Saturday, May 5, 2012

Das Kaiser (Grill) Undt Der Madchen

It's a story as old as dirt -- girl meets boy, they fall madly in love; the boy suddenly cools and drops her like a bad habit; the girl scornfully takes his number off of speed dial ... years later, they run into one another and the spark is re-lit.  And then the boy runs off with a new girl. 

Years ago when we first started going down to Palm Springs, we had a plethora of new restaurants to explore.  I smile when I remember Two Ugly Sisters Bistro (now something else) which was owned by a gay couple.  Fritzi worked the stoves; Ernst the front of the house.  And all of the customers toted a giant, red, high-heeled shoe with a key across an alley to the toilets.  Palm Springs has always been funny about the plumbing facilities.

Kaiser Grill was (and still is) a sophisticated-looking place.  Clean lines, marble floors, impeccable napery and servers in white shirts, black pants and long aprons.  Their shrimp cocktail was served as usual, but the serving plate had a generous dollop of guacamole and chips.  Works together beautifully!

Richie liked their version of meatloaf and I would (almost) slap my Mother for trying to steal one of my grilled prawns in pancetta with a citrus reduction.  Couldn't get enough of them; a must stop when we were in town.  This state of bliss continued until the evening I got a bitch slap across the tastebuds.  They'd discontinued My Favorite Dish because they'd gotten a new chef who wanted changes. 

I cast their phone number into limbo.  I wouldn't be going back.  I even sent them a e-mail suggesting one night a week - month, even - be Oldtimers Night when they would serve the shrimp or the meatloaf and whatever else was missing.   To no avail.

During our alst visit, Richie expressed a desire to eat there, probably because it's closest to our hotel.  At the reception desk, I said "Smoking side of the patio, please," only to be told, "Oh, no, dear!  We don't allow smoking on the patio any longer -- the State of California would get after us!"

Funny ... most of the restaurants along Palm Canyon have patios, including Palm Springs Roadhouse which had a patio full of people eating and smoking.  But we were here and we were hungry. 

The shrimp cocktail arrived on a bed of juliened celeriac? with a sour-tasting sauce.  Richie disliked it so much, he called the server over to complain, something he almost never, ever does.  He brusquely suggested the chef get a new way of serving a shrimp cocktail. and promptly 

And do I need to say, "No grilled prawns and no meatloaf"?  We both sulked a bit as we ate our grilled filet mignons.  The ceremony is off again -- here's your ring, Kaiser.

Kaiser Grill, 205 S. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs   760-323-1003 

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