Lou Boquila was the chef behind the Filipino dinner series, Pelago. The pop-up has seen enormous success since its launch back in February, and Boquila hopes to continue that success at his very first solo venture, Perla, opening early next year (March 2016, at the latest).
The Filipino food wave has been a long time coming, especially in Philadelphia. Really, Pelago was the first spark of Filipino culture we've seen hit Philly's mainstream dining scene, probably, ever. Every dinner sold out within just a few hours of their announcement, and Boquila cultivated somewhat of a cult-like following for his nuanced Filipino fare.
"My mom, Perla, passed away four years ago, and she was the one in the family who cooked Filipino food. So I named the restaurant after her." said Boquila. "I don't have any of the recipes, so I'm cooking from the memories I have of her food."
Perla will be a 30 seat (at most) BYOB, and will be located adjacent to Fond, looking out onto East Passyunk's Singing Fountain. Given the size of the restaurant, Boquila's plan is to go with the tasting menu-only approach we've seen from Laurel and Bibou.
For the Filipino-unfamiliar, check out Drew Lazor's little ditty he wrote for Serious Eats about the fusion-y history of the cuisine. And for more of a visual representation, Neal Santos's photography is the perfect way to see what you're in for at Perla.
Pelago will continue to operate as-is (sign up for future pop-up details if you're interested), but Perla will open as Boquila's own project, separate from the pop-up series.