Welcome to, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a local's perspective. Your guide, Denise Ortuno is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Pho Vu Vietnamese Restaurant

If you have never tried Vietnamese are seriuously missing out. Ever since Pho Vu opened in La Quinta several years back, it has been a restaurant that The Palm Springs Local has been intrigued by, and once tried, it is now high on the list of The Palm Springs Locals favorites.

Family owned, and with 3 locations (La Quinta, Palm Desert and Palm Springs), Pho Vu has hit the Coachella Valley hard and is one of the deserts go to spots for flavorful, exoctic fare.

It is not only the food at Pho Vu that keeps customers coming back, but also its almost over the top friendly staff. But it isn't an act, they are geniunly happy and don infectous smiles. Their menu has a variety of selections including Appetizers (BBQ Pork Spring Rolls, Fresh Springs Rolls and Vietnamese Crispy Wings), Salads (Shrimp Apple, BBQ Chicken and Stir Fried Filet Mignon),  Vermicelli Bowls,Vegartarian Plates ( Fried Tofu several ways), and Rice Plates. 

But the star of the show is definetly the Pho Vietnamese Noodle Soup. The hot bowl of infinite goodness gets its life from the extrodinary broth that is the foundation and the depth of the soup. The broth is born from ingredients such as beef shank, roasted onions, herbs and spices which include coriander, fennel, cloves and star anise. All of the flavors of the ingredients are adhered together in a hot bath simmering for up to 14 hours. Afterwards rice noodles are inserted and the soup is topped with scallions, cilantro and onions. There are a variety of ways to order the Pho soup. You can have it with everything from plain, to Brisket,  Eye Round Steak, Spicy Lemongrass Pork or The Palm Springs Locals favorite, Shrimp (#17). No matter how you order it, the Pho is served with a side plate of bean sprouts, basil leaves, jalepenos and lime, for you to add to your liking. And of course there is plenty of Sriracha, Hoisin and dare if you can chili paste to give your Pho that extra kick.

Besides the excellent food, this review would not be complete without mentioning the Vietnamese Ice Coffee. If you like coffee, or if you think you are a coffee concoction connoisseur, trying their Vietnamese Ice Coffee is beyond a must. It will thrust you into an ulternate rsz imag1949 1
caffeine super universe....enough said. They also have other beverages that include the traditional sodas and beer, and their Thai Ice Tea with Tapioca Pearls that is just plain fun to drink, especially when you get one of the spongy pearls to come jetting threw your straw and firmly into our mouth, it's as if you just won a prize at a carnival.

Whether we are deep into our season with cooler temps or if its 120 degrees out, a hot bowl of Pho is good anytime at Pho of the Coachella Valleys best eateries and a favorite of The Palm Springs Local.

Open 7 days a week 11am to 9pm (Palm Springs location open until 10pm)

Indoor seating /CC accepted/beer $

79-630 Hwy 111 La Quinta 760-775-2417

34-260 Monterey Palm Desert 760-324-1888

285 S. Palm Canyon Palm Springs 760-322-6162




The Myth of Yucca Man

By Denise Ortuno Neil

I couldn't believe that I had never heard of him before. A mysterious creature who roams around the California high desert of Yucca Valley in search of cats, dogs or humans to either scare the crap out of....or dare I say it.... feed on? Could it be that we have a Big Foot kind of monster of our very own right here in the desert? Well, if you take into account passed stories from those who have encountered the montser, the answer is yes.

I found out about the monster who people call Yucca Man solely by happenstance while watching one of those unsolved mystery, are there UFO's, who's lurking in the closet, believe it or not kind of T.V. shows. Apparently the myth of Yucca Man has been around for well over 40 years. I guess I didn't get the memo. But something as huge as Yucca Man was sure to cross The Palm Springs Locals path sooner or later, and I mean that figurativley not literally, PLEASE!!

The recollections of Yucca Man are similar to those of other unsubstantiated myth making monters such as Big Foot, the Abominable Snowman ( a.k.a. Yeti), Chupacabre and let's throw in one of my favorites, the Loch Ness Monster, for good measure. The common thread behind all of these, is that the stories behind them are sincere, but lack the evidence to convince everyone else that they are really true. But for some people like me, it is easy to believe in such myths. It's like believing in miracles, magic and the makes life so much more fun and interesting. I mean how arrogant it would be to think that we are the only ones to roam the earth...and how boring too!!

The sightings of our desert version of Big Foot, Yucca Man, started back in 1971 in 29 Palms. Honestly, it is the perfect backdrop for a monster encounter. The desolate terrain of the high desert provides the monster with tons of land to run around in and for their victims to run from them, should they enter the monsters domain.

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