After strolling the Palm Canyon Drive and checking out the unique shops and galleries of Palm Springs, we rested our weary sandaled feet at The Deck restaurant overlooking the shopping district of the oasis town. We were offered an outside table which was wonderful for viewing the mountains, sunset, and the passersby. (Opening photo: The Deck is located above the Chop House in Palm Springs.)

The Deck is open daily,
and packed nightly by locals
and tourists in-the-know!

I love the many opportunities and luxuries that California affords those who are residents and those who come to visit. With its warm weather all year round, many restaurants have indoor eating areas that melt into outdoor areas. Living outdoor is just as important as indoor living. The Deck restaurant takes full advantage of this and provides an air-conditioned option that boasts a very large big screen TV, a great bar, and an incredible glassed view of 19th century artwork that is displayed below in the Chop House.

The outdoor option offers a very large granite stone fireplace begging for cooler nights and hearth loaves of bread to be baked right in the open flames. A dancing fire pit offers another dining option and provides warmth on cooler nights and ambience any time of the year. Many ceiling fans above encourage the breeze of the evenings. The Deck as well as Chop House is owned by two very talented men, Lee and Kaiser.

Above Left: The Deck's firepit is used on cooler evenings to warm guests and set the ambience.

Below Left: The Deck's fireplace is the place in the cold desert winter months.

Right: Looking down at the Chop House's 19th century art from The Deck II

The desert breeze welcomed another gorgeous night as we settled in for a casual dining experience. Don, manager of the restaurant, was not camera shy at all. However, he did warn us that he has never taken a good picture and that he always, always closes his eyes. He said that in every one of their corporate photos, he'd be the only one to mess up the picture because he would have his eyes shut. So without his knowledge, my daughter snapped a shot in hopes of proving him wrong. Sure enough, his eyes were closed! A big smile painted his face but the eyes were definitely shut.

Our appetizers came quickly and it was a good thing for we were famished! We had taken our bikes on a few of the many bike routes that Palm Springs offers. Spacious routes that allow cyclists to share the road with motorists. This was a very fitness enthusiasts friendly place.

My daughter tried the Mu Shu Lettuce Wraps and so did I, of course! One cannot write a restaurant feature without trying a bite of everything, at least this sounds like good justification to me anyway!

It's harder for children to enjoy Asian foods because it's usually too hot or the spices are overwhelming but this was one dish that my daughter loved! With marinated chicken breast that you roll up by yourself in lettuce leaves, it was fun to have an excuse to play with your food after always being told to use silverware. I loved the hot Soy-Ginger Hoison Sauce that was available for wrap dipping.

Prince Edward Island Mussels
are flown in fresh daily and
steamed to perfection,

Prince Edward Island Mussels was the choice I finally made. There were so many delicious options that my waiter had to check back several times until I finally made my decision. I love mussels! I can eat mussels for every meal of every day. That's how much I love mussels! The ginger lemongrass broth in which the mussels were bathed was delicious! There was no mention of coconut in the broth but its hint really set off the glorious taste of the seafood.

My daughter had to see if Palm Springs could compete with Kansas City for ribs so she selected the Hawaiian BBQ Back Ribs. Well, the verdict was that Palm Springs definitely can give us a run for our money! With its orange chili barbecue sauce on tender meat, fresh vegetables, and sweet potato fries, this different twist made quite a hit with my KC ribs lovin' girl!

Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi makes
for mouth watering conversation.

Don told us stories of his fiancé and the house he owns in Hawaii as I tried the beautiful creation called Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi. Jasmine Rice was the foundation, surprisingly, spinach was the second story, and lightly battered mahi mahi completed the tower. A very delicious combination all tied together by the lemongrass coconut sauce.

Drinks I enjoyed with such exotic creations were tropical retreats themselves. The Cantaloupe Martini was soooooo fresh! It contained vodka, watermelon liquer, and fresh orange juice. Very reminiscent of the Caribbean!

Mandarin Kazi-Tini with a mixture of Absolut Mandarin Vodka, orange juice, Cointreau, Sweet 'n' Sour, and pineapple and lime juices was what Palm Springs smells like: citrus.

I know this isn't an all-you-can-eat buffet and my list of dishes continues but how can anyone resist dessert? Coconut and Mango Cheesecake for the untraditional me and Chocolate Brownie à la mode for the traditional me. A smooth and creamy Full Deck After Dinner was the recommended drink of the evening: Bailey's, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, and dark Crème de Cacao gently lulled me back to my resort. Once again, how can one call oneself a writer of restaurant features if one does not taste a little (okay, a lot) of everything?

Bottom line: Everything was soooooo fresh!

Check out The Deck and other restaurants owned by the same family at When in the area, check out this fabulous restaurant with a great manager and staff at 262 South, Palm Canyon Drive. You may also call them at 760/325-5200.

Lee and Kaiser, father and son, also own Chop House, Kaiser Grille, along with The Deck. Each restaurant has two locations — one in Palm Springs and the other in Palm Desert. Hog’s Breath Inn has wonderful food and is their Carmel, California location. So be sure to spend some quality time at each of their places and you’ll definitely find the true meaning of quality time and quality food!

By Lena Hunt, Florida Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent.