Wally's Desert Turtle

4.7
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1997 Reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American
"The Finest Dining in the Coachella Valley" Offering a refreshed and re-imagined take on Modern California Cuisine. And the local response has been "Amazing"!

An Official California Dining Destination, Wally's Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage proudly supports local Ranches, Farms and Fisheries committed to the smart-stewardship of the planet through sustainable, earth-friendly and ocean-friendly practices.

The finest local ingredients, impeccable service and exceptional surroundings always make for "A Great Night Out" at Wally's Desert Turtle.

****RESERVATIONS OF 5 OR MORE: PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY AT 760-568-9321.****
What 1997 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SamC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience2

It was a birthday celebration
Service terrible , no one remembered to bring birthday dessert. Had to ask 3 times for cocktails. Wasn’t even busy
Will not return. It use to be our favorite Resturant.

CL
vipCooperL
Tahoe
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome to be back indoors at Wally's. So thankful this amazing place has returned and is better than ever. Food was fantastic, and everyone working there on Saturday night was thoughtful, courteous, and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Bar manager came to your table and brought us our drinks personally. And what a treat to hear live music for the first time since March!!!

PS
PamelaS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

They serve a very small glass of wine and charge a very large amount of money for it!

AE
AdrienneE
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional experience

J
Judyestey
Palm Springs
30 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding and delicious and the best part was the owner took the time to greet us

FS
vipFrankS
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

The staff was very attentive.

AO
ArleneO
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We were celebrating a birthday and this was a recommendation from a friend. At first waitstaff was attentive. By the end of the meal despite being well staffed we were pretty much neglected.
As “foodies” we were underwhelmed. I ordered frittata de met and there was not a lot of seafood. Miniature shrimp, a few small scallops, and muscles. It was overpriced for sure. My partner ordered the liver and he did enjoy that. My cousin ordered salmon. She started with mushroom soup which she sent back. There was no mushroom taste and strong seasoning that we could not identify.

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on September 22, 2020

Thank you for your review! Your feedback is very important to us as it helps us improve! Thank you for your notes about the mushroom soup and pasta we will definitely review this with the chef. In terms of service we take pride in providing high level service. I am sorry you felt it was not up to standard. We will definitely make sure to address this. We hope you will give us another try so we can make it right. Madalyn Botello Owner

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GR
GRnative
Grand Rapids
3 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food4service3ambience5

Great for a special event. Outside dining was well done.

E
vipEiserbuddy
New Mexico
21 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A beautiful evening on their elegant patio! Food and service did not disappoint. Their attention to Covid precautions was much appreciated. A class act from start to finish.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall3food5service5ambience1

It was NOT outdoor dining !
The restaurant did not open all the windows and did not observe social distancing .
It was crowded and close and no hand sanitizers were present when leaving .
The food as always was outstanding but we will not return until it is safe to do so .
Very disappointed in the management ..

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on September 22, 2020

Thank you for your review! I am sorry you felt it was an unsafe environment. We’re following all CDC guidelines recommend for restaurants. We have two evaporated coolers blowing across the room which create consistent air flow. We did add more hand sanitizer as you recommend. Your feedback is very important to us and we hope you will join us again soon. Madalyn Botello Owner

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LD
Love2DineOut
Palm Springs
25 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

gourmet food at its finest. Wonderful atmosphere... attentive staff... delicious food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing, extremely pleased with the food, staff and ambience

SP
vipStevenPiano
Palm Springs
4 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great. Diver sole was fantastic. Great to see them open.

DM
vipDanM
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wallys is first class! Owners who care about the service as much as they care about the food! Great for a special occasion (our 30th anniversary) or just for a really nice night out. Classic Palm Springs!

RH
vipRosalindH
Milwaukee
9 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was so wonderful getting back to Wally’s after the forced closing by the Governor Newsome due to Covid. Before the closing, Wally’s was the epitome of minding all the restrictions so it was regrettable they ( and we) had to wait to get back for their fabulous food.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in the Desert.
A perfect dining experience
Professional friendly service
Beautiful plate presentation
Delicious food
Lovely environment
Always a memorable experience

T
vipTerrilm
Palm Springs
82 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I LOVE Wallys.
After all the pandemic hubbub it was so nice to have an elegant dinner served perfectly in a beautiful setting. SO glad they are open now.
I had the Dover Sole, others had beef dishes. Salads were all good.....The cocktails were perfectly prepared along with the grand mariner and chocolate soufflés. You cannot go wrong here.

a
vipaudreyw
Palm Springs
11 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Excellent food and service.
A great local restaurant to treat yourself and that someone special to a delicious, wonderful dinner.

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on September 7, 2020

Thank you for dining with us! We hope to see you again soon! - Madalyn

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MW
MarilynW
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you would like a very enjoyable evening, as close to the "old" days as possible, with music, delicious food, and a wonderful service team! Go to Wally's!

KS
vipKathyS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great climate controlled environment with impeccable service!

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on September 7, 2020

Thank you for joining us! We're so happy to hear that you were comfortable, even with how hot it was this weekend! We hope to see you soon! Thank you for your support! - Madalyn

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FD
vipFrequentDiner
Palm Springs
450 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

This fabled eatery continues to work hard during times of changing dining preferences. If you're looking for something gracious (if not a little "old school"), then this is the place to be. Hospitality is extremely competitive in the Coachella Valley, and there are many excellent choices for dining spots of nearly every desired category. However, Wally's Desert Turtle continues to provide gracious ambiance, an interesting menu (with steep prices -- worth the cost, but don't be surprised), and operated "with a heart."

R
vipReviewer
San Diego
67 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bravo to Wally's Desert Turtle!!! The entire staff made me and my guests feel comfortable and well taken care of during the entire experience. This is truly a world class restaurant and they do not rest on their laurels - the earn their reputation each time we dine here. Outstanding food and service. Thank you Wally's - a perfect evening!!!

r
viprjensenjd
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service, food, ambiance. We love this traditionally served cuisine and menu. A definite favorite!

N
vipNewdesertrats
Palm Springs
26 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The chef is amazing! Artistic AND delicious!

R
Robert
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience3

It our 40th anniversary. That was noted when the reservation when made.


Drinks were ordered, but before they arrived, our server handed menus and asked what we wanted. I said lets get our drinks first and then we will order.
Drinks arrived and behind that person was the server, asking, were we ready to order?
I said, give u a few minutes, he did, 7 minutes later he was back!
We ordered! Right then he handed us the desert menu and said, ready to order desert?
I said no.
Within the next 10 minutes, appetizers was presented, as they was being finished, the main course arrived, unfortunately, one of the guest had not finished their oysters. Main course plates were placed and, the server very clearly asked us again, you want to order desert now?
I said no
I ordered wine and when the bottle was presented, that server quickly passed the label under my nose and started to open the bottle. I said, wait
I would like to see the label again. He then showed me the label again. I said that's not the wine I ordered. He said, oh we are out of that year and we sub this one, its much better. Unfortunately, the wine was shallow, and boring.
We were at Wally's about 6 months before. The wine then, was recommended by the server. And that was the wine we ordered this time, that was listed on their wine list. I was never told of the sub.
Back to dinner, guess who came back, the server, as we were finishing, he pushed that desert menu again.
I said no thank you! He left and returned with the bill.
I mentioned, he had NOT asked if we wanted coffee or the water glasses refilled as they were empty.
Coffee was brought and the water glasses got refilled.
We paid the $370. bill and left.
For information we have gone to Wally's since 2001, certainly not monthly, but often.
I know their closing and up for sale. But to be treated the way we were, I hope they can't sell the place.
Oh, one more thing, no one said Happy Anniversary to us! And unfortunately, it was not this time.

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on June 29, 2020

Dear Robert, I wanted to first thank you for your detailed review. It is important that we receive this feedback so we can improve. I wanted to sincerely apologize about your experience. This is not our standard. We pride ourselves on being a place where you can come for a special occasion and have a memorable experience. I want to make this right for you and would love to discuss this further. If would please give me a call at your earliest convenience at 760-568-9321. - Madalyn Botello

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NJ
vipNJBFIT
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

All in all very good.

SP
vipStevenPiano
Palm Springs
4 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening

R
vipRick
New York Area
67 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience5

Great Staff - Greeted Upon Arrival - Promptly Seated As Requested In a Nice Booth in the Upper Level Corner. Service Was Attentive & Kind When Not Too Busy.
Drink Orders Promptly Taken & the Server With the Bread/Rolls Passed By Promptly, Several Times.
Appetizers:
Red & Yellow Endive Salad - Very Good
French Onion Soup - A Bowl of Water with a dash of herbs and some onions, topped with cheese - Terrible @ $12.00
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail - Medium Size Limp Soggy Shrimp; Have Had Better from the Grocery Store - Terrible @ $18.00
OYSTERS Rockefeller - Soggy Spinach, Barely Baked - Terrible @ $24.00
Entrees:
Calves Liver - Good - Nothing Special @ $38.00
Rack of Lamb - 3 Medium Size Chops - 2 were a bit tough, 1 was good. Have had better at lower end restaurants for 1/2 the price. Just OK @ $60.00.
Desert:
Carrot Cake - Dry & SuperMarket Quality @ $12.00
Baked Alaska - Basically A Cake with Ice Cream & Berries - Tasted Store Bought @ $12.00
I know Wally's was always much better. However, it seems everyone has been off since reopening during COVID19. I got the impression that all the food was frozen in February and thawed out for their reopening. For a $400.00 dinner (with wine) for -2- guests, of course we expected a fabulous dinner and this time around, that was not the case. Mediocre at best. Overpriced at Worst. I don't think I will be returning anytime soon.

JD
vipJoeDion
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One couple anniversary 67 years/ other couple 55 years. Great evening all around. Our favorite dining place.

BT
BobT
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed a wonderful evening at Wally’s. Get here while there is still opportunity as Wally’s will be closing forever in early July

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on June 25, 2020

Hi Bob! We are so glad you came and dined with us! We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your evening. We will be closing July 5th for summer. However, we will reopen in October! See you then!!

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MB
MichaelB
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Best French Onion soup I have ever had. Our main enters were equal)y spectacular, perfectly tender beef and lamb, perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked and outstanding presentation. Service was a bit scant at times during our visit but probably due to the very recent re-opening post Covid19 shutdown.

J
vipJeff
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

our favorite restaurant in the desert. highly recommended

OT
OpenTable Diner
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary but we KOVE Wall’s all the time.

GJ
vipGJYM
Palm Springs
9 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

WONDERFUL DINING EXPERIENCE AS ALWAYS. ONLY THING AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME WOULD TO HAVE MORE CONTROL ON GUESTS ON FACE MASKS. ESPECIALLY THAT THEIR GUESTS ARE MORE ON THE OLDER SIDE. OTHERWISE AS I SAID LOVE THE MEAL AND WILL BE BACK.

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on June 25, 2020

Hi! Thank you for coming in and dining with us! We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your evening. We absolutely will make sure every guest comes in with a face mask on when they enter the establishment. We care about the health and well being of our guests. We have also made sure we are going above and beyond on our cleaning standards and sanitizing. Hope to see you again very soon!

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JP
JimP
Palm Springs
14 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Excellent restaurant. Fine service. Nice atmosphere.

SB
vipSiBonFans
Palm Springs
33 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect , the mood the food and the musics. Great staff and service

c
vipchristineh
Palm Springs
18 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wally's adhered to all the safety and health protocols while not sacrificing the elegance of the restaurant. The meal was outstanding as was the service.

Wally's Desert Turtle
Responded on June 25, 2020

Hello! Thank you for taking the time to leave a wonderful review! We are happy to be open and hope to see you and your family again soon!

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r
richards
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for our Anniversary, since they had just reopened we got a booth that was away from everybody, and made it so romantic that it was just us on that side. surprised us with an Anniversary desert. Staff and food were great. We are so sorry that they are closing in October Our Anniversary made it just that much more special before they go Thanks.

J
vipJhc3
Palm Springs
134 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wally’s provides dependably good food and service in an expansive, curiously elegant room. It is perhaps our favorite restaurant in the desert.

FD
vipFrequentDiner
Palm Springs
450 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the very few remaining truly gracious and elegant restaurants in the Coachella Valley. The pricing is on the high side, but the experience is worthy of the cost. There's plenty of "find dining" in the region, but few are as gracious as Wally's Desert Turtle.

FAQs

Wally's Desert Turtle is rated 4.7 stars by 1997 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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