DX Peruvian--the restaurant at the corner of Bristol and Sunflower next to Bella Cuba and technically in Santa Ana although it's directly across from South Coast Plaza--has closed and now become the fourth branch of Inka Mama's. The switch-over happened this week.
This INCArnation (sorry, couldn't resist) operates on a similar menu as the rest of the South County mini-chain
with a few additions and omissions. The aji sauce is served not by squirt bottle but in a ramekin with a spoon, meant to be dripped onto soft baguette-like bread cut into pieces split in the middle to receive it.
They mix a very good pisco sour at the bar (more on this next week), and when you order any meal that requires rice, it comes molded in a rectangular shape on a rectangular plate.
The lomo saltado is near perfect. The fries are still slightly crispy, a sign that they were just deep-fried before they were added to the stir fry; the onions are softened just so, it's spiciness exorcised leaving nothing but sweetness; and the meat isn't dry or ropy, indicating that it was indeed seared on the wok. But most importantly, this saltado doesn't leave behind a soupy mess on the plate. It is an actual stir-fry. After all, it's a chifa-dish, Peruvian-Chinese food born from a blazing wok.
They use all white meat for the aji de gallina, a yellow, thick and viscous chicken and potato stew colored by aji amarillo and made hearty with ground walnuts. The rendition is very hearty indeed, the kind of meal that can sustain you for days.
3930 S. Bristol St #107
Santa Ana, CA 92704, 1-714-557-6262