A few of our team members weren’t able to get their Top 5 picks in last week so we are including them this week. If you didn’t catch last week’s issue, go online www.coachellavalleyweekly.com to read all the other Staff picks.

A Few of our Favorite Things

Robin Simmons- Screeners/Movie Reviews

HEATH GALLERY at 222E Amado Road, Palm Springs (760) 770-2779                                                                        I love the positive creative vibe of curator James Mancini Heath and the enthusiastic showcasing of new and relatively unknown but truly gifted artists.

 INTERSTELLAR Comic Books & Collectibles at 160 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs (769) 325-1814    Always a treat to browse this centrally located and friendly comic book store that caters to gamers with special event get-togethers.  Special orders or questions: call/email Adrian.  (info@interstellarcomicbooks.com)

 P.S.A. ORGANICA at 400 E. Sunny Dunes Palm Springs (760) 778-1053                                                              By far the friendliest dispensary with the best inventory, prices and most  knowledgeable staff. 

 SOUTH OF THE BORDER Mexican Restaurant at 11719 Palm Dr, Desert Hot Springs, (760) 251-4000 Great menu of authentic Mexican cuisine in this family operated restaurant.  I always enjoy the wonderful bullfighting paintings on the walls featuring owner, maître d’ and former matador Fernando Guerrero — a man of singular grace. Celebrity’s visiting the local spas sometimes drop in for a bite. 

REGAL PALM SPRINGS STADIUM 9 at 789 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs (844) 462-7342              A comfortable, intimate, nicely appointed neighborhood theater that consistently exhibits a nice mix of mainstream and indie films.  Good projection and sound, plush seating and best of all, no reservations required! How nice is that?

Rich Henrich- Features Writer

The wonderful thing about Christmas and the Holiday Season is we stop and make time to recognize each other, our friends, families and loved ones. In our pause, we come together and count our blessings no matter if our year has been filled with triumph or strife. We become better versions of ourselves individually and collectively as we take a moment and gather our gratitude and count our gifts, the greatest being the love we share with each other. We honor tradition in personal and thoughtful ways and reflect on the significance of reverence. We make time to decorate and beautify our homes, offices and towns and stand in awe of the collective achievement of our community efforts. We have parades and celebrate children, the ones who will inherit the gifts we Shepard. We open our hearts (and often our wallets, too!) to give more than we seek to receive. We seek to care for those less fortunate and stop just long enough to see what is possible no matter the circumstances. It is the time of the year that the ordinary becomes extraordinary through our belief in the majestic and the magical. If we remember how this season came to be and embrace the spirit of the season every day, imagine what we would have to do to make this Holiday spectacular next year!

When asked to name a few of my favorite things in the Coachella Valley, I must first begin with what matters most. At the top, Tracy and Phil, Chance and the rest of the staff for creating a weekly that unites us all.


We are blessed in many ways in the desert but all across the desert, I have encountered amazing people with beautiful hearts, encouraging smiles, inspirational aspirations, a love of community, uplighting laughter and an unquestionable willingness to help a neighbor or a stranger with their struggles. The people are what embody the magic of this place and I am blessed to know many of the most incredible musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, leaders and kind souls that make the desert a crazy and beautiful landscape capable of creating such an oasis.


I have two, one my list as technically one closed this year. Randy’s Cafe wasn’t just a restaurant, it was a living room and a town hall filled with congeniality and hospitality. It was a place where strangers walked in and friendships formed. It was a place where all were welcome and everyone was a somebody from rock legends to locals. Randy made everyone a star. It was a place that always felt like coming home and the experience Randy McWilliams curated will be greatly missed. Rumor has it that Randy will still be making breakfast at the speakeasy-to-come a few days a week and that softens the loss but what he created ought to be honored and remembered as a monumental achievement in social science!

Another one of my favorite places to experience the Coachella Valley flavor is El Rincon Norteno. Quietly tucked along a stretch of Indio Blvd., this restaurant has been serving traditional Mexican food with hints of Texas and New Mexico flavor since 1964. The machaca is one of my favorite items and the hot salsa is highly addictive. The service is always warm and the food is always delicious.

Music & Events

We are blessed with rich cultural experiences all across the Valley but a few of my favorites are Palm Springs ShortFest, incredible storytellers from around the world present their work, short in form but large in creativity, entertainment and impact. One of the most regarded short film festivals in the world presents a showcase of significant talent. Polo while a sport, is actually better experienced as a uniquely curated Coachella Valley event. And as for music, we have sonic gifts every day from venue to venue but one destination I always enjoy is Pappy and Harriets as you never know what famous musician or to-be-discovered talent will take the stage. It doesn’t hurt to have eclectic Pioneertown right outside either.

Kirby/Advertising Sales

Restaurant: Wilma & Frieda’s in Palm Desert they also have a new location Palm Springs!!

Vet: “Paws and Claws” Dr. Jameson and staff are so compassionate, Best in the Desert!!

Hair Salon: Brien O Brien in Palm Springs. Great friendly staff!!

Best Event: First 420 Party on El Paseo!

Coolest New Place: 420lounge at 777 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs

Noe Gutierrez – Features Writer

It’s no coincidence that four of my ‘Top 5 Things of the Coachella Valley in 2018’ have to do with food. To know me is to know my passion for ‘hole in the wall’ joints and fine cuisine. Here are my Top 5 in no particular order:

Sushi On – Traditional Japanese Restaurant

44100 Jefferson Street

Indio, CA 92201

(760) 200-0200

Hours: M-Th 11-9:30 pm

 F-Sa 11-10 pm

 Su 3-9:30 pm


Since April 2017 this Sushi On has provided us some of the best sushi in the Coachella Valley. Open every day of the week and only 1.5 miles away from our home is as convenient as you can get. Chef Bong Gu Hwang’s sushi is excellent and the service is outstanding. Sit at the bar, a booth or table. We recommend their ‘Sushi & Roll’, 18 pieces of sushi for $18.95, the ‘Popcorn Lobster Roll’ and the Kid’s meal (12 and under) is only $7.50!

Walmart Neighborhood Market Indio 

44100 Jefferson Street

Indio, CA 92201

Hours: 6 am to 12 am daily

The new Walmart on Fred Waring and Jefferson has become my family’s lifeline. From fresh produce to our favorite sparkling water refreshment, ‘Bubly’, it has most of what we need and the market has anchored the area and saved us time and money.

Heirloom Craft Kitchen

49990 Jefferson Street

Indio, CA 92201

(760) 773-2233


Hours: M-F 11-8 pm

Sat 9-8 pm

Sun 9-3 pm

Chef Andie Hubka opened Heirloom after successfully building legacies in ‘Cooking With Class’ cooking school and ‘Cork & Fork’ wine bar and kitchen. With Heirloom you get a bright and relaxed atmosphere to casually dine on savory soups, fresh salads, small plates and crafted sandwiches. It’s ‘Real…good…food!’ We recommend the ‘Lemony Avocado Toast’ and the ‘Original Heirloom Burger’ with ‘Truffle Tots’ washed down with a signature ‘Heirloom Craft Blonde’ beer.

Chúla Eatery

47150 Washington Street, Suite B

La Quinta, CA 92253

(760) 227-6616

Hours: Tu thru Su 8-3 p.m.

Closed Mondays


Another favorite of ours is Chúla. Chef Katherine Gonzalez-Mindell, aka ‘Salsa Momma’, has become a good friend and we have consistently supported her throughout the year by delighting in Chúla’s fresh, organic, healthy, gluten-free and tasty menu. We recommend the ‘Chorizo and Farm Egg Frittata’ and ‘Mom’s Red Chile Chilaquiles’, not to mention they brew and serve some of the best coffee anywhere from Joshua Tree Coffee Company. Over and above, our number one designed and decorated restaurant.

Coachella Valley and High Desert Music Artists

I would be negligent if I did not mention the love I have for all of OUR Coachella Valley and High Desert music artists who emerged and broke through in 2018 as well as those who have continued to evolve and make THEIR music on THEIR terms.

The fact that there are too many artists to name illustrates how far we have come to further establish our area as a global music destination. Here are just a few; Mega Sun, FrankEatsTheFloor, The Sol Suns, Joe’s Boyz, Sleazy Cortez, Death In Pretty Wrapping, Throw The Goat, DOZZI DOZ, Courtney Chambers, John Garcia, AL RO$$I, Razor J, Provoked, Willdabeast, Hover, Brenda Warren, HFTC, Thoughts Contained, Se7en4, Perishment, Rival Alaska, Ckeelay, Ormus, Mozaiq, KARR, Plastic Ruby, etc. etc. etc.