You may have noticed that I don’t return to many restaurants often. Perilla is one of the few that I make this exception for, and since the menu has changed a bit since my last visit, I’ll have to remember to make seasonal visits. We were in a group of seven this time, and I’d like to make note to do that next time as well. You get to try more dishes! With some repetition, we got to try 7 appetizers, 4 entrees, and 3 desserts.

The Flax Seed Crusted Soft Shell Crab is a an absolute must have! The crust is crispy, the inside is meaty, it’s not at all oily, perfection! The kimchee ramps are such a nice accompaniment and I wish I could buy a jar of the passion fruit vinaigrette. Everyone loved this appetizer so much that we ordered another one at the end of the meal, even though we were all full.

The Shaved Artichoke and Fava Bean Salad was nice and light, and a very generous portion. The ricotta salata, fava beans, and almond vinaigrette worked nicely together, but I didn’t taste enough artichoke.

The Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly was well executed, a perfect juicy piece of pork, with the crisp skin, again not oily at all.

The signature Spicy Duck Meatballs were not exactly the same as Lon and I remembered, still good but spicier, with more herbs, and the meat was packed more loosely. There was less cavatelli as well.

The Cheeks Du Jour were Codfish Cheeks, perfectly cooked and laid on a fantastic salad with pickled golden beets.

The Wild Bison Tataki was another favorite (and since most dishes were already really good, favorites means a lot). Each thinly sliced piece was full of juicy flavor, wrapped around baby arugula and sour gooseberries, a perfect combination.

The Braised Octopus with Black Chickpeas (a special) was very tender but the flavors were not as interesting as the other dishes.

Moving on to entrees, I didn’t taste the Roasted Poussin or the Sheep’s Milk Ricotto Ravioli. It seemed like people were happy with both.

The Roasted Duckling was amazing, another must-have! It was a dish that humbled me because of the perfection it displayed, perfectly cooked and even throughout. The skin was crispy, the meat was juicier than I thought duck meat could be, and again none of it was oily. The mustard greens, barley, and pistachios with a white mulberry ginger sauce was the perfect accompaniment.

Sadly, there was one dish I found disappointing, the Turbot (a special). It was over-cooked, making the normally very tender and flaky fish, rather tough in texture. The pairing of cherry tomatoes, asparagus, (some other vegetable that I forgot now) and pine nuts is very regular, unlike what I now expect from Perilla.

We also ordered a side of Farro Risotto (forgot to take a pic), as delicious as it was last time. Cheesy, gooey, chewy, delicious. For dessert, we ordered two plates of vanilla scented doughnuts, which were good but a bit denser then last time. I prefer the lighter and fluffier.


The Rhubarb Turnover and Buttermilk Ice Cream was good but not memorable. I would have liked more filling in the turnover.

The Banana Hazelnut Tart was the dessert favorite, a wonderful layering of textures. The chocolate wafer-like bottom was airy and crispy while the milk jam and molasses ice cream was creamy and smooth. The fresh banana slices contrasted the thin banana chip, and all of it tasted wonderful together.

Perilla ends your meal with a gift of little oatmeal raisin cookies, nice and chewy, a bit too sweet for me, but I think oatmeal raisin cookies are supposed to be sweet like that.

With just one bad dish out of all the stuff we tried, I think very highly of Perilla. I am most impressed with their ability to make any dish seem not at all oily, even fried items or fatty skins.
At around $60-$75 per person, including tax and a generous tip (for our friendly and knowledgeable waiter), I can’t wait to go back again. Remember, you have to order the Flax Seed Crusted Soft Shell Crab, the Wild Bison Loin Tataki, the Roasted Duckling, and the Farro Risotto.

posted by jessica at 10:23 AM Filed under Favorites, Fusion or Mixed, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.