A staycation in Palm Springs without your pup is no staycation at all, which is why Angelenos road-tripping to the desert destination will be pleased to know that a new dog-friendly restaurant and bar there called Boozehounds has upscale options for them and their four-legged friends.
Open for co-working and coffee, brunch, happy hour, and dinner, the eatery opened in April with a Southern California menu that boasts locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, plus im-paws-ibly mouth-watering options for canines like protein bowls, gizzards, jerky, and more.
The 3,812 square-foot restaurant and bar is joined by a glass atrium roughly half its size along with an expansive, al fresco lounge, an outdoor bar facing Mount San Jacinto State Park, and hanging love seats. Markedly mid-century modern, the indoor dining area is airy, plant-filled, and quintessentially Palm Springs with velour chairs and sofas in burnt orange and emerald green hues.
Founders Jimmy McGill, Steve Piacenza, and Bryan Rogers, all dog lovers, aimed to create a friendly and welcoming gathering place for locals, visitors, and their canines. With its logo and mut-friendly menu, Boozehounds pays homage to McGill and Piacenza's late dog Striker – a Pasadena Humane Society rescue they were blessed with in 1999 who lived to the ripe old age of 126 (in dog years, of course). Taking their puppy love and devotion to the community one step further, Boozehounds has committed to hosting pet adoption drives with the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and by supporting local vendors and artisans.
"Because we're deeply indebted to our special city, we also intend to give back through events and fundraisers with an emphasis on our friends at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. As a part-time volunteer, I've seen…how dedicated their entire team is when it comes to providing love, attention, and assistance in fostering and adoptions of cats and dogs," says McGill.
As for the food (we know you've been waiting for it), prepare yourself. Boozehounds offers globally inspired, Asian-influenced dishes, an assortment of raw daily fish, and vegan options. Full disclosure: I have yet to visit but here's what my boyfriend and I plan to order when the time comes. First, we whet our appetites with a round of vegan fermented sweet chili crispy brussels sprouts and sesame miso tofu with blistered shishito peppers. For the main course, we order the adobo chicken with steamed rice and spiced coconut vinegar and a side of the vegan kale salad with toasted pepitas, avocado, and watermelon relish. Give me a minute, I need to compose myself…ahem. Okay. Next, my boyfriend and I split focaccia bread paired with a side of crispy fingerling potatoes and Castelvetrano olives (because we'd rather have another round of food than save room for dessert).
Milo, our canine companion and a Compton rescue, will start with the duck treats. For his main meal, he'll salivate over the weenie-tini, which includes chicken broth and chicken whipped cream topped with a doggie biscuit crumble.
As the website notes, it wouldn't be Boozehounds if there wasn't great booze. Cocktails are curated by mixologist Justin Gordon and go by fur-friendly names like Old Yeller and Dog Day Afternoon. If it's hot, which it will be, we'll sip on one of their many crushed ice and spritz cocktail options. In addition to the global and Asian influences, the owners decided to honor their surroundings by incorporating as many local elements into their vision as possible.
"I continually find myself inspired and influenced by communities in which I serve, and my time here at Boozehounds is no exception. In addition to crafting fresh, balanced drinks that complement our chef's menu, I have found a lot of joy in foraging local herbs and botanicals to include in our house-made shrubs, vermouths, cordials, and bitters," explains Gordon.
Executive chef Corey Baker has been refining his craft for 20 years and spent eight years at Denver's Sushi Den, along with chapters at Sushi Hai and Sushi Sasa. His Filipino upbringing and mother have influenced his culinary art as he skillfully matches fresh produce with Asian flavors and California influences.
"Being from Colorado, I am used to farm-fresh produce, ranches, and seasonality, and that is what I will be bringing to Palm Springs and more. I will be utilizing local California farms and an abundance of fresh fish delivered daily from coastal markets. Our menu will showcase what the Golden State has to offer, and I am excited to share my approach to dishes inspired by my Asian kitchen experience and heritage," said Baker before the restaurant opened in April.
Taking into consideration the restaurant's proximity to the San Jacinto Mountains, designer Jenni-Kate Rogers, owner of Raven and the Willow, combined desert influences and mid-century design with a laid-back California atmosphere. She included pastel pink touches, natural rattan chairs, terra cotta pots, palm trees, and crisp white walls – all coalescing into a warm and approachable space that remains authentic to the desertscape. Jenna Murray of Spilled Milk Creative hand-drew the signage and designed Boozehounds' full brand identity and logo.
The indoor-outdoor space features a mix of indoor communal seating for larger groups and co-working, smaller two- and four-tops, as well as individual bar seating. Lounge areas, booths, and couches are also available.
Starting Wednesday, August 18 — as per the emergency supplemental order of the City of Palm Springs — Boozehounds guests must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. Masks are necessary upon arrival, but Boozehounds invites diners to be maskless while enjoying their food and drinks.
Boozehounds, 2080 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California, 92262, (760) 656-0067.