Avoid the line by arriving on the later side for lunch at Cheeky’s, a popular daytime café that brought farm-to-table cooking to a town steeped in dated Continental cuisine when it opened four years ago. Sit on the side patio, order a fresh blood-orange mimosa ($11) and fried-egg-topped heirloom tomato sandwich ($11), and share a flight of four kinds of bacon ($4).
Hop on a vinyl barstool at Woody’s Burgers and Beer (317 N. Indian Canyon Dr.; 760-230-0188), a fifties diner that used to be part of the old Greyhound bus station. Try the jalapeno-pepper jack burger ($6.50) with house-made jalapeno sauce, or choose three of their ten types of burgers for a slider sampler ($9.50). Though the counter seats only sixteen, there’s a speakeasy-like lounge in the back where you can hear jazz and blues daily.
Sip a grapefruit mojito ($13) on a poolside sofa at the Kelly Werstler-designed Viceroy hotel before dinner at in-house restaurant Citron. Though the white-and-yellow, mirrored jewelbox space may look demure, portions are not model-sized. Spicy tuna tartare with beets, tomatoes and avocado ($15) is a standout appetizer; follow it up with beef tenderloin meatloaf ($24) served with buttermilk mashed potatoes.