Pho 533 was included in the November article on Zagat.com CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE
by Leslie Balla
Weekend jaunts to the desert are an Angeleno’s rite of passage. Sometimes they’re planned, other times it’s just on a whim: “Let’s get out of town. Now.” Fall, winter and spring are the great times to take in the area’s sites and indulge in hot spring dips and leisurely spa treatments and — thanks to Palm Spring’s constantly evolving food scene — explore the city’s many great places to eat and drink.
Some of the culinary push in Palm Springs comes from a hotel resurgence, which only boosts the culinary options; after all, with hotels come restaurants and bars vying to become the next hot spot. Look for new offerings at several places around town, including at the luxe Arrive in the hip Uptown Design District (Ezra Callahan, Facebook’s sixth employee, is one investor); at L’Horizon Hotel, a fabulous refurbished 1950s icon that reopened with all the glamour one would expect from designer Steve Hermann; and at the tony Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, which has some of the best service and best views in the valley, among others.
The fall brings events like Palm Springs Pride (November 1–6) and the Desert Arts Festival (November 25–27) and lots of snow birds returning to their vacation homes and resorts. In high season, which begins during the holidays and runs right through important happenings like the Palm Springs International Film Festival (January) and Modernism Week/Art Palm Springs (February), the hotels and restaurants are bustling. If you’re going to Coachella in 2017 (April 14–16 and 21–23) or Stagecoach (April 28–30), plan on being overrun everywhere in town, even during the week — people need a place to crash and play between the two weekends, after all. Whatever the game plan, here are newcomers and perennial favorites for sustenance.
A popular strip-mall pho joint is now a gleaming Vietnamese and Pan-Asian spot with a cocktail and spring roll bar. But don’t worry: There’s still flavorful, fragrant bowls of pho, plus other noodle dishes, salads and new spring rolls like ones made with collard and mustard greens, local lettuces and shaved apples; or spicy tuna with sliced mango, cucumber, lettuce and noodles. The cool stuff is just what you need when it’s boiling during the summer in the desert, with the soulful soups great during winter — even if it’s still 75 degrees.