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A taste of Peru in the Coachella Valley

Causa Rellena de Pollo Causa Rellena de Pollo with mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, carrots, peas, and green beans.

Along the tourist-filled main drag in Palm Springs, Inka Peruvian Cuisine is a standout, showcasing the delicious, hearty dishes that make Peruvian food such a pleasure.

Lomo saltado

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado with filet mignon, red onions, tomatoes, french fries, and rice.

Peru’s most popular dish stateside is lomo saltado, a stir-fry traditionally made with beef, tomatoes, onions, and french fries, then tossed with a light coating of soy sauce, vinegar, and, at Inka, a healthy heap of fresh cilantro.

The ingredients are seemingly simple, but the execution must be precise. Inka’s version succeeds: The fries are thick yet soft and the flavorful sauce manages to unite the divergent flavors without overwhelming the dish. In addition to beef, Inka offers saltados with chicken, shrimp, fish, and even tofu, ensuring that there’s a saltado for everyone’s taste.

Ceviche

Ceviche de Mixto

Ceviche de mixto with sweet potato and Peruvian corn.

Ceviche is also available in several iterations. The ceviche de mixto, a plate of chilled, thinly sliced raw white fish, calamari, and shrimp drenched in tart, garlic-laden lime juice, is delightful when scooped up with crunchy plantain chips, which should be requested along with the order.

Our meal’s showstopper was the causa rellena de pollo, a layering of creamy mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, and snappy peas and green beans, served cold and brightened with lemon. With its golden hue, it resembles a dazzling dessert, yet the flavor was reminiscent of a potato salad, making it a worthy side to any order. 

Picarones

Picarones

Picarones with a honey syrup.

Speaking of dessert, be sure to leave room for the picarones—chewy Peruvian doughnuts made with sweet potato and served atop a honey syrup.

Not every dish here is a winner. The sopa criolla, a classic comfort soup of milk, tomatoes, noodles, and beef, lacked flavor. The tallarín saltado de pollo was an unbalanced abundance of spaghetti to accompany the chicken, onions, and tomatoes. Service is friendly and attentive but at times quite slow. Despite these hiccups, Inka is a standout in a town full of bustling restaurants.

Best dishes at Inka Peruvian Cuisine

Causa rellena de pollo, ceviche de mixto, lomo saltado, arroz chaufa de pollo, picarones.

Dinner prices

Starters, $11–$24; entrées, $10.50–$45; Desserts, $6–$7.

Information

360 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. (760) 992-5311.

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