Welcome to Meanwhile in Palm Springs, a semi-regular update from Eater LA contributor Lizbeth Scordo on the desert community’s ever-changing restaurant scene. Got any tips from Palm Springs and the greater desert that might be relevant to Eater readers? Hit the tipline here.Meanwhile in Palm Springs
Downtown— After three years in the making, all-day eatery Grand Central quietly opened in early May with breakfast and lunch service along with espresso offerings and a full bar inside a 1930s building at Downtown’s historic La Plaza. Unbelievably, the former department store space had been sitting vacant for a dozen years. Avocado toast, almond pancakes, a beet salad, and an Impossible burger are all on the menu with more additions to come when the place extends hours through dinner service within a few weeks. 160 La Plaza
Palm Springs— The dark and moody East Coast-style neighborhood bar Palm Springs never knew it needed just showed up in an unlikely north end strip mall. It’s called PaulBar/Food after affable owner Paul O’Halloran, a longtime NYC-based bartender with a resume that includes Bar Centrale, Mesa Grill, and, more recently, the local Mr. Lyons. He’s clearly a cocktail perfectionist and the early results are very solid, including the killer frozen Sidecar on tap. Food skews towards reasonably priced bar fare like, wings, a burger, and grilled cheese along with steak frites. Daily blackboard entree specials will kick off soon and the $6 cocktail happy hour runs from 4pm to 7:15pm daily. 3700 E. Vista Chino
Downtown— Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar & Grill was the latest addition to the Downtown Redevelopment Project when it opened on May 11 as the new dining concept’s first California location. The 180-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant — attached to the brand’s aloha shirt-heavy retail shop — is anchored by an expansive, mister-and-umbrella-covered patio with a menu heavy on sandwichesd, tacos, and bowls along with a sizable drink selection with lots of choices on tap. 111 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Sunrise Way— Temecula and Lake Forest’s Asian-Cajun seafood/Boba/shave ice destination Snow and Crab has launched its third location in a tiny space along a commercial stretch of Sunrise Way. In addition to the drinks and sweets, it serves messy bags of crawfish, fried catfish baskets, and crab by the pound — in addition to smaller plates of egg rolls, pot stickers, and noodles. 186 S. Sunrise Way
Around Town— Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week kicks off June 1 and runs through June 17 this year. More than 100 venues throughout the Coachella Valley have signed on with lunch fixed menu pricing coming in at $15, $20, and $25 tiers and dinner menus priced at $29, $39, and $49.