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Umami PGH is an Izakaya (Japanese pub) dedicated to umami flavors in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA.
By Chef Roger Li and Derek Burnell.
Umami - a pleasant savory taste.
The Donburi and Yaki Udon are a must try. We had one of each of the street foods to start and they all are amazing.
Excellent Japanese street food. Great for tasting. Unique, bustling atmosphere. Felt like we were in New York City. Dark, sexy ambiance.
Food was delicious, well prepared, and reasonably priced when you consider the quality of the ingredients that go into each dish!
We really enjoyed this restaurant. The food was delicious and creative. The staff is very friendly and don't mind answering menu questions. The music was a bit loud for me as I have hearing problems, but that is my issue and not the restaurant's. The plates are small so you get the opportunity to try many different things. Overall it was a great experience and we would eat there again.
CONTINUES TO BE AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE. WE HAVE BEEN THERE NUMEROUS TIMES AND IT (IE. THE FOOD, THE AMBIENCE, THE STAFF (LIZ) ) GETS BETTER AND BETTER.
This was probably one of the coolest restaurants I may have been to in a very long time. The food is fantastic! Service was a little slow but the ambience and the menu made up for it. I’ll definitely be back, even if I do live in Cleveland
Good mix of Japanese grill and raw options. Very good bar options including a range of sake and Japanese whiskies, although most are pretty pricey.
Let’s have a great time !
We made reservations for Thursday evening at 7 PM and found it fairly crowded, but with spots still available. The venue is intimate and decor is nice, perhaps our favorite part of the experience.
We waited a bit for service, a bit of a miss. It was a wait before our server came. I ordered tuna onigiri and robatayaki (squid as the red snapper that is so photographed in these reviews was unavailable) and hubs ordered chirashi. The onigiri comes out. We're perplexed as how to approach it. We're looking around and I see others picking at it, using a soy sauce bowl to dip. Unfortunately, there's no soy sauce bowl or server around. Blah. I attack it nonetheless. It works. Taste wise, it is very average. The scallions were very mild and it was more rice than anything. A soy sauce bowl would have done wonders. I ended up spreading the wasabi using chopsticks. The squid comes as I'm working on the onigiri. Hubs has a few bites as he waits for his dish. I've finished and start on the squid for a bit before the chirashi arrives.
The squid is colder than I'd like, considering it was off the flames. Hubs thought it was his favorite item. His chirashi was very average. It was an elaborate presentation like the onigiri, but nothing that left us wowed.
Service wasn't attentive for us. Another couple sat next to our table as we were wrapping up and they were offered greater service and attention, offered tap versus sparkling as we were given regular tap, without so much as an offer for something else.
Not in a rush to go back.
Cool place...great food. Tables are too close to each other.
I would not eat raw fish in this restaurant. Their food safety was very poor
Service was very slow and little communication between staff. We asked for several things that never came to us. The prices are quite high for what you get.
We sat at sushi bar and I watched the chef put the fish away. He wore the same pair of gloves to handle all of the different fish. He also had the gloves on when he opened the cabinet to take the plastic wrap out and put it away. Not at all sanitary.
Bustling atmosphere of a neatly remodeled older building. Most clients were college age to early 30's. Service was very quick and friendly. The "Street Food Menu" is definitely a unique experience, most dishes resembling Japanese tapas with a wide variety of tastes and flavors. The Hotate Hokkaido Scallops were particularly good. The menu descriptors are somewhat limited however, and not easy to navigate if you're not well-versed in Japanese food terminology. You can either bone up prior by visiting their website or just go for it. You won't be disappointed!
Second time eating here and it was better than the first. Can wholeheartedly rec the egg custard and the hand rolls. Will be back.
Great experience overall. This is my 5th trip to Umami and it has been consistent every time in it's service at the bar and table, food quality, timing and server knowledge of the menu. Good business dinner option because of the overall size of the restaurant, unique location and ambiance...a sure crowd pleaser, especially with out of town guests. Already looking forward to my next trip. No matter the diner, there is something for everyone on the menu. Special thanks to Linzee and Kristen on my last visit. True industry professionals!
Great as usual.
Umami is a local favorite of ours. The food ranges from good to great, and the drinks are creative and often wonderful. It's got a great vibe to it, and it always feels like a scene when you walk in.
The service is hit or miss, with some wonderfully attentive and friendly servers, and some that are clueless and rude. Truthfully, that's pretty much the norm in Pittsburgh.
We have never had anything less than excellent service, and amazing food and drinks
Great experience as always! Only complaint is that all of the tables along the far side of the wall get a very cold draft from the windows (obvi during winter months).
Incredible food, eccentric atmosphere. Recommend all come and experience this awesome gem.
Food was great. The Miso Salmon Nigiri and Gyoza were outstanding. My cocktail was ok. The service was good. Tables were too close to one another and it was overly cozy. I’d rather been sat in the tatami room. Definitely will return.
Food is always amazing! And the place is cool looking! love it!
Creative and interesting menu with authentic Japanese offerings! I had the special- "Hamachi Kama" (yellowtail fish jaw) and it was very nicely prepared and delicious. Definitely not something I expected to find being served in Pittsburgh, as the last time I had it was in Japan. The Robatayaki appetizers were also fantastic. Give this place a try if you love Japanese cuisine!
Bustling & energetic Umami is the place to go for "Japanese street food." We recommend the whole squid but everything is excellent.
Love it here
The staff was friendly. The service was great. The food was amazing!
Umami is amazing. Food is tasty. Service is on point. Very nice atmosphere.
I’ve been a fan of Umami since Day 1. The food is consistent, delicious and served quickly, the music is always on point, and the noise level is enough to keep you involved in the environment, but not distracting from your table’s conversation. I highly recommend the okonomiyaki, kaarage, and tonkotsu ramen!
Went to Umami for a friend's birthday. All the food was delicious and perfect to order a few small dishes to split two ways. Happy hour drinks and special appetizers were great. Food came out quickly, service was good. Best part was the atmosphere; the music was quiet enough to have good conversation, lighting was intimate, great views of the cooks from the dining area. A wonderful, hole in the wall restaurant.
Great food and environment
We went to Umami with some friends on a Friday night. We found the place fun, but a bit strange. The food was good, but we were not big fans of the Ramen bowl. Not regretting going, but won't be back anytime soon.
We've never had a bad plate of anything here! the Bacon wrapped Quail eggs are out of this World delicious.
While I wasn't 100% convinced on my cocktail (the bubble pop was too sweet for me, even though I wanted to love it), the food was absolutely amazing! You need to get the bacon wrapped quail eggs, don't even question it, just do it. The grilled octopus was flavorful, the ends were a little overdone. The miso ramen is what would get me back there - it was delicious. Even a few days later having it as leftovers enhanced the flavors even more. Definitely check it out of you can get a table.
Highly recommend this restaurant
From finding the restaurant entrance, to climbing the multiple levels of stairs, to the restaurant seating, the lighting, the decor, the vibe all of it combine to transport you to a place that makes one feel as if you're in Japan. Add to that, the incredible and unusual culinary delights makes Umami a must-go-to (and repeat go-to) restaurant.
From Dom's warm, friendly greeting at the door to Pav's attentive service at our table to the extraordinary presentation of food on our plates, we discovered a beautiful new local treasure in Pittsburgh's restaurant industry at Umami in Lawrenceville. Find it on Open Table. We would have missed this neighborhood gem without this dining app. Thank you!
What a fun date night! Hipster level is on 11 from the location ( trendy neighborhood, side street entrance with sign only in Japanese, 3 flights of stairs) to the music (DJ spinning 90’s hip hop) to the craft cocktails. Coming from the bourbon capital of the world, Louisville KY, we were particularly interested in their selection of Japanese whiskies. Not as good as ours, but still fun to try. We had a ball just letting our waitress surprise us with plate after plate until we were full! Perfect for the adventurous eater.
One of the best meals we have ever had. It's cool that the restaurant is almost hidden on the side of the building and up the stairs as you approach a loud vibrant restaurant.
The place was packed with people, such a fun atmosphere with a Dj performing on a Friday night.
We were seated at a great table and had amazing food from all sections of the menu- fresh delicious sushi, creative and comforting appetizers, and the best udon noodles I think I have ever had. Not to mention exciting cocktail options.
Our waitress was wonderful and gave us great recommendations. I would recommend to anyone! We love a loud busy restaurant but some people would prefer more quiet and intimate (umami is not that) and that's what makes it so special!!
We tried Umami for the first time recently and it was one of the best meals we've had in Pittsburgh. The takoyaki melted in our mouths - highly recommend. The ramen is such a treat - it's not a big pile of noodles but rather a generous dish with a variety of textures and flavors. Great value for the quality of food served. We can't wait to go back!!
Excellent! Can't wait to go back. The udon mushroom bowl is out of this world. Great appetizers, and plates to share. The sashimi was great quality, but we would pass next time -- it's a little pricey, and there are too many other great things to try on the menu!
We had so much fun and food was delicious!! Excellent service
Umami Pittsburgh is rated 4.6 stars by 251 OpenTable diners.