Intercultural relationships turn us on. So it was with some excitement that we brought our act to Mar Vista's El Agave this weekend for chicken in Oaxacan mole negro, only to leave with a belly of crisp-skinned Peruvian pollo as well. The reason? Due to a rent increase, Inka Deli recently closed up shop on the Venice Boardwalk and started shacking up with El Agave on Venice Boulevard at Centinela. Now, in addition to Agave's menu of clayudas, molcajetes, and cemitas, Inka owners Javier Sotillo and Ernesto Gutierrez are also serving their own selection of anticucho, lomo saltado, homemade chicha morada, ceviche, and an intricately marinated, crisp-skinned chicken available served by the quarter with a salad and fried yucca or french fries for seven bucks.
While obviously not Pollo a la Brasa orgasmic, the chicken definitely beats the skin off of lesser competitors, like El Pollo Inka's ho-hum, dry bird, making for a solid, dependable pick on a block that could use some varied flavor in its cheap-eats options.
Sotillo tells us the partnership between the two restaurants will result in some positive changes to come, as plans are being hatched for new signage, as well as a few interior upgrades neither restaurateur could manage alone easily. "Every day we are making small changes and making it better and better," he tells Grub Street, clearly amped for his new digs in a neighborhood that might appreciate ceviche more than beach-side pizza and passion fruit juice to another icy cup of Coke.
Check out the menu below and find Inka Deli sharing space with El Agave at 12326 1/2 Venice Blvd. Mar Vista. 310-357-3545.