I was in Pittsburgh on business and chose two Japanese restaurants that sounded good according to reviews. Before I give my review I just want to talk about reviews I have read. Most bad reviews seem to be about expense. Most good reviews are about really good food. I was looking for good Japanese comfort food including good sushi. The menu I found on line had some of my favorites such as shishamo, ika natto, maguro no yamakake, moro-Q, so I knew this was a Japanese run restaurant. I only had the chance to go to one and this was a gem. I understand they recently moved to a larger space. It was still full – a good sign. It is BYOB and the odd part there was a charge of $2 to rent an empty glass for sake or beer and $4.50 to rent an ice bucket. I had never seen this anywhere and considered it odd. Since my total bill was well over $200 just for food, these rental fees were a bit annoying. The only other “bad” thing may be just a personal opinion. There was a slight odor of grease in the air from fryers, which is still on my clothes and jacket this morning. I don’t like that, but it has nothing to do with whether the food is good or not. I think they need some different ventilation.
The service was also great - very attentive and helpful. They all worked as a team, so several came by to see if we needed anything or to make suggestions.
Finally, the food was excellent, just as I remember from all of my trips to Japan. The uni was truly fresh and was either California or Japan imported, since it was so sweet. They didn’t have another favorite (ika shiokara), but had a similar dish using baby (3”) whole squid. Just as delicious! The nigiri rice was perfectly formed and the nigiri were the correct/perfect size and all the fish was very delicious. The sauces were perfect (Japanese style to enhance flavors – not overpowering to hide flavors as is found in so many lesser quality restaurants). The hamachi kama was also wonderful. Even the wasabi was real wasabi, not the powdered kind. That was a real treat. If I really like a place I would try to sit at the sushi bar next and the sushi chef appears to have lots of personality. That also means the sushi bar was totally full. Perhaps I’ll have a chance next visit. If I am back in Pittsburgh, you can be sure I will go there again!
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