Bar/Restaurant: Shame On The Moon

Established: 1985

Area: Rancho Mirage

Typa Joint: Traditional

Signature Cocktail: The Mirage Moon

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Shame on the Moon opens at 5 o’clock, and cars materialize in the parking lot a few minutes before the appointed time. Patrons queue before the double doors or sit on the bench outside. The doors open from the inside, and Shame on the Moon is ready for another evening of dining and cocktails. It’s been this way for 30 years.

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If Shame on the Moon had a theme, it would be, “Why mess with a good thing?” The interior is reminiscent of the decade in which the restaurant opened.

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The menu is chock-full of standards and mainstays. When was the last time you saw liver and onions on an upscale restaurant menu? The meatloaf is also a customer favorite, though it did get an update with veal as the main ingredient. Johnny the bartender prefers Bols triple sec to other orange liqueurs, and Rose’s lime juice is in the repertoire. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

(Photo of Johnny from the restaurant’s website)

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Johnny and the restaurant have a loyal following, many of whom belly up to the bar and greet the other patrons as they pass, headed to tables and booths. On the evening of my visit, an aging patron who knew everyone by name told the tale of tripping over the cat, resulting in a fall and some broken ribs. Shame on the Moon’s customers are definitely approaching or already in the “fall risk” demographic.

You might think from reading thus far that this is a negative review, but it is far from it. Shame on the Moon has a recipe for success, and consistency is the key. The other customers were charming and friendly and interested in my Bent pilgrimage. Johnny had just returned from Texas and has a charming Texas accent. He is full of energy and takes great pride in his cocktails. I shared the photos I took of the restaurant to the approval of the regulars.

I wasn’t terribly hungry, so I opted for the half avocado with lobster meat and hearts of palm salad. It was tossed with truffle oil. So simple and yet so delicious!

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When I asked Johnny if the restaurant had a signature cocktail, he recommended the Mirage Moon – a cocktail honoring the City of Rancho Mirage’s 40th birthday. The cocktail is made with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, Rose’s lime juice, and triple sec. I enjoy a sweet drink, and it hit my palate nicely.

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If you are seeking cocktail tinctures, shrubs and shandies, and/or avant garde entrées, Shame on the Moon is not your oyster. If you want to solid meal, a strong cocktail, and friendly people, this is the place for you.