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Filipino fare with an inventive, contemporary twist in Passyunk.

Dinner Tues.-Sun.
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Reservations suggested

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Perla Restaurant Review

: Far too scarce in Philly’s food scene for too long, Filipino cooking finds a venue in Lou Boquila’s Passyunk BYO. With room for just 30 seats and a semi-open kitchen, the intimate boîte uses concrete tiles and blue velvet banquettes for a minimal but striking effect. The chef-owner takes the flavors of his native cuisine and remixes them with local, seasonal produce and French technique, resulting in delicately plated concoctions. The combinations of ingredients are exciting to behold: escargot with chickpeas and Brussels sprouts; chitarra pasta with uni and sea beans; short rib menudo with tripe and eggplant purée. An arctic char starter is a refreshing break from tuna tartare, with bright pickled red onions, spicy crisped fish skin and a tangle of wakame. Lamb shank kare kare is served chopped fine, with tender morsels of bok choy and eggplant, swirled with peanut annatto sauce. Not to be missed is the sinangag, fried rice spiced with garlic and topped with a marrow bone. The bibingka cake --- a kind of tender version of mochi with mango-kalamansi curd and a crumble of polvoron cookie --- provides a winning finish. On Wednesdays and Sundays, Boquila offers a more traditionally hearty, family-style dinner for $40 per person where diners are encouraged to eat with their hands.


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