Best South American Restaurant (2008)

Inka South American Cuisine

After a few bites of the borrego al pebre at Inka South American Cuisine, you may find yourself wondering where in South America the recipe for this rack of lamb crusted with spices and served with a battered and deep-fried avocado quarter came from exactly. Yes, the menu also features authentic arepas, glorious empanadas and lots of intriguingly seasoned postmodern ceviches — but is Inka really a South American restaurant? You would have to ask chef/owner David Sanchez, a Culinary Institute of America grad, for the answer to that question. And Sanchez is a bit ambiguous on the subject. He describes the fare at his colorful and casual far-west Westheimer eatery as "South American-inspired," but admits his innovative menu aims for excitement over authenticity. So maybe it's more accurate to call this great new restaurant a 21st-century Nuevo Latino cafe. Try the crusted lamb chops, the coconut shrimp and the mussels with corn salsa, and you'll give Sanchez the benefit of the doubt.


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