Food News

Villacrusis Has Left Kapow! Noodle Bar

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.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart