It was a real coup when Rodney Mayo and partners snagged Roy Villacrusis to exec chef their new Kapow Noodle Bar in Mizner Park. Unfortunately, their partnership hit a snag and Villacrusis, one of talented and fiercely individualistic chefs in South Florida, has split from the endeavor after only a few weeks.
The reason? Different ideas about the direction of the stylish Asian-esque gastropub, Villacrusis says, which seem to center around suppliers, food costs and maintaining the menu’s adventurous spirit in the face of often-conservative Boca diners.
“I’m a little jaded by the experience,” Villacrusis admits, adding that he’s looking to launch another restaurant venture and in the meantime will be participating in another series of Ultimate Chefs dinners. “I’ve always got something on the back burner.”
As for Kapow, a recent visit only days after Villacrusis departed showed, for the most part, that the kitchen crew did a creditable job executing his food, with the most glaring exception being a curried noodle broth with shrimp that simply reeked of iodine.
Despite advice from mentors like Mark Militello that he should flee South Florida for more gastronomically venturesome climes, Villacrusis says he’s got no desire to leave. I, for one, hope that he doesn’t. Our loss would be somebody else’s tremendous gain.