“Imagine a gorgeous, nature-favored spot where fun and outdoor sports never end.” This enticing verbiage illustrated the newly developed Desert Club in 1937, “the social hub and playground for La Quinta property owners and guests.”

The Desert Club circa 1937 (Photo courtesy of La Quinta Historical Society)

Beyond badminton, ping pong, croquet and horseback riding, the famed resort also boasted a “smart intimate cocktail bar and gracious, well-appointed dining room
where heavenly food is a La Quinta tradition.”  

That La Quinta tradition continues today with the newly opened DSRT Club which honors the landmark club in style and décor, but surpasses expectations with exceptionally tasty, clean cuisine.

The Old Town eatery depicts a softly lit supper club with vintage wallpaper and art deco paintings, along with classic tennis rackets and polo mallets conjuring a nostalgic nod to the landmark resort.

DSRT Club was the vision of owners Chris and Anita Chmielak who opened RD RNNR, another east valley favorite, in 2019. They set out to create something unique for the area resulting in a fun and vibrant bar/lounge, inviting indoor and outdoor seating and, the star of the show, their innovative menu.

Whether you prefer low-carb, gluten-free, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan or good old-fashioned meat and potatoes (lean and clean), there is something for everyone served in plentiful portions. One of the reasons we love this place is their focus on protein and vegetables. Lean meats are served on purple cauliflower puree with crispy Brussel sprouts, grilled squash, crispy leeks or black kale, while accoutrements like watercress, grilled lemons, shaved radish and strawberry salsa add color, flavor and spice.  

Heartier eaters will enjoy the spiced, slow-roasted pork belly, Black Angus steak, or the strozzapreti pasta served with roasted garlic, spinach, baby tomato and cauliflower, topped with a white wine and butter sauce. The DSRT Club burger is offered as an eight-ounce wagyu beef patty and potato Kaiser bun, or as a plant-based option, served on a soft and tasty gluten-free bun. Both are topped with arugula, Roma tomatoes and a delicious smoked onion jam.

Chef James Nellis, who curated the chef-driven menu from his vast experience throughout the country, describes it as California coastal rustic. Their uniquely prepared seafood, such as the twice-cooked octopus (a must try!), hibiscus seared Maine scallops, and poppyseed crusted albacore, arrives fresh daily and is artistically combined with pure, light ingredients and Chef James’s exquisite flare for one-of-a-kind tastes.  

Nellis tailored his craft from younger years in his home kitchen to over a decade with the Kimpton brand, most recently at the Rowan Palm Springs. His passion is apparent in both presentation and taste.

Nutrition is top of mind, says Nellis. Potatoes are flavored with extra virgin olive oil versus butter or dairy, the kitchen has a dedicated gluten-free fryer, and most dishes can be made to order, thus not noted (i.e., GF or V) on the menu. In speaking with Chef, we learned that even the lightly fried “cutie” chicken pops are gluten-free. 

Other unique favorites include the spicy cucumber melon gazpacho, the DSRT Club caprese with basil and pine nut dressing, and the savory jambalaya.

Anita and Chris Chmielak

We love everything about DSRT Club, from the fulfilling menu to the homage it pays to La Quinta’s treasured past; from the retro cocktails and welcoming lounge to the friendly, warm staff. 

Put DSRT Club on your list. We think you’ll agree that with so many unique and healthy items offered, one visit just won’t be enough.

DSRT Club is located at 78075 Main Street in Old Town La Quinta serving lunch Wednesday – Sunday 11:30am – 2pm and dinner nightly 5-9pm. Reservations are recommended by calling (760) 777.7424.

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