Hanging out at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage has long been one of my very favorite things to do. I bring my pals there for a little gaming. We sip cocktails at Rendezvous (the lounge adjacent to the casino floor; the one with the comfiest seating and the coolest light fixtures around), and party hearty on Friday nights in the summer at the hippest pool gathering in the Palm Springs Valley.
But somewhere along the line our stomachs always begin to growl and we need to find a place to tame the hunger beast. The Poker Deli and poolside WetBar are great for a nosh. The Steakhouse is amazing for an intimate affair. And Waters Café is the perfect place for a casual meal. But when you are reallllly hungry and looking for variety beyond words, nothing beats the Grand Palms Buffet!
In the majestic tradition of casinos far and wide, the buffet at Agua Caliente is huge! The central salad and soup bar—and the dessert cases—would be enough to satisfy just about anyone’s appetite, but these are merely the best way to start and finish your meal. Choices of main dishes include pastas (with many sauce toppings) and pizzas, multiple Mexican dishes, a meat carving station, plenty of good ol’ American comfort foods, and some of the best Asian cuisine in town.
In early 2012, Executive Chef Mike Milligan brought on Malaysian-born master chef Ronnie Ng to oversee the Asian foods served on the buffet. Creating new offerings from all over the Far East, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Chef Ng—with his 30+ years of experience in the kitchen—brings to life specialty dishes like Beef Rendang and Spicy Mango Shrimp to great success.
The Grand Palms Buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on most days, and has some great specialty nights (such as Friday’s Surfside Dinner and Saturday’s Chicago Carvery) as well as a terrific Sunday Champagne Brunch. Meal prices range from $9.99 to $23.99. You’ll never go away hungry from this place, and the quality and selection will surprise you. Give Chef Ng my best when you visit!