By Crystal Harrell

On August 4, a new dining hot spot will open its doors in Cathedral City in the form of Sol y Sombra, the Spanish-inspired restaurant from culinary entrepreneur Chad Gardner. Located in the historic, mission-style Adobe in the new Paloma Resort, the open-to-the-public restaurant features both indoor and misted-cooled patio seating in the lounge, dining room, dining patio, poolside bar, and private fireplace patio. Curious guests can also find their way to Poca Sombra speakeasy—an intimate lounge specializing in tequila and mezcal libations.

Chad Gardner owns existing restaurants within the Coachella Valley, such as Willie’s in Rancho Mirage, 1501 Uptown Bistro, 533 Viet Fusion, and Roly China Fusion in Palm Springs. He has brought the full force of his creativity and foodie flair to Sol y Sombra, raising the area’s bar for dining.

The restaurant possesses two unique features, such as the paella menu and the tableside bar cart. For groups of two to 200, Sol y Sombra’s exciting Paella Menu offers a version of Spain’s signature dish to please every palate, from seafood lovers to vegetarians. The bar is not the only place for a custom cocktail at Sol y Sombra. The Tableside Bar Cart service offers custom cocktails featuring top-shelf ingredients, made tableside to order by premier mixologist Dan McKay of Boston’s famed Parla. House specialties include drinks like The Paloma Oro, a twist on the traditional featuring gold-flecked tequila and fresh-squeezed Oro Blanco grapefruit juice.


Gardner has incorporated the desert’s agricultural roots into his menus, in which local ingredients like dates, grapefruit and chilis star in an array of shareable tapas and dinner mains. Tapas options include classics like Croquettes stuffed with serrano ham and cheese, scallops or mushrooms; Papas Bravas with lemon yogurt aioli; and chicken or vegetarian Empanadas.

In addition to three kinds of Paella, ‘big plate’ options include richly-flavored offerings such as luscious Braised Spanish Pork Shoulder; Seared Branzino with grilled lemon and fennel salad; and Catalan Rabbit and Sobrasada Stew flavored with chorizo and Aleppo chiles.

Dessert spotlights house-made pastries by Pastry Chef Albert Gonzalez of 849 Restaurant & Lounge, 1501 Uptown Bistro, and Willie’s Modern Fare, who studied pastry at the lauded Culinary Institute of America. His Postres menu features a Crema Catalan Trio of cardamom peach, vanilla and lemon verbena; Buñuelos (Spanish-style donuts) with raspberry coulis; and a luxurious Ponche Segoviano, featuring vanilla sponge and pastry cream, lemon, strawberries, and housemade marzipan.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is casually swanky, with twinkling Moorish lanterns, comfortable lounge seating, custom tiles, and artistic decor throughout the various dining spaces. Patio diners will enjoy stunning 360-degree mountain views.

Through August, the restaurant will be open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday; Sunday Brunch will debut over Labor Day weekend. When the busy fall and winter seasons arrive, Sol y Sombra will announce expanded dining hours.

Reservations are available now at, on Open Table or by telephone at 760-864-1177. The restaurant is located inside The Paloma Resort in Cathedral City.

The Paloma Resort is a new boutique resort located in the heart of the Coachella Valley’s Greater Palm Springs resort region. With 66 studio, one- and two-bedroom bungalows and suites, it is a full-service resort featuring Sol y Sombra restaurant and Grounded Bodyworks spa. The Paloma Resort is a LITpg managed property, in partnership with Gardner Hospitality Group. More information is available online at