Sometimes the idea of a lazy midday break from the city in the form of a four-hour lunch just can’t be resisted. Despite the cab ride (not that big a deal), El Vergel Bistro (pictured here), which skews French (chef Magda often puts cassoulet on the menu), has proven highly popular. In fact, the project opened in a real desert garden, and to date, in addition to delicious meals from breakfast to dinnertime, it sells bread, cheese, charcuterie, oils, vegetables, and fruits to go or even for delivery—handy if you’re renting a place nearby. Nirvana also pleases the palate in an idyllic lawn setting beneath magnificent palms. For Italian food, try La Cucina di Afrodite or El Restaurante Italiano; and for French with a Canadian flair, try the relocated Mon Bistro. Plan for half a day at table.