What To Drink At Chi Chi At The Avalon Hotel
Only one block off Palm Canyon Drive in the center of downtown is the charming and historic Avalon Hotel with Hollywood Regency interiors by the well-known designer Kelly Wearstler.
Just past the hotel's entrance is their bar and restaurant, Chi Chi. "We named the restaurant Chi Chi to pay homage to the former Palm Springs Chi Chi Club [a popular supper club in the 1940s and 50s]," says Rachel E. Canada, the resort's Food and Beverage Manager. "The club was the place to see and be seen with guests dressed to the nines, live music, and a celebrity sighting or two. While we like to keep in the spirit of the former club, now our live music consists of a great poolside DJ and our folks are usually dressed in the hottest swimwear. We even have a few celebs that call Chi Chi their favorite restaurant in Palm Springs."
Canada notes that Chi Chi has a long list of signature cocktails. "But if you came in for the first time, I'd say let's start you off with a fresh Rum Coconut," she says. The drink is served in a young coconut and roughly two ounces of the coconut water from the inside of the coconut is removed and replaced with Gosling's Dark Rum. "Add a straw and a brightly colored tiki umbrella and you are ready to hit the pool," says Canada. "Simple, yes. Delicious, absolutely!"
As an accompaniment to the Rum Coconut, Canada suggests the restaurant's Fruit Cart with spears of jicama, cucumber, watermelon, mango, and pineapple with a chili salt and lime.
"After you've hydrated with electrolytes and rum, we'll move you to a Desert Jewel," she adds. Served in a wine glass, the drink is made with mandarin vodka, Aperol, grapefruit juice, a dash of agave, and topped with sparkling wine. "This is the perfect drink to have with our Avalon Citrus and Prawn Salad—a small bed of arugula, grapefruit, oranges, pistachios, prawns, and a light ginger lime vinaigrette. Or our Flash Fried Cauliflower, roasted cauliflower [that's] flash fried for a bit of crunch on the outside and dressed with serranos and a chipotle aioli."
As a bonus, Canada proudly notes that the resort's staff is incredibly friendly and they enjoy talking to guests and getting to know them. "We have so many repeat guests that they've become an extended family," she says. "We know what they drink when they walk in [and] we catch up on work and family."
Avalon Hotel Palm Springs, 415 South Belardo Road, 844-328-2566, avalon-hotel.com/palmsprings; Instagram and Facebook, @chichiatavalon and Chi Chi at Avalon
Captions (from top to bottom): Chi Chi's Rum Coconut cocktail; their colorful Fruit Cart; the Desert Jewel
Photography: Rum Coconut by @hypefeast; Fruit Cart and Desert Jewel Courtesy of Chi Chi at Avalon Hotel Palm Springs