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Thursday, April 25, 2019


Photo: Phyllis Shess,,  April 2019
The Persimmon Bistro is a small, well-designed café located in the lower level of the Palm Springs Museum of Art, 101 N. Museum Dr., Palm Springs.   A small staff serves from a well-designed menu raising eyebrows for the delicious fare produced in such a small space.

Photo:'s Phyllis Shess
Clever seating in the indoor café offers two regal booths, along with a dozen places at the bar.  Outdoors when weather and temperature permit there are eight umbrella-ed tables situated in the museum's sculpture garden.

Outdoor seating for Persimmon Bistro, Palm Springs Museum of Art.     Phyllis Shess, photo.
The service begins with customers ordering from a menu indoors and the staff delivers your selection to your table.  Don’t expect staff to hover.  They won’t.  Actually, it is refreshing not to hear “are we enjoying the meal?”  Also refreshing is the care which beverages are selected.  Coffee and tea comes from Coachella Valley Co. and 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, Vancouver, Canada.   Three selection of bubbles including Astoria prosecco and a nice mix of French and California whites and reds vary from cabernets to malbecs.  Yes, it’s Palm Springs so they do fashion Arnold Palmers and include Fentiman’s Botanical sodas, fresh OJ and Hanks root beer.

Check the menu here and admire the mix of items, which shows care and sophistication.  Easily a meal unto itself, the Pozole Rojo is a delicious soup created with milder chilies, avocado, radish, cabbage, chicken and tortilla strips.  I asked for sourdough toast and no problem it was delivered.’s intrepid photographer enjoyed the lightly grilled Chicken Pesto Panini with lemon and oil marinated sliced grilled chicken breast, house-made pesto, and Swiss cheese.  Her first choice the Toscano Salami was not available this visit.

The Palm Springs Museum of Art is first rate.  It is small compared with other metropolitan museums, yet the interior of this 1976 E. Stewart Williams designed building offers a relaxed spaciousness in a modernist genre.  This comfortable and highly creative efficiency is reflected in the cafe.  One doesn’t need to exit the grounds to find refreshments ranging from espresso and sweets to a lunch worthy of a few stars or more.

Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Art Museum features a sophisticated collection of art, loaned or donated by the area’s art lovers. The museum has an art collection that rivals urban metropolitan museums, and includes works from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Diego Rivera, Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Antony Gormley and Ansel Adams.

Spread over the 150,000 square feet, the museum boasts major collections of modern and contemporary art, glass, photography, architecture and design and Native American and Western art. It has two outdoor sculpture gardens, a café featuring American and Continental cuisine, and a museum store that includes one-of-a-kind gifts and art-related merchandise. An interesting aside is gift shop’s inventory of art themed jigsaw puzzles is first rate.  Torn between Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks, 1942” and Auguste Renoir, we chose the 1000-piece “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, 1876.”

The museum is open every day except Mondays and major holidays, and is always 75 degrees, providing a welcome respite from the Palm Springs summer triple-digit temperatures.

It features free admission every Thursday evening from 4-8 p.m. and every second Sunday of each month.  But, given the non-member ticket to enter is only $11 per, which makes the experience a terrific bargain.

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