I distinctively remember this place was a Mexican restaurant, but that was many years ago and now, the only thing recognizable is the exterior. Inside, the colorful decor is welcoming and the Peruvian menu tasty and reasonable.
The moment you sit down, a basket of crusty bread is place on the table along with a squeeze bottle of the ubiquitous aji sauce. The one here isn’t very spicy but it is packed with flavor.
Two of my friends ordered the rotisserie chicken but with different sides. Quarter Chicken ($7.95) with fries is good enough if you’re not too hungry. The chicken is moist and seasoned well. They give you a LOT of fries — way too many to finish on your own unless you REALLY love fries.
The other chicken was Half Chicken ($9.95) ordered with beans and rice. We opted for black beans which I love! The rice was nothing special, just plain ole white rice.
Who goes to a Peruvian restaurant and doesn’t order Saltado of some sort? Spaghetti Saltado ($10.95) with beef or Tallarin Saltado was a little bland, but nothing a squeeze of the aji sauce can’t rectify. I thought the texture of the noodles were different to what I am usually accustomed to but on the whole, it was good — nothing spectacular, but just good.
My favorite of them all was the Paella ($11.95). The menu describes the rice dish to have shrimp, calamari, cod fish and NZ green lipped mussels, although I wasn’t sure the fish used was indeed cod and there was no green lipped mussels to be found. I was quite happy with the shrimp and calamari though. The portion is big and there is ample for another meal.
Service is a little slow and you have to ask for extra bread and water refills. Other than that, this little place is worth coming back for some stellar Peruvian food and very affordable lunch specials for under $10 are also available.
Inka Grill Rotisserie Chicken
562 W 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627