Cheeky’s has a line out front almost every day, and as the restaurant that launched Tara Lazar’s Foundation Ten Creative, that might not come as a surprise. But despite what you may imagine, Cheeky’s didn’t just burst into the center of what is fast becoming the heart of Palm Springs’ local social scene. Opened in 2008, in the then withering Uptown neighborhood, Cheeky’s was one of the first restaurants to breathe new life into the area and help transform it into the glittering Design District that you find there today. Cheeky’s is full of surprises and the food they serve makes it clear that Tara hits her stride balancing bold combinations of ingredients while keeping them pure enough to let each individual element shine.
The menu at Cheeky’s changes weekly to accommodate for the use of fresh, local products in made-from-scratch dishes and home-baked pastries. In a small town like Palm Springs, frequent updates to what’s offered means locals can keep coming back to try new things and visitors enjoy seasonal food while supporting both the neighborhood economy as well as small-scale farmers and ranchers from the surrounding area. Although the menu is constantly evolving, Cheeky’s does have some fan-favorites that are always available, the most buzzed about being the bacon flight. It takes guts to serve a dish that consists of a single main ingredient, and Cheeky’s pulls it off. It may not be rocket science to cook a piece of bacon well, but when you serve bacon in a tasting format, there is no room for error. This is a restaurant where the importance of actually being able to taste the ingredients that go into your food is evident, and while the bacon flight is a shining example, every dish we tried, no matter how complex, spoke to that theme.
The atmosphere at Cheeky’s is fun and casual, split into two dining areas: a bright but cozy interior filled with bustling sounds from the small open kitchen and an airy shaded patio that offers glimpses of the waking Palm Springs street-side scene. Cheeky’s quirky comfort food is moderately priced and manages to be simultaneously indulgent and, aside from the bacon flight, health-conscious. As any local will tell you, weekend brunch at Cheeky’s is not to be missed, but even if you are in Palm Springs mid-week, Cheeky’s playful interpretations of classic American cuisine, with a bit of Mexican influence thrown in for good measure, makes the time it takes to get a table totally worth the wait.
What to Order
- The bacon flight
- Corn pancakes
- Huevos rancheros
- Eggs Benedict
- House-made maple sage sausage
- Pesto fries