A Conversation with Perillas

perillas somerville

Today we sat down with Perillas, who are bringing an innovative new style of food to Boston. It all started about three years ago when the founder, James, felt like the restaurant industry was in need of disruption. He aimed to disrupt not only with the style of food he is serving, but also with how your typical restaurant is designed and operated.

How It All Started:

James noticed that most Asian cuisines had fast causal/fast food options. When you think takeout, Chinese food is one of the most popular options in the U.S. Want some sushi? Sure, that’s easy to get on the go. However, his native Korean food is typically only available if you’re willing to sit down for that full restaurant experience. He saw this as an opportunity to share with the world his delicious Korean food, but in a fast casual experience (And we’re sure happy that he did).

Before we get into all of the delicious options available, let’s take a few steps back to the beginning. James had no restaurant experience, but he had his fast casual food idea. So, where better to start then working at a fast food restaurant? James spent a year working an entry-level role at a fast food restaurant. Once he felt that he had learned all he could, it was time for him to take his dream and make it a reality.

Perillas started off in a shared kitchen in Somerville, going from brewery to brewery serving up their Korean bowls and doing corporate catering. In 2019, they were invited for a one year stint at Somerville’s Bow Market, an awesome space with rotating food, art, and drinks. After a successful stint, Perillas started to plan for their next steps. But, not long after COVID struck. Despite this, James and his wife were first movers, and started offering boxed meals to-go as early as March. It was a scary time as their revenue effectively dropped to 0. Through it all, these boxed meals kept Perillas alive, and they rejoined Bow Market for the summer of 2020.

Fast forward to today, and Perillas is a few days away from the grand opening of their first brick and mortar.

The Food – Amazing Korean Bowls

The core of Perillas is bibimbap, which essentially translates to “mixed rice.”

The star of the show is their beef bulgogi bowl. For those who are not familiar with bulgogi, you need to drop everything you’re doing and run to your closest Korean restaurant right now (preferably Perillas!). Bulgogi is marinated, thinly-sliced beef, and the result is a savory-sweet mix that is insanely addicting. Alongside the bulgogi is an array of pickled and fresh veggies. To top the bowl off are two of their housemade sauces, a spicy gochujang and a yum yum aioli that offsets that heat.

Another house favorite is the pork belly bowl, or as James likes to describe it, “Korean barbecue in a bowl.” The pork belly is like an extra thick cut bacon. It’s crispy, yet it melts in your mouth. To go along with this they have a house sauce that is a mix of a BBQ sauce and their spicy gochujang. It is really a unique flavor.

Perillas Grand Opening & More

On top of having their all-star line up of bowls, Perillas will have a space for a rotating ghost kitchen, as well as the permanent home of Honeycomb Creamery, a small batch craft ice cream joint out of Cambridge.

So, clear your calendars this weekend for Perillas grand opening, and make sure to check out our Instagram (@somethingnearu) to enter our gift card giveaway!

Find Perillas on their website as well as on Instagram:


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