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“Been going here since 1998”

Mona Korean Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #164 of 533 Restaurants in Newport News
Cuisines: Korean
Restaurant details
Reviewed 3 May 2017

I love this place. It has and will forever be a Gem in my heart. Been coming here for almost 20 years now and I can honestly say from my personal experience that this is hands down the best Korean restaurant I have been to. Being half Korean myself, I've eaten at a lot of Korean restaurants, from Kodori's in Mesa, AZ, and Seoul Restaurant in Olympia, WA, and Iron Age near Atlanta, GA, to the food courts of H Mart and countless other places that serve Korean cuisine. Nowhere can compare to Mona's for me, and Mama Mona (owner) is the sweetest person ever who has always treated me like family.

I've eaten the majority of Mona's menu, and have never had anything subpar. My favorites are definitely the gimbap, fried or steamed mandu, the spicy pork bulgogi (they can make it extra spicy!) and the stone bowl bibimbap. You can't go wrong with any of these. And don't forget the kimchi with your meal, especially the kkaktugi which is my favorite. As for alcohol enjoy your meal by ordering Soju and Makgeolli (rice wine/farmer's liquor).

The atmosphere of the restaurant has barely changed since I've been going there, which I really like because to me it always keeps it's charm that way. Also, the price of the food is very reasonable too compared to any other Korean restaurant that I've been to, and like I said, I've been to many Korean restaurants all over the US.

The location of Mona's is a little off the main path from the popular areas, but I can assure you it is safe and easy to get to. I think the only thing negative I can say about my favorite Korean restaurant is that they are no longer open 7 days a week. Mama Mona told me she's closed on Tuesdays now. Other than that, I urge anyone in the area that is looking for a good Korean restaurant, that this is my highest recommendation.

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    • Food
Thank chuckert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (10)
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2 - 6 of 10 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2017

The staff are friendly, quick and accommodating. The amount of food they give you more than you need but we never complain. They have a large selection of items on the menu and the prices are very reasonable.

1  Thank Jay W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2016 via mobile

I work in downtown Newport News and was looking for a decent carry out that I could rush to and rush back to work with. Somebody mentioned this place to me, saying that it was authentic Korean food prepared by Korean folks, and I gave it a whirl. The first thing to know about a restaurant like this is that you cannot judge it's food quality by the building the owners have chosen to be in. It's in the section of Newport News dominated by used car and mechanics' lots. If I'm not mistaken, its in a former steakhouse. There were three things I noticed walking in: a large table with about a dozen Koreans, socializing in Korean, and eating what one might call "homestyle." This was a very good sign to me!The second is the run-down atmosphere, but with dominant Korean themed touches, and smatterings of Japanese touches, I guess since the place advertises that it serves Japanese food as well. BUT I know ONLY a very few people that would venture there with me. The third thing was the strange menu, which had numerous Maki rolls and sushi items marked through as if they were no longer being served. So if you're looking for Japanese food this is not your place. (In Newport News, while original Japanese restaurants like Kappo Nara and Sushiyama popped up to meet the needs of Canon's Japanese expats, and were owned and operated by Japanese families - all the others that set up in that mid-80s era were owned and operated by Koreans, with established Korean fish purveyors supplying both Japanese and Korean owners.
The Korean purveyors and owners continue to corner the market, but the Japanese owners have either closed up shop or sold their businesses.
It's still the case for me that the best Korean food I've had yet was in Japan with my Japanese friends, who introduced me to that cuisine. Nonetheless, here in Newport News, I was very please with my stirfry squid and the pickled vegetables + kimchi that came with it. I will go to them again for takeout, but I don't think I can take any friends there because I worry they'd be put off by the location and the atmosphere.

1  Thank tripocams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2015

Noticed Mona Restaurant on my way to the hotel and went back for late lunch on a Saturday.

Food was good and service was friendly and prompt.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank K M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

Mona's does not look like much, but it serves a really good "lunch box" as well as a full assortment of Korean dishes, which run towards stews and BBQ-type items, plenty of vegetarian things as well. Clientele indicates it is a favorite of the local Korean community as well.

Thank Amy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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