A Story of Courage, Community, and Culinary Success in Palm Springs

By Lisa Lynn Morgan

Farm | The Front Porch | Clandestino | Tac/Quila

Liz’s story is one of courage, resilience, and unwavering determination. It’s a narrative that echoes the dreams of many who yearn to break free from the confines of convention and pursue their true passions.

“When I was young,” Liz recalls, “I always wanted to do something creative, but the fear of financial instability held me back. So, I chose the safe path and went to law school. I became a lawyer, but deep down, I knew it wasn’t where my heart belonged.”

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It took two decades and a pivotal moment of encouragement from her husband, Mark, for Liz to realize that she didn’t have to continue down a path that didn’t fulfill her. “You don’t have to do this anymore,” Mark told her. “You can do something else now.”

That “something else” presented itself unexpectedly during a casual visit to Farm, an endearing and successful restaurant nestled in downtown Palm Springs. Over a cup of coffee, the owner expressed her desire to move on and entrusted Liz with the future of the establishment. “I think you are supposed to have it,” she said.

All photos from Farm

With Mark’s unwavering support and a leap of faith, Liz and her team took over Farm on April 24, 2016, with just eight employees. Fast forward to today, and Liz stands at the helm of not just one, but four thriving restaurants – Farm, The Front Porch, Tac/Quila, and Clandestino – employing a dedicated staff of 300 individuals.

Their journey wasn’t without its challenges. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 threatened to derail their progress, but Liz and her team refused to back down. They pivoted, adapted, and most importantly, prioritized the well-being of their employees. “We kept as many employees as possible, especially those who were vulnerable,” Liz emphasizes. “Our employees aren’t just colleagues; they’re family.”

Central to Liz’s vision is the creation of unforgettable dining experiences. Each of their restaurants is a sensory delight, meticulously designed to captivate patrons from the moment they step through the door. From vibrant colors to vintage art and lush greenery, every detail is crafted to cultivate a sense of warmth and belonging.

Take, for instance, Clandestino, with its mesmerizing 18-foot mural titled “Eyes Are On You,” or Tac/Quila, where Mid-Century Mexican art from the ‘50s and ‘60s sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind dining adventure. Farm and Front Porch restaurants envelop guests in the nostalgic charm of early California plein air art dating back to the 1930s. This art complements the historical ambiance of the structure itself, built in 1939.

Photos from Tac/Quila

Photos from The Front Porch

Tac/Quila was honored by being listed in the 2022 Michelin Guide stating, “Amidst the hacienda-inspired elegance of this popular venue, you may find yourself flanked by suit-clad business types quaffing top-shelf tequila on one side, and on the other, poolside-tanned tourists with clothes thrown over their bathing suits as they sip from margarita flights— and everyone seems perfectly at ease. Likewise, the sizeable menu offers room for both street tacos with typical fillings like carne asada or al pastor, as well as more upscale options like lobster and seared ahi tuna. In all cases, the tortillas are made in house, the flavors are lively, and the portions are generous. Cheery service will help you select from a bountiful list of agave spirits, and a nudge to finish with a churro ice cream sandwich is wisely heeded.”

As Liz prepares to be honored with the Business Leader of the Year award by Women Who Lead, her journey serves as a testament to the power of following one’s passion and the transformative impact of building a community united by shared values and a love for exceptional experiences.

Photos from Clandestino

On May 23rd, as she steps onto the stage to accept her well-deserved accolade, Liz will undoubtedly be surrounded by the support and admiration of all those whose lives she has touched – a true testament to the remarkable legacy she continues to build.


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