The goods: Phuc Yea! is Miami’s first pop-up restaurant, a temporary Vietnamese eatery tucked away in an indoor mall downtown. The restaurant (pronounced “fook-yee”) will only be open through December 8, giving prospective diners a three-month window to enjoy the work of Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata (Fratelli Lyon, The Blue Piano) and Daniel Treiman (Momofuku, Eleven Madison Park).
Ambience: Every evening from 5:30-10:30pm Phuc Yea! transforms the space known as Crown Bistro into a hip, cozy Asian bistro. Anime-emblazoned curtains from Ikea, large potted plants and butcher block-covered tables give the space a raffish, intimate vibe. Squeeze bottles of fish sauce and spicy siracha grace the tables.
The grub: Vietnamese home cooking inspired by Meinhold’s Vietnamese mother’s recipes. Prices are modest: most small plates average $7-$11 and the most expensive main tops out at $22. There are plans for wine and beer, but for now the place is BYO.
Pork figures prominently in roughly two thirds of the dishes. If you’re adventurous go for the Crispy Pig Ear Salad, a mélange of fried ear, watermelon and daikon radish. The Imperial rolls (pictured) are rice paper-wrappers lightly fried and filled with a mix of crab, shrimp and pork. The Fish n’ Chips are battered and fried smelts in a lemon aioli accompanied by fried lotus chips. Mains include a whole-fried snapper, char sui roasted pork and a duck confit dish plated with pickled bok choy, mushrooms and daikon radish. Desserts change daily but expect Meinhold’s mom’s coconut flan or homemade popsicles.
Verdict: A hip, temporary Vietnamese spot for roast pork and exotic fare downtown.