Restaurant Review: Yona Pop-Up at G

Just checked out of the much anticipated Yona Pop Up at G.

For those who don’t know, Baltimore native chef Jonah Kim plans to open up a restaurant in Arlington later this year. Ramen is all the hype right now, and it’s no surprise that the pop up had not only a long waitlist, but also an extension to its stay at G by Mike Isabella.

After planning three weeks in advance, I arrived to an ambient, dark restaurant complete with several two-seat and four-seat tables.

The crispy brussels sprouts are on point. Crunchy on the outside; soft on the inner. It would be a dish worth ordering again. The best part about it though is its shareable for any number of guests at your table.

Next come the ramen. The Tonkotsu-Shoyu Tare looked more delicious than it tasted. I deemed the only worthy reason I would ever return: the egg. Composed in its usual cylinder form, the egg broke apart into a gooey, but beautiful explosion. The combination of both the egg and the tonkotso broth paired perfectly together, and after finishing the one dairy ingredient, I was left wanting more.

The bowl came with two pieces of chashu (meat), which we deemed the second runner-up to the egg. The tender texture nearly melts in your mouth. Yet after eating all the meats (took about a minute since there was only two slices), I decided that it was truly the only part I wanted more of. I dug into the noodles, but decided it wasn’t worth finishing. I left the bowl complete with a decent amount of broth and ramen.

Not sure I would return to the pop-up shop or recommend it to friends. I’m looking forward to Jonah Kim’s future opening, but he’ll need to do more to exceed my expectations, especially after this test run.

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