On Friday we passed along a report from 312DiningDiva that Rodelio Aglibot would be launching a new restaurant in the former Aja space in the Dana Hotel. We pointed out what she didn’t really dwell on, which is that Aja is still in the Aja space for now, and wondered what that meant for it and chef Ariel Bagadiong (who we shot for Key Ingredient and thought was a talented guy who we hoped would fare okay in all this). Over the weekend we got some clarification on the story and a little more hint of what’s coming to the space.
It’s slightly overstating things to say that this represents Aglibot’s return to the city since leaving Sunda in 2010; it’s somewhere between that and his role in The Florentine, which he helped develop for BLT (but which was helmed, of course, by Todd Stein). Aglibot will be consulting executive chef for a new concept in the Aja space, which was described to us only as “nothing like anyone has seen from Rodelio.” As for Bagadiong, he “is still in the kitchen.” Odds are exactly what the division of labor will be is not decided yet, since apparently a closing date for Aja isn’t set yet either, but in any case, we’re glad that Bagadiong will be part of this new chapter and look forward to what this Aglibot-beyond-Sunda concept turns out to be.