Villacrusis Has Left Kapow! Noodle Bar
Chef Villacrusis has left the building.
Kapow! Noodle Bar has gone the way of Banana Republic by introducing sliders to the menu. This item signals a move to a conservatism to align with its Mizner Park location, prompting chef Roy Villacrusis to depart for other projects.
The noodle bar conceived by Rodney Mayo and Scott Frielich is the latest restaurant from the folks behind Dada,Tryst, and Longboards, among other restaurants. Vaughan Lazar of Pizza Fusion is the third partner. "We are sad to see Roy go. He's a rock star, a great chef, and a true class act," Vaughan Lazar wrote to Clean Plate Charlie.
For the moment, it appears Kapow is in search of an identity, though the partners say otherwise. "The same hard-working crew that's been behind
the line since the day we opened are still back there pouring their
hearts into each dish. With the exception of the Korean BBQ sliders, orange and soy glazed ribs, and a couple of dumplings, the menu hasn't
changed since we opened," wrote Lazar. "We haven't wavered from our original vision to serve amazing
Asian-influenced fare in a funky, casual setting."
"They are some great guys who have started some great restaurants," said
Villacrusis when we contacted him about his departure. "I really
respect them. But they did not trust the original concept they had come
up with." Villacrusis cited Miami's Pubbelly and Momofuku as
inspiration prior to the opening.
Villacrusis, whose prior experience includes Dirty Martini and the acclaimed (and now closed) Kubo in Palm Beach, earned the 2011 New Times Best Restaurant in Palm Beach County award. He is also the only chef to
have won the Grand Chef Throwdown at the Palm Beach Food and Wine
Festival two years in a row.
Clean Plate Charlie will keep you
updated as we learn the direction of Kapow! Noodle Bar as well as where
Villacrusis lands next.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.