Ah, yes. The annual desert sweat-fest, perhaps better known as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, is upon us all. In places like Venice, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Los Feliz, weekend streets will lay barren and unused; local bars will resort to extended happy hour pricing to try to lure the dregs out for a drink; and Taco Zone will have basically no line at all. That's because all the cool kids will be stuffed into an EDM tent 100 miles away, paying $5 for bottled water and eating nothing but date shakes and sand.

Well, not exactly. This year, the food and drink offerings at Coachella have gotten downright civilized – assuming you're into words like “local,” “sustainable” and “yurts.”
That's right, there's going to be some goddamn yurts at Coachella. Everyone's preferred method of open plains mobile living, these literal pop-ups will be held in an area long known as The Terrace, and will provide safe shade for workers slinging drinks from a Stumptown coffee bar, or more adult-friendly beer and bites from Tony's Darts Away, Mohawk Bend and Koreatown's Beer Belly. VIP'ers can have their pick from the Cedd Moses catalog, with everything from Honeycut and Seven Grand to Caña Rum Bar and Las Perlas.

On the edible side, Coachella's lineup is actually rather impressive. Tal Ronnen's vegan Crossroads will be making the journey, alongside Kris Yenbamroong's Night + Market and offerings from the Mexicali Taco guys. Salt & Straw will be there with desserts, Clover Juice will be fresh-pressing for the crowds and and you'll even be able to get spicy teriyaki jerky from the Dried and True Beef Jerky crew.

Of course, you shouldn't expect full menus – this is the desert, after all. Josef Centeno is bringing a touch of his popular downtown restaurant trio, with mulitas and sugar snap peas, while Semi-Sweet Bakery is loading up with mac & cheese empanadas. Mohawk Bend is hauling out their always-popular buffalo cauliflower and Beer Belly, ever the bastions of deliciously bad ideas, plan on stuffing faces with deep fried Oreos and pork belly chips.

Thanks to a rise in conscious (uh oh, buzzword alert) consumerism, it's now easier than ever to score a great meal in Coachella, instead of waiting in line for yet another pack of Flamin' Hot Cheetos. You can get a garlicky vampiro from Mexicali instead, and try to make out with a stranger while Lana Del Rey warbles on in the background.

And be sure to check out our music section's on-going awesome coverage of Coachella.

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Farley Elliott writes about food, drink and entertainment at OverOverUnder.com.

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