Food is one of the most important things to me personally. I literally plan vacations around restaurants I want to try so when La Copine opened, I high tailed it to Joshua Tree to see what all the fuss was about. The "fuss" was the best brunch I have ever had in my life. Meet Claire Wadsworth, owner of La Copine and makes sure to stop by and enjoy some of the best food in the world while at Babes Ride Out 5 (ppsst their spot is a bit further down on Old Woman Springs Rd via our "Pioneer Town Loop" route map).
LA COPINE | 848 OLD WOMAN SPRINGS RD YUCCA VALLEY, CA 92284 | @lacopinekitchen
Tell us about yourself and how you ended up in Joshua Tree.
Nikki and I came out to the desert shortly after getting married in 2015. We went to the Integratron and found out that there was a restaurant for sale just down HWY 247 (OWS Rd). One week later we did a walk through of the space and the following week had the keys. The rest is HERstory! ;)
How has your desert surroundings changed your lifestyle?
It's a slower pace out here. California is chill in general, but the desert is super laid back. People work hard as hell here, but they also enjoy their lives just as much. We want our business to grow slowly so we don't topple over and burn out. The desert has reminded us to not move too fast.
Tell us how your business came to be.
La Copine started on a food cart in 2010 in Philly. Our friend let us rent the cart on weekends. We prepped everything (illegally) out of our kitchen and popped up in “Garden Variety” on the weekends in Northern Liberties. The business felt official to us when we asked our dear friend Kris Chau to do our logo. She wrote our company name in her notebook and in one doodle moment branded our whole company for life. The same logo was painted on the sign in front of our restaurant in 2015.
What is a day in the life like when you run your own business?
A day in the life of a restaurant is total controlled chaos. Wake up, feed the dogs, stretch, run “on the track” or the mini elliptical in the living room, make a single/double/triple shot of espresso (depending on how much tequila we drank the night before) and get out the door. Arrive at LC, unlock the doors, turn on the lights, AC/heat, fill the dish sinks & sani buckets, spray out the little tray at the bottom of the dish machine, turn on some music and hope everyone shows up. I set the dining room & server station with FOH, and Nikki starts prep & sets up the line with BOH. When we’re all set up we discuss menu changes, specials, and any words of encouragement for the day. Flip the sign to OPEN and we’re off! Fast forward 5-6 hours and service finishes when I flip the sign to CLOSED, we all eat staff meal made by the Chef, and start the clean up. Clean up is the hardest part… Gotta get all the dishes to the back then wash/dry/put away, clean the patio, flip the chairs, sweep & mop, organize all food & beverage, high-five and hug everyone goodbye. Nikki writes the prep list (clipboard life) and we head home. Feed the dogs and finally sit our asses down. Occasionally (a little too frequently) we go to Pappy’s because we love it there and it's a mile from home, and someone else is making us dinner and doing the dishes. We get home, maybe watch a show, set our alarms, fall asleep, rinse & repeat!
What are you currently working on?
Our NEW MENU! We have NEW hours WED-SUN 2-7p. Last seating is at 7p. We want to try something new and make some new dishes for people. Also, our Brunch lines were out of control and it felt like we were catering more to the tourists and we want to give the locals a better chance at getting in. We got our beer & wine license too! We’ll be featuring one vineyard & brewery to start (SCRIBE. WINE & Barley Forge Brewing Co.). So it's a late lunch, early dinner, happy hour, supper, linner, dunch, or whatever you wanna call it.
What is something you cherish about Joshua Tree?
The stars at night, the sunsets in Flamingo Heights, a sound bath at the Integratron, Smiths Ranch Drive In, hikes in the Preserve, and our favorite is dinner with friends at one of our houses.
What are you donating to the raffle?
Two $50 gift certificates!
Any recommendations for ladies traveling to Joshua Tree for Babes Ride Out 5?
Soundbath at the Integratron (make sure you book in advance), Smiths Ranch Drive In, shopping at The End, Hoof + Horn, Funky And Darn Near New, and The Bloomin Gypsy!