Dining

Recommendation: Hire a chef, invite your friends, and dine in your domain, even if that means at a campfire!

At any one time, Morongo offers perhaps two establishments serving more than fodder.  You can find them mentioned below.  Establishments to avoid, of which there are many, have their own page.

With over a half a million out of area visitors every year, many of whom are European, one might think Morongo would offer food and dining as exquisite as the name and the natural surroundings.  Instead, the culinary high tide is set by the pre-processed canned pre-frozen pablum of Applebees, Denny's, and Carrows.  Most other establishments will offer something awful in food or experience often on the first visit if not within the first few visits.  The "restaurant" reviews on Yelp etc amaze with undeserved praise such a "outstanding", "fantastic", "amazing", "superb" and most rankings set in the top 20 percent of the scale.  Huh?

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Pappy and Harriet’s is a bit expensive and loud but the smoke on the brisket is authentic. $$$

Las Casitas $ refused to stop and incredibly foul mouthed patron from making disgusting comments to his father as he berated him such that a family of four with young children, two over 70 year old couples in a group of four, some teenage girls, and the one Uppity Yucca Valley Faggot (UYVF, that would be what the nine year old Yucca Valley natives call me) who would ask the management to shut them up or throw them out. I ask why they would not do so and was told they, “did not want to offend anyone.” I walked out and did not pay the bill and have never been back to the trash dump.

But Sharon Gilbert maintains, " I can honestly say I have always had decent meals at La Casita Nueva, including tonight." (May 19,2012)

Since it opened just after renovating from Manny’s Family Restaurant (Old timers say it was the site of the original Wine and Roses now located at the end of the airport runway) perhaps 18 months ago, the Mexican food there has been consistently Good. All the more sadness that they chose to allow abject vulgarity to assault the rest of the patrons. But hey, the nacho platter could feed 4 people who look like most Americans did in 1965.

Sushi in the desert? Well, as a matter of fact, fairly good sushi and Japanese fair when I visited “Kimi Grill”$$$. ( At one time I lived near LA’s JapanTown) Kimi Grill can get down right packed with people as they seem to have tapped into some marketing channel. So, if you would like a quieter experience that looks like a dump from the outside but inside has a pretty faux Japanese garden in the back corner and low light level visit Yokozuna Restaurant.


The Rib Company $$ unfortunately is sporting a “B” rating right now. The reviews online are dreadful. I eat the pork ribs and like them. The bar scene is a usually talkative mix of tourists and some locals. The locals often make some anti-gay or anti-Liberal remark while not understanding that they have their arm around the shoulders UYVF they just decided to name their new drinking buddy. It makes for interesting conversation and can be expensive for me since I tip $200 to the joint after they chastise the homohating creeps upon my complaint.


I always feel a bit cramped at The Roadhouse Cafe $$, but depending on the month, they have made some better menus and preparations of things like a grilled portabella sandwich or fresh wild caught salmon. But they do fall back to prime rib type offerings (which as a category I don’t like anywhere—who wants to eat a sponge with blood in it? Lots of people! but just not I)


Indeed, the banquet brunch at Las Palmas $$ is fairly good pickings and the layout is cozy and family feeling with charming service.


Lordly, why all the Marines travel all the way from 29 to Applebee’s I have no idea but they do in droves both groups of young fighting men just turned 21 out for chaste night out, and Lieutenants and Sergeants with their families. Uggh…how can a restaurant serve everything out of a plastic boiling bag I do not know either, but I have yet to see any sign of an unfrozen meat product on the menu (well that’s what it tastes like to me)


In Joshua Tree, Royal Siam Thai. $$ Pleasant quiet interior. Food is well made if not exceptionally inspired. The parents whose english is thickly accented who own and operate it have their children serve the patrons. Fortunately, no idiot State agent decided to charge them with child labor in 2005 when I was served perfectly by a 10 year old whose accent had all the accent of native Californians. One can imagine they will be driving Mercedes around USC since their parents work their butts off at this restaurant.


OK, Sharon, you want to do the Western thing I know. So, the Joshua Tree Saloon is…. a Saloon (I recall no children) with mean wood fire steaks, crisp salads, burgers and whiskey. Safe enough before 8 PM. Later hours *can see* (not always) Deputies arrive to deal with some drunks who got a little rough when insulting The Other: Marines v. Cowboys, Bikers v. Desert Rats, Deputies v. Or stupid testosterone pumped boy/man who did not like the Old Hippie beating him at the pool table. I am not sure but perhaps the Base still has this place on the off-limits list.


OK, for consistently fine desert experience dining where well-mannered kids are welcome next to adult singles or childless couples enjoying a special romantic dinner of fresh meats selected almost daily, herbs and vegetables grown from the on-site garden watered by the Oasis of Mara, drive 30 miles from Yucca to Twenty Nine Palms Inn $$$ to sit inside with local artwork on the walls, or outside mere feet from the swimming pool flanked by several very tall palm trees. Be sure to walk the grounds to see the oasis and the garden with soil that is black as Southern Illinois till created about 10,000 years ago and owned by the same family since about 1924 (I’ll let someone else tell the story of whether the Indians were forced of the place by the White man or were they just not there when White men arrived.)


Most have full bar (Yokozuna-beer, perhaps sake?; , dinner for one sans alcohol:

$ 7-11

$$ 10-14

$$$ 13-25







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