship store a short jaunt from the Cabazon Outlets and the gigantic dinosaurs. They sell several different date varieties, including Barhi, Deglet noor, and Medjool (“the king of dates”). You can also get dates rolled with almonds or shredded coconut, date cookies, date cake, and date bars. The best bet is definitely a rich date shake, blended with vanilla ice cream and milk, available with or without banana. 47993 Morongo Trail, Cabazon, 951.849.5255, www.hadleyfruitorchards.com

In-N-Out Burger

4444 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (800) 786-1000 Visit Website

Burritos La Palma

5120 Peck Road, , CA 91732 (626) 350-8286 Visit Website

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