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!

Shape Up With Pure Barre at Whole Foods Market

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                   rsz purebarre popup
Whole Foods Market in Palm Desert will be hosting a FREE fitness event featuring Pure Barre on Sunday, May 21st, 2017. Participants can shape up with this effective and popular exercise trend just in time for summer swimsuit season!
Fitness and Whole Foods Market go hand in hand. As the specialty market focuses on healthy food options, highlighting exercise seems natural. The relationship between Whole Foods Market and Pure Barre came from the desire to bring the community together in the name of health and wellness.
Whole Foods Market Palm Deserts Metro Marketing Field Team Leader, Christy Jeziorski, set out to search for a fitness studio to partner up with, which led her to Pure Barre in Palm Desert. “There are so many amazing spots out here, but when I came across Pure Barre, the relationship bloomed naturally” said Jeziorski. The positive energy from Pure Barre owner, Nancy Meisler and managing instructor, Kylie Kolz, sealed the partnership. With other Whole Foods Markets embracing Pop-Up events with Pure Barre studios, Jeziorski knew that she was on the right track.
Pure Barre is a growing exercise trend. The technique incorporates the use of a ballet bar, to perform small isometric movements and hones in on key parts of the body. The results are said to be quick, the impact low and is formulated for all fitness levels. 
The Whole Foods Market Pure Barre fitness event will take place at the stores fabulous patio space. There are two classes offered, one at 8:30am and the other at 9:45am. The event will have energizing music to work out to and giveaways. As an added bonus, Pure Barre will be offering introductory membership specials to attendees who wish to continue their Pure Barre experience. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat, a work-out towel, sticky shoes and good energy. As space to for the classes are limited, those interested are asked to sign up in advance.
With summer just around the corner, trying out a new form of exercise at the Whole Foods Market Pure Barre fitness event, is a great way to start to shape up!
For more information and to sign up call Whole Foods at 760-797-8200, or Pure Barre at 760836-0333. 


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,



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