Andy Tran is taking his Ramen Crush pop-up to Last Word. Having previously served at Ration + Dram and Miller Union, Tran will take over the Old Fourth Ward restaurant five nights a week, until the last week of March.
The action starts this Friday, and the pop-up's regular hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tran, a former Lusca sous chef, will serve an "ever-changing menu of ramen," including vegetarian options, and Japanese sides. His former Lusca colleague Timothy Faulkner has created a beverage list with cocktails, beer, and wine.
Angus Brown and Nhan Le, who recently shuttered Lusca, are working on two Virginia-Highland concepts. Once they open their forthcoming coffee shop 8 Arm this spring, Ramen Crush will serve dinner out of that space on an indefinite basis. Brown and Le will serve breakfast and lunch fare during the day.
Update: Last Word owner Bernard Moussa says the pop-up is a collaboration between the restaurant and Ramen Crush. Tran and his crew will take over the kitchen, and some Last Word staff will work front-of-house.
"Me and Nhan were talking — we're just going to try something out and see what happens," Moussa said in a phone conversation with Eater Atlanta. "I like these guys on a personal level, and I really respect what they do on a professional level."
Moussa will continue to work at the restaurant during the pop-up, but he said the timing is a win-win because it allows for "some much-needed time off" for Last Word chef Layla Walk and beverage director Cole Younger Just. As for the future, the owner is "considering lots of options," but he has no plans to close: "As with any business you have to adjust. It's a tough business, and you have to always be creative and adjust to things."