Gluten-free Highlights in Palm Springs

Dining is often the best part when exploring a new city. If you’re gluten-free, it can be both a challenge and exciting. While many can safely choose anything from the menu, those of us with food allergies tend to get a little ecstatic when we see a menu symbol like “GF”. That’s speaking our language!

During my visit to Palm Springs, I discovered an abundance of wonderful restaurants and even got to see a “Rat Pack” tribute show over a delicious meal. Whether you’re gluten or dairy free, vegan or carnivore, read on to discover the fabulous options you’ll have when you visit Palm Springs.

Eight4Nine

Eight4Nine prides itself on fresh, delicious ingredients in a vibrant, upbeat atmosphere. With its modern chic and contemporary design and a color scheme of pink and white that makes the space pop, guests will have no doubt they’re in Palm Springs when they dine at Eight4Nine. Fun fact: The building previously was home to a post office.

Owned and operated by Willie Rhine and John Paschal, the dynamic duo each have such fascinating backgrounds that echo on the walls (literally) of the restaurant. Rhine comes from the restaurant industry with nearly 25 years experience and managed some of the busiest eateries in the area prior to launching Eight4Nine. Paschel is a veteran professional photographer with nearly 40 years and counting behind the camera. He’s worked with some of the top names in Hollywood including Brad Pitt as well as for legendary daytime dramas like The Young and the Restless. It’s clear to see that photography lovers manage the bistro as Paschal’s stunning photographs adorn the walls.

The menu celebrates Modern American and many dishes are, or can be prepared, gluten-free. The freshness of the plates was clear as I began with their roasted beets salad, with locally grown kale and a unique toasted cumin and honey vinaigrette. Give yourself some time before you decide on your entree. From land to sea offerings, the Scottish steel head salmon kept calling my name and of course, did not disappoint. Presented with Fennel, orange, basil, and arbequina olive oil, the most unique garnish to the steel head was a crispy rice cake that expertly completed my meal.

Arriving at Eight4Nine. (c) Mary Farah
Scottish steel head salmon. Delicious! (c) Mary Farah
Michael Holmes’ Purple Room

As soon as I learned that I’d be partnering with Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels and IFWTWA, I thought of the Rat Pack. Of all the celebrities to frequent Palm Springs, Frank Sinatra and his “bros” are certainly some of the most legendary. Turns out that The Purple Room, a fan-favorite supper club, is THE place where record execs from RCA decided to launch The Rat Pack after seeing the men perform. I was where Sinatra hung out. My grandma would have flipped.

Owned by Michael Holmes, The Purple Room offers nightly stage shows while guests enjoy dinner and some mighty fine and strong cocktails like the Marilyn, their fun spin on a martini. One of The Purple Room’s most popular shows is their Sunday performance of The Judy Show, which finds Holmes himself parodying Judy Garland’s 1964 TV special! All the hysterics and hits are done and after seeing Holmes entertain us with Ol’ Blue Eye tunes when I visited, I cannot wait to catch this myself.

What a thrill it was to hear such classics like Luck be a Lady, King of the Road and My Way be serenaded to us as we enjoyed our food and drinks. I was so impressed to see their vegan and gluten-free option be a bowl of zoodles (zucchini noodles) that of course I had to try it. It was seasoned with an array of herbs and spices that paired greatly with the spring veggies and olive oil the “noodles” were dressed in.

Holmes puts on a terrific show and I cannot say enough great things about our server, Chris. He went above and beyond to ensure everything I had was gluten-free and even caught that there were croutons in my soup before I had. As someone who worries if my requests often “go in one ear and out the other,” Chris made it so I didn’t have one worry and instead focused on the food, drinks and music.

Michael Holmes, owner and performer at The Purple Room. (c) Mary Farah
An impressive cocktail list awaits you at The Purple Room! (c) Mary Farah
Mr. Lyons

When we headed for a 3 course food and wine pairing at the newly launched Mr. Lyons Steakhouse, I knew we were in for a treat. The latest opening from Palm Springs power couple, Tara Lazar and Marco Rossetti, Mr. Lyons serves an array of menu items and extensive wine and cocktails in addition to their fine cuts of beef and meats.

Chef Eddie Moran and Wine Expert Jessie Casanova expertly paired our light bites with wines I’m happy are now on my radar. Course 2 was a highlight for me and featured a Black Cod Escabeche with dill creme, celery and potato confit. The dill creme tasted so fresh, and paired greatly with my glass of La Follette Los Pimeras 2016 Pinot Noir. A combo of fruit from both Monterey and Sonoma County, this Pinot brought forth the fresh ingredients on my plate. Chef Eddie has crafted a real art in his presentation and flavor on his dishes.

With plenty of gluten-free offerings, I cannot wait to return to Mr. Lyons and try their entrees in the main restaurant like the shrimp and grits. If you’re in need of an event space, Mr. Lyons has a beautiful private dining room that’s ideal for your next celebration or corporate event.

Blue cheese and radishes. (c) Mary Farah
Black Cod Escabeche. (c) Mary Farah
More Gluten-free in Palm Springs

Palm Springs is crawling with plenty of terrific options if you’re gluten-free. Other spots to check out include Aspen Mills Bakery and Bread Company, Cheeky’s and Haus of Poke. On Thursday nights, don’t miss their awesome Village Fest in the heart of town along Palm Canyon Drive. Loaded with street vendors and food trucks, most were very gluten-free friendly and had plenty of choices. My pick? The tamales. Always the tamales.

Make sure to check out this article all about ARRIVE Hotel and their gluten-free galore options on-site like Wexler’s Deli. You can also get a glimpse into more of my Palm Springs adventures and see Michael Holmes perform over on my Instagram Highlights.

Where will YOU dine in Palm Springs? xo

(*Disclosure: This was a hosted trip on behalf of story purposes. All opinions are my own and a huge thank you to these amazing restaurants for having me.)

2 Comments

  1. Linda Milks

    June 24, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Mary, it’s so good to see writers focusing on food allergies. My grandson has several that are life threatening so I understand how important it is that the host is very careful about preparation.

    1. AlongComesMary

      June 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Oh my goodness, I had no idea, Linda. You truly understand it!

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