Lillian Hsu is grateful to Inkas Restaurant for providing her with a lovely introduction to Peruvian food. Golden empanadas filled with tender ground beef and half a hard-boiled egg are good, but anticuchos–lightly spiced beef heart skewers, accompanied by sweet corn on the cob and slices of sweet potato–are life changing. (For those apprehensive about tasting someone else’s heart, it’s similar to a very good, very flavorful cut of beef.) Try everything dipped in their house-made yellow chili sauce–it’s fantastic, and you can easily work your way through several baskets of bread just for an excuse to eat more of it.
Inkas’ pollo a la brasa (Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken) is some of the best roast chicken ever made, with crispy skin and incredibly juicy and tender meat. You can get it with fries, or substitute perfectly crispy yuca frita. If you have room, taste the Peruvian doughnuts, round sweet potato fritters drizzled with syrup, crisp on the outside and steamy and mushy on the inside. “I’m still basking in the afterglow,” says Lillian.
Inkas Restaurant [Mission]
3299 Mission St., San Francisco