Inka Mama’s - Peruvian - 3930 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, CA - Restaurant Reviews

Inka Mama’s   - Peruvian - 3930 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, CA - Restaurant Reviews
10/10/2016

Delicious.I had their saltado de pollo ($12.95) and it was really good. The chicken was nicely seasoned, but what really did the trick were the fries. They weren't mushy, were crispy on the outside, but nice and soft on the inside. I also appreciated the generous quarters of tomatoes that was tossed with the sautéed chicken breast, fries, and onions. I do agree that the green sauce could use a little more kick to it, but overall, I thought it complemented the dish and wasn't too intensely spicy.I would definitely come back.

saltado de pollo - $12.95 saltado de pollo - $12.95 9/22/2016

It's a solid 3-star place with the potential for improvement. I've been a few times with my brother for dinner, but the most recent visit has been the most memorable in terms of service, so I thought it was time to finally share.As creatures of habit, my bro and I always start with Chicha Morada (purple corn punch) and Maracuya (passion fruit juice) respectively. It always does us well followed by a basket of bread with their green sauce. The sauce isn't consistent with every visit, so I'm guessing this is made in-house? Some days it's a nice kick of heat and other days it's incredibly mild. It really depends on the batch I suppose. For our most recent dinner visit, my brother got the Arroz con Pollo while I got a cup of Aguadito con Pollo and the Chicken Milanesa Pasta. My brother's dish was 'flawless' using his words. He finished everything, so I'll take his word on that lol.The chicken and rice soup was stunning with a cilantro base. I could have easily taken down a bowl to myself! My main entree though, was where the issue occurred. The breaded chicken steak was well seasoned and had a nice crisp to the thin batter. The pasta however, was SALTY. After a few bites of the spinach pesto, I just couldn't do it anymore. I was inhaling my juice and my water like no tomorrow that I filled up on liquids more than anything.When our server came by to check on us, I had to say something. I was planning on boxing it up and taking it home to fix, but told our server that the sauce was incredibly over salted. He took it away and later informed me that they are making me a completely new batch of pasta to take home. He had sampled a bit of the sauce and confirmed that it was bad. Well, that was nice to know that they would fix the issue right away. I just didn't want anyone to go through my troubles again. The new batch for my leftovers though, were incredible. THAT's how it should have been and I loved it! Although that experience alone could have boosted them to a 4-star rating, it irks me that they don't taste their sauces before it arrives to the table. Like, I was so full on liquid and then dehydrated from salt consumption that I was left nursing a tummy ache for the rest of the night. However, I'm still game to try them out again, but maybe I'll avoid that dish for now.

Chicken Milanesa with spinach pasta Chicken Milanesa with spinach pasta Arroz con Pollo Arroz con Pollo Soup Soup See all photos from Jamie N. for Inka Mama's 8/25/2016

Wish no stars was an option.We walked into the restaurant at 3:30pm on a Wednesday to get a late lunch.  There seemed to be only one person working in the restaurant and he was too busy joking with one table, who were obviously friends because they were laughing about mutual friends, to even acknowledge our presence.   The only other table with guests had empty drink glasses and seemed to be waiting for him to acknowledge them as well.  After more than several minutes of waiting to be seated we walked out.  Can't comment on the food as we we will never return.

7/23/2016

I haven't been to as many Peruvian restaurants as I should have but whenever I do venture into one all I can think about is the Aji!While the complexity of Colombian Aji pairs perfectly with Empanadas, Peruvian Aji is the perfect dipping sauce with its unique combo of spiciness, creaminess and cooling properties (with the one at Inka Mama's being plenty tasty [Heck, I'd take shots of Peruvian Aji if nobody was looking lol])The Lomo Saltado here is pretty good but I definitely come more for the Aji than the entrees.Service is friendly but incredibly inattentive (at least during lunch). I've gone 15+ minutes while dining without seeing a single worker and this has happened on multiple occasions (I'm no advocate of dine and dash but if one tried here they'd probably be on The 405 before the staff realized they had dashed lol...)So in a nutshell, Aji = Great, Food = Average, Price = Average, Service = Friendly with a hint of nonexistence. I'll keep coming back to Inka Mama's but once I find a better Peruvian joint in the area that'll likely change

Lomo Saltado Lomo Saltado 10/23/2016

good place for peruvian food. I highly recommend it. chupe de camarones is the best! prices are on the affordable side. lucky we were there on a Sunday and got picarones as well..

4/15/2016

I was so excited to come here because I haven't had Peruvian food since my all time favorite (Mario's in LA).We got the lomo saltado, arroz con marisco (seafood paella), and empanadas (spinach/mozzarella and beef). The empanadas were good. The spinach and mozzarella one was bursting with flavor, and the beef was solid too. The sauce for it was horrific, though. The lomo saltado and arroz con marisco soon came out, and we dug in. I of course put the beloved green sauce all over everything. That ended up being crucial, because both entrees had serious problems: the lomo saltado was too salty and the arroz con marisco was way bland. Moreover, the arroz con marisco portion was so skimpy and it looked like they had thrown on leftovers from a previous batch onto our skillet. Refer to the photo. I can't complain much about the fishiness of the seafood-it was actually pretty fresh and I had no qualms there.I'm not sure why this place is a hit and maybe it's because there are not many other Peruvian joints in the area? Either way, this place is a bust. Don't bother.

Lomo saltado...classic but wayyy salty here Lomo saltado...classic but wayyy salty here Arroz con marisco...came out looking like it was half eaten Arroz con marisco...came out looking like it was half eaten Empanadas - spinach and mozarella one is a must! Empanadas - spinach and mozarella one is a must! 7/31/2016

Came on a Saturday night, this place was full however we got seated right away.The interior is very colorful and full of Peruvian art , however it was very warm and stuffy the air condition was not working properly this had made the dinning experience a little agitating. The service was friendly however not attentive they took order served the food and that was the end of the service. We ordered the calamari and spinach empanadas to start , one pan fried chicken with rice and 2 vegetarian dishes. I have not had much Peruvian food but if this is the considered highly rated Peruvian food then I am sure this is not my thing, the chicken had a nice texture and flavor to it however the vegetarian dishes were just some frozen beans and carrots with broccoli in a very soupy sauce . One of them was the Inka vegetarian special which had French fries soaked in this soupy sauce which I thought was strange , maybe I should have asked if I could hold the fries had I known the fries will be swimming in sauce.The empanadas all I can say is mediocre I have had much better ones , and the calamari was a bit tough to chew on and the flavor was nothing special .Maybe I just ordered the wrong fish, but I know they use the same sauce for non vegetarian dishes as well , so as for the flavor I can only give 2 stars , maybe this is not my type of cuisine .This place does nothing for me and the dining experience was below average . Don't think I will be rushing back anytime soon.

3/9/2016

Finally had a chance to check this place out! We were avoiding it simply because we were so happy with the other restaurants in the plaza but our friend highly recommended it so we set a date and visited the restaurant! We were pleasantly surprised with everything from the food, to the service, to the atmosphere. When you walk in the restaurant has wonderful Inkan music playing and there are plenty of tables. This time we were seated right away since it was a weekday evening. This may be a good place if all the other restaurants are crowded.I ordered the traditional chicken plate and my husband ordered the steak. I don't know what that seasoning they use is but it was incredible! You have a choice of white or brown rice for no extra charge so that was a nice touch.All in all the price was not bad for a nice sit-down restaurant. And the food came out fast so we made it easily to the Segerstrom show that night!

Ceviche! Ceviche! Chicken dish :-) Chicken dish :-) 9/20/2016

This place was soooo good! I am glad I came in here out of all the choices in the shopping center. First I will say the young lady in the front was so friendly and gave me advice on what to order, she provides great customer service. I ordered the steak with fries and rice which is the most popular plate and I'm so glad I did. It was delicious! I also had the mandarin beer, it was light and perfect just how I like. All the staff is very friendly, place is very clean and has a comfortable set up. I will be back.

7/10/2016

Dam. My girlfriend and I had this place for lunch and later that night we both had the runs. Not sure what happen that day but it wasn't pleasant. Food was alright though. We got the inka special and Loma saltado. Felt like there was a crap load of onions in the Loma saltado and the rice to meat ratio was way off. There was barely any rice to supplement the amount of meat they gave you.

Soup Soup Salad Salad Loma saltado Loma saltado See all photos from Ly N. for Inka Mama's 11/17/2015

Inka Mama'sUndoubtedly the best Latin Cuisine in OC! When I think of Peru I imagine Brazilian Beaches and Carnivals, Paradise landscaping and familiar flavors from Mexico and Caribbean but Peruvian cuisine is the original fusion food with influences from the Japanese, China, Italy, Africa, and Spain.  Peruvians are best known for ceviche, the marinated raw seafood dish, Peru's food is remarkable for the diversity of its ingredients, from wonderful fresh fish to astounding varieties of potatoes, corn and chilies, and for preparations that encompass the world.The restaurant is located in a rather small plaza kind of tucked away in the back. I can understand why I have never heard of it or seen it; it's hard to see from the street. The interior will remind visitors of a modern Latin feel. The decor allows the simplistic beauty of the food to really shine, but the beauty isn't the only thing that keeps people come back to Inka Mama's. The restaurant buzzed with exciting energy and was full of perfectly comfortable patrons. The wait staff was also over the top. Jacob was our server and he was very knowledgeable about the Peruvian culture as well as the food. He gave us a few recommendations and his service was on point. We started with a Complimentary bread roll and a bright green chili dipping sauce. We enjoyed the bread so much that we ask for 2 to 3 refills of sauce and bread. The flavor of that bright green chili sauce was mind blowing. I detected hints of chilies and cilantro but then came the delayed background heat. I was thinking wow this sauce is spicy but it's so addicting. For the main course, I decided to go with Lomo Saltado, Mama's lean, delicately seasoned Ribeye beef, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, cilantro and French cut potatoes served with rice. A classic dish of Peru! The flavor of the sautéed sweet onions, tomatoes, balanced the richness of the sinfully tender beef ribeye very well. My wife ordered Cabrito Norteno which is Lamb stewed with minced onions, cilantro, garlic and Inka wine, served with rice, beans and sarza criolla. The dish was executed perfectly. I did find that the lamb portion was a little small for my liking, but I know a lot of people who would be willing to pay top dollar for a dish like that. The servings were decent and a bit pricey, but it was well worth it.Though I would love to be selfish and keep Inka Mama's all to myself, the work of these Chefs are too good to stay hidden for long. I will be returning very soon and I'll be Hungry.Thanks for Reading,Matthew Y.

Paella Paella See all photos from Matthew Y. for Inka Mama's 10/13/2016

I tried this place once and was hooked!  Instantly added to my list of most favorite restaurants.  I'm a vegetarian and always on the look out for places as yummy for me as my meat eating friends--this is the perfect spot!  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! :D

8/8/2016

Visited Inka Mama's on a Sunday afternoon for lunch.My husband and I are from Miami, and we've had our share of delicious Peruvian food. Inka Mama's did not disappoint! Lomo saltado was perfect. My husband's chaufa combinado was pretty good too. Tasted like a pretty standard fried rice dish - nothing unique, but not bad. And their aji verde! Just read the reviews and you'll understand. So addicting and delicious! Also got to try a pisco sour for the first time and loved it. Service was also fantastic from start to finish. Can't wait to come back here.

3/24/2016

Can't believe I never reviewed this place. It's amazing. Staff is welcoming every time, sangria is homemade, and the menu is a can't miss. We love love love Peruvian food. This place more than hit it out of the park with their meals. I always got the breaded chicken with pesto pasta - in more of a,if it's not broke, don't fix it girl. The hubs got a variety of meals, and loved each! Honestly never once had room for dessert, so no clue there. I was more than happy saving all that tummy space for the main meal. Overall: A+Great Peruvian food, friendly staff and sangria make Stacy happy. ;)

11/8/2015

This place is located in the Euro Cafe area, towards the back. The place was rather crowded when we went for lunch, but we somehow managed to get seating.I got the Beef Fried rice, and I guess that was my biggest mistake here. The rice just was not good, it tasted bland, it was lacking flavor, the dish did not come together well at all, it tasted like a shitty knock-off of Chinese fried rice, with a slightly different rice, and a crappier overall taste.The one good part though was the creamy green sauce they had at the beginning, which I think might be like a cilantro creamy sauce or something? It tasted excellent, and I enjoyed that part of the meal the most.I'm not sure if my experience was because of what I ordered, or if all the food is kind of like this, but I have had better Peruvian food elsewhere.

Beef Fried Rice Beef Fried Rice 10/1/2016

This place is great. From the decor to the food to the service. Everything was great. I've had Peruvian food before but this place was mentioned in OC's Weekly so I just had to try it out. My friends and I tried out different items on their menu and lived every single one of it. The only thing that I thought could have been better was the fact that my friends paella looked like it wasn't a full portion. I think if they had used a smaller bowl the presentation would have been nicer but the portion was still adequate. Good place that I'd to totally come back again.

9/15/2015

Easily one of my favorite Peruvian restaurants! I stumbled upon this gem while deciding what to have for lunch with a co-worker! They have great service, ample seating, a huge parking lot, and a great menu of items. Lunch specials are $7.95 to $9.95 and come with complimentary bread and daily soup! The complimentary bread and green sauce is to die for. I don't know what's in the green sauce but I drizzled it all over my food too! The chicken cilantro soup was one of the best I've had!FOOD..Inka Special - chicken with their house made sauce over fries. I would say this is the brother/sister to the Loma Saltado! It has chicken, peas, carrots, and fries with some type of yellow sauce. The chicken was all white meat and tasted dry and over cooked.. If you prefer chicken over beef, this may be the dish for you - but remember it's white meat!Lomo Saltado - this is definitely their best dish here.. It has beef, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes that are stir fried and served over fries! It was flavorful and simply delicious! The beef was tender which was nice, I normally savor the flavor of the sauce more.. But this time, the beef was great!SERVICE..For a restaurant that gets busy during lunch time, we had nothing but a great experience. The waitress we worked with was friendly and always checked in on us.. She even brought us more bread and green sauce without asking!!

Lunch special Monday through Friday 11am - 3pm Lunch special Monday through Friday 11am - 3pm 10/5/2016

Omg soooo amazingly good. I came in hung over and walked out feeling great. Their green cilantro soup is soooo delicious.  I ordered a bowl to take home.

4/12/2016

I have been here several times and my overall opinion of this place is 3 stars. The food here is INCONSISTENT. Sometimes, it's pretty good and sometimes it's just ok. On a good day, it's better than the other Inka Mama's chains that I've been to (LAGUNA Hills & Foothill Ranch). This is what makes me think of this place when I crave Peruvian food. On the other days, it's just "blah" like the other locations...like last week. FOOD:I've ordered...LOMO SALTADO-steak strips sautéed with red onions, tomatoes, and fries & served with rice. This is what I normally order when I go to Peruvian restaurants. This entree has always been good here. The sauce is garlicky and savory. Peruvian food has some Asian influence with their use of soy sauce in their sauces. CROQUETAS-Beef patties mixed with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. The last time I had this, it was really good. When I had it last night, it was ok but there were some strange white spots on the surface of the patties. The server told me that they toss the patties in flour before frying. It looked kind of unappetizing to be honest. They were also on the dry side this time. PARIHEULA-Peruvian seafood bouillabaisse with tilapia, calamari, shrimp, and mussels. The broth was tasty but the seafood tasted really fishy, especially the mussels. This was the deal breaker. It left a bad fishy taste in my mouth. Had to return this to the kitchen. ARROZ CON MARISCOS-Peruvian seafood paella served in a shallow metal dish. This is tastier when you eat it at the restaurant. Tastes like Chinese fried rice when you do take out and eat it at home. The seafood in this dish also tasted fishy as well. SERVICE:The service here is also INCONSISTENT. I dined here many times with my family of 4 and also with a large party of 20+. The dinner with the large party was a hot mess. While, the restaurant has room to accommodate a large party, they didn't staff appropriately to fulfill our needs.  The food was slow to come out...a couple of people waited for their food while others were almost done eating...the server wasn't always easy to find. BOTTOM LINE...not for big parties. The service was ok with my smaller parties of 4. Nothing exceptional to remember, but nothing horrible to remember. Last week I ate by myself. There was a Hispanic male server and also an Asian female server. I was thankful that they both came by my table because the Hispanic guy was a little sketchy & inattentive. I felt like he just wanted me to say that "everything was good" because he constantly asked "everything good?". I also didn't like that he was trying to up sell me on the halibut instead of the tilapia on the Parihuela, telling me that it was better bc it wasn't as fishy. The halibut is an extra $3 which I did upgrade to but WHY would the restaurant be serving fishy tilapia??? Poor advertising. Also, when I told him that I WAS NOT satisfied when my Pariheula, he just showed me the menu telling me that this is what I ordered. Exceptional customer service would've been for him to offer another entree right away. His attitude was like "oh well". When the Asian server asked me if everything was ok, she immediately resolved my dilemma by returning the Pariheula and helping me to order the  Arroz con MARISCOS.FINAL VERDICT...still looking for a consistent LOCAL Peruvian restaurant. :o/

ARROZ CON MARISCOS-the flavor of the dish is yummy, but again, the seafood tasted fishy, especially the Tilapia. ARROZ CON MARISCOS-the flavor of the dish is yummy, but again, the seafood tasted fishy, especially the Tilapia. ARROZ CON MARISCOS-the flavor of the dish is yummy, but again, the seafood tasted fishy, especially the Tilapia. ARROZ CON MARISCOS-the flavor of the dish is yummy, but again, the seafood tasted fishy, especially the Tilapia. PARIHEULA-good broth, fishy seafood. PARIHEULA-good broth, fishy seafood. See all photos from Jinnie N. for Inka Mama's 9/26/2016

I love this place! I've come here for work twice and each time I've had good experiences with the food, wait times, and customer service. Very polite and attentive.

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