Just because you Yelp and write about food, people automatically assume you know the best Mexican restaurant, hole in the wall, sushi hot spot, etc. Hate to break it to you but I never claimed to be a foodie, a critic, an expert, or anything. I’m writing about my adventures as they happen. What you see is what you get. The 500+ reviews on Yelp plus my personal blog are a reflection of what I’ve tried up to now for the past three years. I base my recommendations off of those reviews and I will happily explore something new with you. It’ll be our eating adventure together.
Peruvian cuisine was our culinary adventure yesterday. This is one I could get behind and fully support. I’ve had Peruvian in LA county and recently in Irvine so I was eager to try Inka Mama’s just up the street in the sleepy community of Foothill Ranch. We arrived around lunch time and the place was packed. The host seated us near the noisy kitchen much to my dismay but we found a way to make it work and still carry out a business conversation.
Inka Mama’s menu is extensive. Prices ranges from $10-$14 but portions are huge. Service is attentive and quick. Water and fresh hot bread with their spicy green Peruvian sauce was at our table within minutes and we both dove in. After going through 3 baskets of bread and a bottle of Aji (the green spicy Peruvian sauce), I was convinced I could live off Aji and bread. Of course I would need Huacatay (Peruvian plant) and Aji (the spice) or some way to get it delivered to me on a daily basis.
Inka Mama’s vast selection of dishes had us dumbfounded as we ate our bread and Aji. Our server broke down the menu and helped us make a decision. Inka Special for me and Arroz con Mariscos (seafood) for my business partner. The Inka Special is apparently the house favorite. It is a soupy curry-like dish that arrives on platter and consisted of chicken sauteed with minced onions, peas, and carrots, and french fries in a spicy chili and garlic sauce served with rice. I liked the flavor aspects of this dish but personally found it too mild for my taste. The sauce was not spicy as described. It took another half bottle of Aji to perfect the dish. The crispy fries quickly turned soggy in the sauce. Overall, not a bad dish; it’s just that my taste buds wanted a little more. On my next visit, I’ll have to try the Aji de Gallina instead.
I was surprised to find such a treat in my local community and look forward to my next visit.