- Cuisine: Filipino
- Alcohol: BYOB
- Meals Served: Dinner
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The inspirations for chef Lou Boquila‘s cooking at Perla are written in his history. Born in the Philippines, Boquila grew up on his mother’s traditional cooking. His first kitchen was her kitchen, and though it wouldn’t be until years later that he got one of his own, he learned his first lessons from her.
Fast forward. Boquila is in Philly. He gets a job as a dishwasher at Knave Of Hearts, goes on to study at the Art Institute, gets an internship with chef Kiong Banh at Twenty Manning, moves up. Starts working the line. Gets the sous chef job, then a chef de cuisine’s gig at Audrey Claire. He learns French technique, modern cuisine, but still… He remembers his mother’s kitchen, the foods he grew up with. And then, when he gets the chance to open a restaurant of his own, he makes it traditional and modern at the same time, Filipino, but inflected with French technique. And he calls it Perla, after his mother.
This summer (like all summers) was a pretty slow time for restaurant openings. We had a few big names come through on their promises to switch on the lights, but for the most part, we were eating at the same places in August that we were in June.
The autumn, though? That’s when the opening-and-closing cycle really gets going again, with some of the biggest restaurateurs in the city (Michael Schulson, Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Daragh, Jose Garces and more…) all working to get their new places open before the holidays hit.
So this, then, is the list of the restaurants (either recently opened or upcoming) that have us most excited–the dining rooms we can’t wait to sit in, and the menus we can’t wait to see. It’s going to be a big season in Philly. So here’s where you’ll all be eating in the upcoming months, starting with…