Perillas, a fast casual Korean restaurant, returns to Bow Market in June

"The spaces are small, but we know it works for us."

Bulgogi Beef at Perillas
Bulgogi Beef at Perillas. –Perillas

Perillas just can’t stay away from Bow Market.

After signing a six-month lease in October 2018 as a pop-up concept at the Somerville complex, the fast casual Korean eatery decided to stay on for another six months. When that lease ran out, Perillas owner James Choi began looking for a new, permanent space, all while continuing to run the company’s catering business out of Foundation Kitchen, a shared culinary workspace.

But in June, Perillas will return to Bow Market, this time as a permanent tenant with a two-year lease (and an option to extend for another year).

“It’s a very familiar market to us,” Choi told “The spaces are small, but we know it works for us.”

Perillas serves fast casual Korean bowls. —Perillas

Perillas’s permanent digs will serve the same menu as its pop-up, a small lineup featuring build-your-own bowls of bulgolgi beef bibimbap or vegetarian bibimbap with the option to add a boiled, marinated egg. Choi said that in September, when Perillas hosts a grand opening event, there will most likely be a limited menu item offered, like kalbi (Korean barbecued short ribs).

“As we get into the rhythm of things, we hope to use this space, maybe once every two months, to throw a one-off event where a certain menu item will be different, like bulgolgi beef tacos or pork belly and rice and vegetables,” Choi said. “We want to make things a little more fun. We have a good grasp on our operations now and want to branch outside our comfort zone.”

Still, Choi views the catering side of his business as the core component of Perillas, one that will thrive in a growing economy of ghost kitchens and delivery apps.

“The way that I kind of think about it is: You know how Amazon is very much an online store?” Choi said. “They still opened up retail shops. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s because they’re trying to get the bulk of their revenue from that. I think it’s more that people like to see physical products and have an experience walking into a specific location or store and having that as well. We’ll have our digital ordering methods and catering but also don’t want to forego the actual storefronts where people come in, order a bowl, and see firsthand the operations of it.”


When Perillas opens in June, it will operate Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. In the meantime, Bow Market visitors can check out Koshari Mama, an Egyptian restaurant that opened in Perillas’s former pop-up space, and can get a taste of Perillas by ordering through its website or keep tabs on future pop-ups by following the eatery on social media.

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