Villacrusis Has Left Kapow! Noodle Bar

Categories: Food News
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.

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Location Info

Kapow! Noodle Bar

431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL

Category: Restaurant

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My husband and I went to Kapow for the first time on Friday night for dinner after having seen many reviews raving about the food. I have to say, my FOOD experience and service from the wait staff was superb. I do, however, have to make this note VERY CLEAR, I find it EXTREMELY unprofessional to see management yelling at their chefs in front of paying customers, and find it unwarranted considering the caliber of food we were served. I would come back again, for the food and wait service alone (that is, if they still have a staff working for them at that point).


I think they will need some time to recover Villacrusis departure, unfortunately. We went two weeks ago and loved it. We went last night and were very very disappointed. My wife ordered the same dish each time (Laksa) and last night it was unrecognizable. They were extremely nice in trying to fix it- but it simply wasnt the same dish. Great great concept, cool vibe, great service....but it looks like it has taken a very wrong turn for the worse. I hope they can bring in someone to salvage this new Boca hope.


Kubo Asiatic as in North Palm Beach's Crystal Tree Plaza.

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