NEW IN TOWN: La Chinita Poblana

With so many food trucks stuffing the humble taco full of Korean-style pork and Indian pakoras, another “fusion taqueria” is hardly a trendsetter. But when veteran chef George Muñoz started filling thick tortillas with salt-and-pepper shrimp and skirt steak marinated in red curry, he set the bar for flavor. In July, Muñoz opened his first solo effort, La Chinita Poblana (927 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-722-8108, lachinitapoblana.com), in the former home of Boogie Burger in Broad Ripple. Removing indoor seats and painting walls in rainbow pastels gave the tiny lean-to a new spaciousness. Counters and neighboring outdoor tables still accommodate those dining in. Bubble teas and hot-and-sour soup, offered alongside churros and sweet-potato fries smothered in mole, attest to Muñoz’s playful approach. But the crispy bark on his slow-braised pork carnitas and his perfectly blackened yellow-curry tilapia, not to mention custom sauces and mixed herbs, help elevate his funky tacos above the rest. 

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the October 2012 issue.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.