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A Local Chef Brings the Flavor and Finesse of the Mediterranean to Rancho Mirage

Written By: Andrew Smith
Photography By: Rachel Hoops Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine

When Chef Drew Davis opened Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine, he felt that the desert needed something unique: “It was an opportunity to showcase flavors that people hadn’t seen in the desert.” Eight years later, Catalan has become a desert staple, establishing itself as one of the Coachella Valley’s most reputable, award-winning restaurants. 

 Describing Catalan as “Mediterranean with an emphasis on Spanish food,” Chef Davis elaborates, “Simplicity is key in everything we do. If you have quality product, you don’t need to cover it with a lot of sauces and garnishes.” Favorites like the octopus and the jamón Ibérico are sourced and imported from Spain. “If you buy octopus from Indonesia,” he adds, “you’re just buying a commodity. Ours is a showcase of delicious flavor.” 

By far the most popular dish is paella. It’s Catalan’s take on a dish that varies widely by region. “Ours is a paella mixta,” explains Chef Davis. “It combines the influence of various regions, chorizo and chicken from the countryside, and seafood from the coastal regions.” Imported bomba rice, saffron and sofrito pay homage to tradition, while Davis adds his own smoked paprika twist. 

Authentically Mediterranean in many regards, Chef Davis takes advantage of the rich California access to local ingredients. “We try to keep it close to where we are. There are so many nice products in California up and down the coast, and we mix that into a lot of what we do.” 

The decor reinforces the authenticity of the menu, a casual look that encourages social engagement. Vaulted ceilings and open wooden shutters provide an open-air ambiance, while rustic wooden tables lighten the mood. The centerpiece is an open courtyard—very Mediterranean with concrete tables and vines climbing the walls.  

The bar is a hub of activity with its expansive tapas menu and handcrafted cocktails. All-you-can-eat tapas (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) gives you unlimited selections for $22.95. “People love it,” notes Chef Davis. “They’re here for a while drinking, socializing and interacting with other tables.” Alongside the bestselling sangria, Catalan offers a wide selection of Spanish and California wines. They even make their own limoncello.  

With an ever-evolving menu, you’ll always find fresh choices. “I like to adjust the menu according to seasons, and I don’t like to do the same dish twice. I need to keep challenging myself, keeping things fresh and unique to keep our customers coming back.” With happy hour, tapas and a prix fixe menu, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy Catalan’s eclectic menu.

Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
70026 Hwy 111
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 
760.770.9508 Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine