Sink Your Teeth Into Moroccan and Mediterranean-Influenced Dishes
Written by: Andrew Smith
Photographed by: Laura Perkins Pink Cabana
Nestled inside the heavily revamped Sands Hotel & Spa, The Pink Cabana draws in many visitors for its quaint midcentury Palm Springs design and Moroccan-inspired architecture, but it’s the food that keeps them coming back.
The Mediterranean concept and French brasserie setting are what attracted Executive Chef Jason Niederkorn. “My backbone is modern French. We start from there and decide which direction to take it, whether it’s a Moroccan influence or a Mediterranean influence,” Niederkorn says.
He describes his menu as “ingredient-driven,” with products that “you’re not going to find anywhere in the valley.” Most of the fish is line-caught and flown overnight from where it landed, and the oysters come directly from the source rather than a distributor.
“Some of the ingredients are second to none in the area,” adds Niederkorn. With an eye towards freshness and creativity, the menu receives a major quarterly overhaul. But there are mainstays, signatures and local favorites.EXP 6/6
The Pink Cabana hosts an outstanding weekend brunch and a more casual lunch, but it’s the dinner menu that epitomizes the more creative, upscale elements. The Cabana Meze is a popular appetizer; it contains grilled yogurt naan, hummus and cured, pasteurized olives, which are all aged and prepared in-house. “It’s a fun dish to share and you’ll see one on almost every table,” notes Niederkorn. The Harissa Chicken is a favorite and mainstay among the dinner entrees, epitomizing much of the restaurant’s ethnic influence and authenticity.
Niederkorn’s personal favorite is the tagine of Colorado lamb shank. “It’s a dish I first created 10 years ago. I was really drawn to the balance of sweet, spicy and sour flavors.” Tagine is a classic Moroccan dish—typically a stew of spiced meat and vegetables—slow-cooked in a round dish with a tall, conical lid. Niederkorn’s tagine is a slow-braised lamb shank, prepared in the traditional style and served in the same earthenware that gives the dish its name. He has the proprietary harissa spice blend prepared locally and does not divulge the full ingredients. Although conceived as a lamb dish, Niederkorn first introduced it to the restaurant as a beef short rib. Now, the dish is served exactly as it was created.
With a variety of seafood, steaks and vegetarian options, The Pink Cabana is a showcase of creatively crafted cuisine. It’s a theme that extends to the bar, too, where you’ll find handcrafted cocktails infused with fresh and unique ingredients, artisanal liquor and esoteric wines.
The Pink Cabana
44-985 Province Way
Indian Wells, CA 92210