It seems there are more new restaurants opening this season than ever before and I am hopeful that I will dine at each one before the season’s end.  This week, I was fortunate to celebrate my birthday at one of the most talked about new restaurants in Palm Desert.  Featuring great seafood, Prime steaks and the freshest sushi and sashimi, Mitch’s on El Paseo was the perfect venue for this special occasion.

My sister drove several hundred miles to visit me and the least I could do was find the best restaurant for dinner.  We were seated outside under the stars and near a large fire pit, where we were warm enough to enjoy dinner without a coat.  While it was a little dark to view their extensive menu, we were fortunate that each menu has a built-in flashlight that allows for bright, easy reading.  We would take much time to decide on our meal as there were so many great selections to choose from.  Finally, we decided to begin with a sushi roll.

Upon our server’s recommendation, we shared the “808 roll”, a shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy tuna, crunchy macadamia nuts and bread crumbs.  It was incredibly delicious and served with traditional accompaniment.  This dish was enough proof for me to believe Mitch’s is offering the best sushi in the desert.  Our next appetizer was presented to us: seared scallops in a light lemon cream sauce with fresh lemon and Japanese Chuka salad.  The scallops melted in my mouth like butter, they were truly impressive.  We followed our appetizers with a small endive and frisee salad with candied walnuts, stilton bleu cheese crumbles and walnut vinaigrette.  It was full of flavor and unique enough to remain memorable.

While my sister had selected the Rack of Lamb, crusted with fresh herbs and macadamia nuts with a red wine reduction, I decided to stay with seafood and order the Dover Sole.  The white fish was light, mild and flaked apart easily.  The sauce was delicious, offering flavors of lemon, grapes and almonds.  The Dover Sole was served with a creamy shiitake risotto and large asparagus spears while the Lamb was prepared with fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts.  Both entrees were cooked to perfection and left us speechless.

From the time we entered this beautifully decorated restaurant, we were treated like VIP.  The staff is organized and attentive, making our experience an unforgettable one.  Owner, Mitch Epstein, was quick to offer a special wine for the special occasion and our server, Summer, was pleasant and well informed on the menu items.  It was truly one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a long time.


A birthday meal would not be complete without dessert so we shared a very unique interpretation of a banana split, where the bananas were tempura battered and fried, served with chocolate, vanilla and green tea ice cream, topped with fresh berries.  With my Grand Marnier in hand, this was the perfect end to a perfect birthday meal.  I would highly recommend this elegant and stylish restaurant to everyone.  I cannot wait to return and try the many other items on their impressive menu.

Mitch’s on El Paseo is located on El Paseo at the corner of Portola.  Open for lunch and dinner, reservations can be made online at or by calling them at 760-779-9200.