For all my digging, I've learned very little about this Dominican dish beyond what the counterwoman told me, and so far, I've found no references more than a few years old. On a base of potato or plantain, yaroa adds a layer of beef, pork, chicken, or mixed meats and tops the lot with melted mild cheese. It's heavy: If you think of my small order (mashed plantain and shredded chicken, $3) as a paperweight, the medium would be a bookend and the large, a doorstop.
In addition to quipes, bolas de yuca, and many varieties of empanada, the menu also includes South American salchipapas — which should have tipped me off about the "papa" version of yaroa. It's not layered on mashed potatoes, it's piled on fries, and we've seen where that can lead. For my follow-up report, I'll bear portion size in mind.
522 West 207th St. (Post-Sherman Aves.), Inwood, Manhattan
Also at 4093 Broadway (172nd-173rd Sts.), Washington Heights, Manhattan and, reportedly, in many Dominican Republic locations