(Editor’s note: Updated with new information from Roy Villacrusis, July 6, 3:12 p.m.)
In a limited-edition kind of restaurant, local chef Roy Villacrusis is creating a pop-up “restaurant within a restaurant.” His first dinner kicks off tonight in a soft opening for a few friends as he works out the kinks, he said; formal service will begin next week.
The Studio is 16 seats at the back of Bangkok O-cha, a longstanding Thai restaurant in West Palm Beach. There’s one seating at 6:45 p.m. – reservations required. He’ll be serving up to 20 courses for his special weekend dinners served omikase style (chef’s choice). Smaller menus are served Tuesday through Thursday.
Foods will be small plates of the chef’s Asiatic cuisine. Expect artful presentations with raw and cooked foods such as modern nigiri-style sushi, small servings of tuna and watermelon tartare. The chef composes this cold dish with Kalamansi soy, seaweed spheres, young basil leaves, fried somen noodles and curdled kalamansi cream. He calls it a refreshing and cooling starter.
Another example is langgonissa (Filipino pork sausage) served with fried garlic and sesame rice balls, fresh and pickled daikon rolls, pea tendrils, garlic chives and kimchee ketchup (pictured above).
These are Villacrusis’ creative takes on street foods and dishes from the small izakaya of Japan to his native Philippines. He will expand on the foods he was serving at his former resrtaurant, Kubo in North Palm Beach.
He said he’s looking forward to having a showcase for his style of foods in a small setting where he can interact with the diners. With only 16 seats available per night, individual dishes as needed are possible with ingredients he buys daily, he said.
“Eventually, I’d like to have my own restaurant, but for now, this is a great opportunity,” Villacrusis said. “I’m really excited about the chance to create new dishes again and serve the people who appreciate my style and my cuisine.”
The Tuesday-Thursday menu is six courses at $42 per person, while the Friday-Saturday menu is from 15 to 20 courses, at $88 per. Diners are to note that the meal will take from 2 to 3 hours. Wines, sake, tax and tip are not included. Guests are permitted to bring one bottle of wine for two guests; a $15 corkage fee applies.
The Studio at Bangkok O-cha
- Bangkok O-cha, 2502 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach
- Open: Tuesday-Saturday, at 6:45 p.m. for one seating only
- Reservations: Limited to 16 per night; required.
- For information or reservations: 561-632-7385; www.royvillacrusis.com