Food: FARM

What can be more comforting than having a savoury crêpe on a country-chic flower decked patio that makes you feel like you’re in Provence, France?farm4 Even though the secluded setting is located behind retail shops in “La Plaza” a Spanish style center off Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

farm2

Farm serves locally sourced, French & Spanish-inspired fare.  It was built in the 1930’s as studio residences to house local workers.

The waiter told me Farm restaurant comes with a story…and I always love a good story. Along with a white picket fence.farm3

The story:

Liz Ostoich, owner of Farm Restaurant, told us that La Plaza was developed by the wealthy Julia Carnell, of the National Cash Register Company. The story goes that she was friends with Palm Springs pioneer Nellie Coffman, who built the Desert Inn and invited Carnell to visit.

Apparently Carnell loved the village, but lamented that shopping, entertainment and dining was too spread out. So she built La Plaza in the center of town that encompassed not only shops, a theater, probably a restaurant, but also housing for those working in the shops. Automobiles could park in the cobble-stone plaza near the shops; La Plaza was actually the first “strip mall” in California, if not the country.

“The idea of combined residential and retail units [is] not new,” said Ostoich. “Carnell built the plaza for $2 million, which during the Depression was a lot of money.”

Fresh squeezed watermelon mimosa

Fresh squeezed watermelon mimosa

selfie

fresh selfie

The vibe

For Ostoich, travels in the south of France gave her an appreciation for farm-fresh cuisine and French country living. La Plaza’s human-scale Spanish architecture is reminiscent of European country sides where hand-built farmhouses seem to spring from the ground like the plants around them.

A white picket fence and gate encloses Farm’s outdoor garden dining areas and a worn pavement path leads to the patio covered by a tangle of vines and bougainvillea. The patio bisects two adjoining bungalows on either side; two are the dining rooms, two are now the kitchen.

Les chiens

Jack's birthday is today - he turns 7!

Jack’s birthday is today – he turns 7!

Jia Jia will be 14 on February 14th

Jia Jia will be 14 on February 14th

Did I mention they’re dog friendly?

The fare

As the kitchen is small without a microwave or freezer, Ostoich’s Provencal-style breakfast and lunch menu is simple but flexible, based on artisanal meats, local produce and organic eggs. Dishes are made to order with great attention to detail.

My Crêpe: Chicken. Mushrooms. Crème Fraiche. Herbs. White Wine.

My Crêpe: Chicken. Mushrooms. Crème Fraiche. Herbs. White Wine. Salad.

Farm Restaurant

6 Plaza, Palm Springs (760) 322-2724  www.farmpalmsprings.com

Source for story: Pamela Bieri “The Desert Sun”

Photos: d. king

Inside

Inside

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