With Pechanga Resort & Casino inching ever closer toward the completion of its $285 million expansion, it invited a group of journalists Friday, Oct. 27, to see what’s in store.
From hotel rooms and open space, to retail and dining, the casino will soon have a lot more to offer when it completes its expansion in late December.
Pechanga will be opening two new restaurants: The Pool Bar & Grill and The Lobby Bar.
The menu includes ice cream sandwiches, frozen grapes in Champagne, salads, sandwiches and hummus.
Among the items served by Pool Bar & Grill’s Chef, Ronnel Capacia, were an ahi tuna salad served atop a bed of greens and a flatbread pizza complete with pesto, slices of mozzarella, ripe red tomatoes and a balsamic vinegar reduction.
The Lobby Bar will serve American fare as well as fusion fare inspired by Mexican and Asian cuisine. The food will be made with locally-sourced ingredients from Temecula and regional farms.
Head chef Jose Mendoza brought out such dishes as a sous vide hanger steak with seasoned kennebec potato french fries and scallops in a brussel sprout and parmesan sauce.
For dessert, guests were treated to a large raspberry macaron with a vanilla cream diplomat sauce and a rum-soaked baba cake with vanilla custard and pineapple compote.
Pechanga spokeswoman Ciara Green said the restaurants are still in the process of finalizing their menu and deciding which dishes they will serve.
Hotel rooms and other spaces
After a filling meal, reporters and Pechanga staff put on hard hats and toured the hallways of Pechanga’s hotel addition, which adds 568 rooms and suites.
Guests who stay in the new tower will have a choice between a 355-400 square foot deluxe room, 550 square foot junior suite or 650 square foot corner suite.
Inside the rooms were large flat screen TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to expansive views of the resort grounds.
Framed art pieces were either already hung or had been moved inside the rooms for hanging.
“There will be pictures of native plants, native portraiture and those will be in all the rooms,” said Green, adding that the pictures had all been taken at the reservation.
From one of the floors, guests will see a view of the pool complex as well as what tour guides Michael Murphy and Bashar Dandashi described as a green roof. Succulents, shrubs and trees sat potted, waiting to be planted on the expansive roof space.
Murphy and Dandashi also showed off the resort’s new events center, which encompases 40,000 square feet and can be dvided into five different sections.
“It could get some of the bigger talent to come in because we would have a place to house them,” Murphy said.
On the second floor above the events center are 15 meeting rooms, one of which is a VIP room that will give a view of what’s happening below at the events center.
A lobby leading up the event center was also nearing completion.
The lobby will have a wood paneled roof that will be a series of convexes and concaves, an art installation with hanging leaves and retail space, Murphy said.
Another building that’s part of the expansion will be Spa Pechanga, which will encompass 26,000 square feet. It will have 17 treatment rooms and a private pool with cabana massage service.
Finally, the pool complex will have a total of three pools and five spas. Though the expansion is expected to be completed in late December, the pool area will formally open in March.