Vietnamese concept Phuc Yea was one of Miami’s very first pop-up restaurants. Opening up in a ho-hum downtown building for a few short months in 2011. Even more commando, was the fact that the restaurant operated as something else during the day, and each night husband and wife team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata would come in, hang curtains and otherwise attempt to transform the space.
It was an instant hit, with Zapata in the kitchen and Meinhold getting the word out, and needless to say, everyone was hoping it would stick around longer than their initial promised stay. It didn’t. Although occasionally popping up here and there in the years since, the duo focused instead on opening The Federal, which was itself and even bigger runaway success. Then, this spring they made a few announcements. One, that there would be a permanent Phuc Yea, and that they would turn The Federal into The Fed, a lighter fare spot with Southwestern touches. Once they had that on track, they were finally ready to open Phuc Yea, a few doors down.
The menu is Vietnamese with Cajun touches and priced for frequent visits. It’s also set up for lounging, with a big, 15-foot raw bar and a “lobby” type area with vintage furniture and murals by local artiste Miguel Paredes. But let’s get to the real reason you’re coming. Well-executed Vietnamese fare that for some reason, despite it being perfect light, spicy and crunchy fare for our hot climate, is so hard to find in Miami.
You want the Green Papaya Salad or Spicy Beef Salad. You need a Imperial Bun noodle bowl with lemongrass chicken, Lobster Caramel or Caja China Cola Duck served with roasted peanuts, pickles and lettuce cups. The Cajun Wok offers mix and match goodness with four sauces and five proteins. These are the masterpieces you will come for on a Tuesday for lunch or Saturday night with friends.
Phuc Yea 7100 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33138