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!

Pokehana Offers Healthy Fast Food

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                     rsz pokehana

It was love at first bite for me. As an avid sushi lover, I pretty much knew that it would be. With high grade ingredients and creativity, Pokehana in La Quinta offers ultra-fresh Poke, in a fast, friendly, efficient fashion, making it the ultimate in healthy fast food.

Poke has been become all the rage, and for good reason. It is basically a raw fish salad, but it is so much more, as the flavors of the ingredients used create a taste symphony. The components seem to blend together without effort, while still holding their individual spotlight. Pokehana delivers their Poke with the utmost of attention, it is undeniable. Honestly, Pokehana’s success is no surprise, as it was created by the owners of the super popular longstanding La Quinta sushi restaurant, Okura. So successful that they are already looking to open a Pokehana in Palm Desert in the near future.

I was very excited to try Pokehana which only opened earlier this year. I had seen a series of posting from friends on social media, photographing their Poke bowls with glee, I had to try it. The set up at the popular spot has an open assembly line where Poke lovers can see their bowls crafted right before their eyes. On the occasion when I went, the owners were right there behind the line, helping to put the bowls together. Very cool!

There are different ways to get your Poke. Guests can either choose from their specialty bowls, or create their own from scratch. Since I was a first timer at Pokehana, I went for one of their pre-conceived creations, the Tuna Hana. The bowl came with a choice of White Rice, a Wild/Brown Rice or Spring Mix Greens (I went for the carb-less greens), Ahi Tuna, Cucumber, Onion, Hijiki Seaweed, Hana Sauce, Edamame, Crab Salad and topped with Masago, Avocado, Mango, Toasted Sesame and Crispy Garlic. It exceeded my expectations…I mean, my chopsticks were in overdrive. I ate every single morsel, making yummy sounds the whole bowl through. I’m craving it now! Other specialty bowls include the Salmon Kai, Albacore Pahala, Salmon Tuna Maika’i and Tofu Lau.

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If you’re more inclined to make up your own, there are plenty of awesome ingredients to choose from such as, Ahi, Albacore, Octopus, Salmon, Shrimp, Seaweed, Masago, Marinated Shitake, Ginger, Edamame, Hana Sauce, Chili Soy Yuzu, Wasabi Citrus and many, many more.

The bowls are plentiful and satisfying, without feeling sluggishly stuffed afterwards. Pokehana patrons can get their bowls for a reasonable price, just $11.95 for a specialty bowl, and $10.95 for a regular sized self-created bowl and $12.95 for a large. They make eating healthy not only ridiculously delicious, but affordable too. Pokehana is conveniently opened daily from 11am to 8:30pm.

Pokehana proves that fast food can be super healthy and filled with high quality ingredients. With their creativity and friendly efficient service, there’s no doubt that they will only grow in popularity. It is for sure a new favorite of The Palm Springs Local! Now if they could only employ a drive thru.

For more information or to order online visit,



Great Golf Value at PDCC

By Katy Treadwell                                                                       rsz palm desert country club golf course fairway 1

Palm Desert Country Club is one of the best values in the desert, and has been consistently voted among the best public courses in the Coachella Valley for over 50 years. A very forgiving course with large, open fairways, PDCC is a fun and affordable course, set to the beautiful backdrops of the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and San Gorgonio mountain ranges. 


Perfect for a weekday or weekend round with friends or family, Palm Desert Country Club accommodates golfers of all levels. Open fairways and short cut rough are very inviting, and for most, insure a clear, short iron into the greens. While it’s pretty much a, “What you see is what you get” lay out, there are a couple of great holes that require precise shots into the greens and strategically placed tee balls. 

Hole number 4 is one of those… and my favorite on the course.  On the scorecard it doesn’t look like much, playing only 404 yards from the tips. But look a little closer and you’ll see that the short 4th is actually the number one handicap hole. The slight dog leg right requires an accurate tee shot and an even more targeted approach to a small, kidney shaped green that’s surrounded by water and sand. It tests every aspect of your game from tee to green.  It will also test your patience. 

Both the 9th and 18th are beautiful finishing holes. Running alongside each other, the holes are elegantly landscaped with rock features, blooming colorful flowers, and a stunning waterfall.  But don’t let their beauty fool you, as neither hole offers an easy finish to the 9th. 

After the picturesque fight to the finish, The Cactus Club, located inside PDCC, serves up tasty, pub-styled fare and cold drinks. You can also stick around every Friday and Saturday night for live music on the patio. Did I mention there’s a fire pit? Not too shabby.

With green fees for under $100 all year round and as little as $49 in the summer, The Palm Desert Country Club is a tremendous value and one of my top picks!

For more information visit

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