Monday, November 15, 2004

El Pollo Inka - Lawndale


I returned to El Pollo Inka in Lawndale last night. It has been a few years since I've been there. El Pollo Inka was my first experience with Peruvian cuisine. It was there that I first tasted Saltado and Pollo a la Brasa. Ever since then, I have been enamored with this cuisine, slowly trying other dishes at other restaurants over the years.

Since I live in Orange County (Irvine to be exact), I never got much of a chance to go back to Lawndale to satisfy my Peruvian jones, so it was then that I found Inka Anaheim, which itself used to be an El Pollo Inka. At Inka Anaheim, I was happy to find good Peruvian so close to me, especially because it was an exit away from Disneyland, since I am also an AP holder. Inka Anaheim has satisfied my craving for saltado, lucuma ice cream, etc. The owners treat me well, the food is good, the prices reasonable. Eventhough I have heard good things about Nory's Peruvian in Cypress, I have never been able to pry myself from Inka Anaheim's doors. I guess you can call me a loyalist, but since I have had mediocre to bad experiences at Inka Grill, Aji Grill, and Inka's in Irvine, it has been hard to convince me to try anything else than Inka Anaheim. Even Inka Si Senor in Las Vegas was subpar to me. (Note: I have heard of Mario's in L.A., and it's on my list to try - so is Nory's...I swear, it will happen soon.)

However, last night at El Pollo Inka in Lawndale, I was born again. The restaurant was PACKED to its gills by 7 pm. I had the Bisteck Apanado (~$8.95)
which is a thin breaded steak, pan fried, and served with rice. The steak was awesome, crispy and salty, with a nice caramelization. It was like a spiced up version of country fried steak, but lighter, with a kick of cumin. The rice was fluffy and had some extra flavor, a hint chicken broth. I also tried the Saltado de Pollo ($7.95). First of all, the portion size is twice as big as Inka Anaheim's. Second, my companion pointed out that the flavor was much fresher and brighter. I agreed. It was definitely like we were tasting this dish for the first time. The chicken were in bigger chunks, juicy and plump. The onions were still crispy, as were the fries. Even the green aji was better, hot and spicy, fresh and zippy. The Plantanos ($2.50), fried plantains, weren't as sweet as I am used to, but they weren't at all greasy. I also sampled my friend's Chaufa de Pollo ($7.95), which was huge enough for two. It was studded with chicken and fresh green onions. "Wow. This is really good," he mumbled as he shoved spoonful after spoonful into his mouth.

On top of that the prices were about a dollar less per dish than Inka Anaheim. I think, the one thing that this place has going for it is turnover. Since there are so many customers, the food is always consistent and always fresh. If only they served lucuma ice cream.

El Pollo Inka
15400 Hawthorne Blvd
Lawndale, CA 90260
(310) 676-6665

11 Comments:

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This individual is so clearly working for El Pollo Inka it makes me sick. We have been eating at Inka Grill since they opened in Lake Forest and they have always been delicious. We have been to Peru a number of times and Inka Grill is the closest we have come to authentic Peruvian cuisine here in California. When you jave something good there are always those that will attempt to bring it down. You sir lack credibility.

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Haha! How cool that you think I work for El Pollo Inka! I wish I did, then I wouldn't have to pay for Peruvian food.

You sir are funny!

Thanks for the laugh!

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I thinkd Peruvian food is the best. El Pollo Inka is one of my favorites too... good flavor and resonable too. But I do like Nobu's Matsuhisa in Beverly Hillls, although it's pricy (we only go for special occasions). Never been to Inka Grill, but have heard its not as good.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hace 1 ano (1 year) fui con mi familia a el pollo inka esta vez fue la visita aprox 35 vivia en el area de lawndale , mi sorpresa cuando ordene un arroz con pollo y empezava a disfrutarlo mire algo raro en la comida ,yo pense wow este condimento no lo habia visto antes algo raro bueno empeze a inspeccionarlo y me di cuenta que eran unas cucarachas pequenas , se me revolvio el estomago me puse de todoe colores luego llame el mesero y le dije oye y esto que es el contesto oh disculpe nose que es corrio levanto el plato muy rapido y se lo llevo y le dije porque te llevas el plat . aparece el dueno y me dice ordene otra comida yo estava muy enojado y solo le dije por que se llevo el plato el se dio la vuelta me ignoro a , dejenme decirles me dieron dos galletitas y lo demas lo cobraron regular mente y le dije a el cajero pero las cucarachas las cobrastes tambien mi esposa me dijo mejor vamonos y nunca mas regresemos . que cosa se llevaron las pruebas que hacer solo nunca volver a ese cochino restaurante . si usted va a ese restaurante revise bien la comida ...que no le pase lo que a mi me paso que asco cada vez que paso por enfrente de la hawthorne blvd y la 153 st creo se me revuelve el estomago cuando recuerdo esa experiencia que pase . gracias por leer esto.
para mi no es mas el pollo inka le deberian de cambiar el nombre a
CUCARACHAS PERUNAS RESTAURAN

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

senor, por favor deje esas cucarachas en su casa la proxima vez que vaya a un restaurant,cochino

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous flor said...

Este comentario va para el dueÑo de ese restaurant pollo inca el que esta en Lawndale, de verdad no se si seran asi los demas restaurant de ese mismo dueÑo, lo que si se que son bien cochinos al cocinar, no lavan nada de las cosas que preparan para cocinar, sabe pero no se descuiden que algún día viene la inpección a su restaurant y se va a llevar el grn chasco de su vida por que se lo van a cerrar, seÑor con la comida no se jueguen tienen que ser bien limpios pero ahi hasta los mozos se le ven cochinos, esos baños pucha de verdad que decepción que vengan a competir aca en este país un persona que no sabe de control de calidad.
Espero que lea esto y recapacite y les diga a su personal que LAVEN TODOS LOS INGREDIENTES QUE COCINEN por ejemplo la papa, cebolla, tomate, verduras esas cosa seÑores son bien elementales, esos aceites quemados que quizas ni los cambian, no sean ambiciosos por que esa plata no es bien adquirida es a costilla de la pobre cojuda gente que no sabe como es ese restaurant de cochino.

No descansare hasta que cambien y trabajen como Dios manda, si no ahi se veran con la inpección , si esa manager no saber dirigir esto saquenla y pongan otra persona que sabe dirigir un restaurant.

Hay muchos a muchas que quieren trabajar comio manager y saben trabajar para que ese restaurant no tenga es perjuicio como tiene ahora RESTAURANTE PARA LA GENTE QUE SE QUIERE ENFERMAR. Ahora como estaran esos de torrance y de redondo beach quizas iguale spor que el dueÑo es el mismo quizas es abariento y no pone gente calificada a trabajar, quizas tiene GENTE ILEGAL hasta eso se va ver seÑores hasta eso.

 
At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Ralhg said...

SeÑores del restaurant pollo inca mo han avisado que usted contrata gente ilegal para trabajo, mucho cuidado por que la migra se le viene encima

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tu Espanol es grande y jugosa. Ja ja!

 
At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Inka!! You should try Havana Mania if you are around that area. It's a great place for Cuban cuisine , which is very similar with Peruvian food. Havana has the best mojitos!

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Will said...

I'm Peruvian and the guy who said that Inka Grill is the closest to authentic peruvian cuisine is a totally delusional person. Perhaps,while in Peru, all he ate was leftovers (in that case he would be right).

Inka Grill sucks!!!

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo he comido en el Pollo Inca de Torrance (PCH and Hawthorne). Este local es total diferente que el de Lawndale. El de Torrance es mucho mejor. Yo vivo en Lawndale pero prefiero manejar unos minutos mas para hir al el de torrance. Yo nunca mas volvi al de lawndale. no me justo la atension. Pero el mejor restauran asta ahora es el ROCOTO en Gardena. El mejor para mi. ***perdoneme mis faltas de autografia - no he escrito espanol en mucho tiempo*** JE

 

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