Exotic cuisine lets people experience international flavors without the hassles associated with air travel or the dusty aftertaste associated with licking a globe. Become a global gourmet with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of authentic Peruvian cuisine at Inka Grill, valid in Lake Forest and on West 19th Street and Bristol Street in Costa Mesa.
Inka Grill specializes in authentic cuisine born from fresh ingredients, Peruvian roots, and the founder's passion for flavorful food. Like a steak knife on the ocean floor, the family value dinner ($26.95) cuts deep, as a duo of whole rotisserie chickens dance to the haunting soundtrack of rice and beans or french fries and salad. Diners sing mouthfuls of praise upon tasting the paella ($13.95), an ode to the sea that showcases mixed seafood and rice, or harvesting flavorful grains of Peruvian-style fried rice with chicken or beef ($9.95). The fortunata fish soup's fresh halibut ($14.95) swims through a spicy garlic-wine sauce, encouraging gentle nibbles of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and yucca along the way as it guides palates toward a finale of flan ($3.95), which cooks bake in caramel to add more gooey richness than a melted credit card.
Ana Maria Montoya Kishihara first landed on American soil in the early 1980s, bringing along her two young children, the traditional Peruvian recipes of her mother and grandmother, and a dream to start her own restaurant. She opened up Inka Grill in 1996, stocking its kitchen with fresh ingredients and setting up a wood-fired rotisserie to roast juicy Peruvian chicken dishes. Today, Ana’s daughter has taken over the family business, whipping up the authentic the Criolla recipes passed down from the three generations of women before her.
Amid the smoky rotisserie and bubbling pots of stew in the Inka Grill kitchen, chefs whip up fresh fish ceviches, savory steak stir-fry saltados, and flavorful seafood paellas. They pair heaping scoops of rice and beans with their rotisserie chicken, a poultry that reporters from Orange County Weekly lauded as “so juicy from tail to sternum you can barely tell the dark from the white.” Servers tote sizzling platters to the dining room, where vivid paintings of Peruvian children adorn the walls and a soft flute plays traditional Peruvian songs, i.e., Wham! covers. The staff pours glasses of the traditional chicha morada corn drink and presents cans of imported Inca Kola to quench the spice of their ultra-spicy green aji sauce, which the chefs have lightheartedly dubbed “Gringo Killer”.