Desert food blooms

Original entrees spice Palm Springs' ambience

Palm Springs’ dining scene is slowly improving, with new spots that offer updated, imaginative menus. And for the cost-conscious, daily happy-hour specials are plentiful.

Cheeky’s: Start your day with a fresh-squeezed tangerine mimosa and a flight of house-cured bacon. Serving breakfast all day and lunch, Cheeky’s also has out-of-the-ordinary sandwich combos and uses seasonally fresh, local and organic ingredients. On weekends, expect a line for breakfast.
Where: 622 N. Palm Canyon
Phone: (760) 327-7595
Web: cheekysps.com

El Mirasol: South of downtown on Palm Canyon Drive and a hospitable alternative to perennial tourist favorite Las Casuelas, El Mirasol attracts locals with its pleasant patio, fiery shrimp diablo and the oversized and potent margaritas.
Where: 140 E Palm Canyon Dr.

Phone: (760) 323-0721

The Falls Prime Steak House: A contempo place that plays it old school, with steaks and more than 35 types of martinis taking centerstage at this central downtown, dinner-only restaurant.
Where: 155 S. Palm Canyon Dr.
Phone: (760)416-8664
Web: thefallsprimesteakhouse.com

King’s Highway and the Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club: A former Denny’s and midcentury-built Howard Johnson’s motel, it’s been revamped as an ultra-cool hangout with modern comfort food, vegetarian options and cocktails.
Where: 701 E. Canyon Dr.

Phone: (760) 325-9900
Web: acehotel.com/palmsprings

Matchbox: Sporting a fire-edged balcony overlooking Palm Canyon’s action, Matchbox is close to festival venues and serves wood-fired pizzas, specialty burgers and artisan beer on tap, making this casual indoor/outdoor eatery very popular.
Where: 2nd level, Mercado Plaza, 155 S. Palm Canyon Dr.
Phone: (760) 778-6000
Web: matchboxpalmsprings.com

(Pat Saperstein contributed to this report.)

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