About Chaya Japanese Cuisine
We offer authentic Japanese cuisine in Pittsburgh since 2001. The name "Chaya" means a resting place where travelers could rest and take a light meal while traveling in feudal Japan.
We hope our Chaya can serve as a place for refreshments along your long journey of life.
Since its opening in November, 2001, Chaya has been crowded with Japanese food lovers.
Chaya's price range starts as low as $10 per entree, while "kaiseki" special course meals can be $75 or more. What is worth noting is that Chaya's food is served in "American" quantities while made with close to 100% Japanese taste. We serve the same dishes as restaurants in Japan, with the same quality, but 1.5 times the quantity.
Policy on Food
We think sushi should be prepared carefully with fresh ingredients and served in its finest condition so you can enjoy the best taste and flavor.
We get some fresh sushi fish shipped from Japan via air, and also from New York. It is our policy not to use frozen (but chilled) fish for sushi or sashimi as much as possible, in order to ensure the best quality. Due to shortage of ingredients, some dishes may not be available every day.
We use only the best and most reliable flavorings purchased from around the world, for instance, rice vinegar from Japan, dry seaweed from Korea and giger from Thailand. It is our policy never to use MSG in any of our dishes. We serve no powdered, nor tubed wasabi, but fresh real wasabi
Reservations & Alcohol
We are First Come First Served (no reservations); we will seat you after all members of your party have arrived. So visit us early to avoid a wait. The Kaiseki dinner is the multicourse meal associated with the ritual tea ceremony; we do take reservations for Kaiseki to allow adequate time for preparation.
We are a BYOB or Bring Your Own Bottle restaurant.
All outside beverages are subject to a glass charge.
Chaya opened November 2001 at one block down from the current place.
Enjoy our authentic dishes surrounded by the cozy Japanese-style interiors which are designed, assembled and installed by our chef Yasuzawa.
(a.k.a. Yasu, Yasu-san, Taishou) is the owner and the executive chef at Chaya Japanese Cuisine. He was born in Chiba prefecture, Japan. He has nearly 40 years of cooking experience in traditional Japanese food.
He lives with his wife, 4 dogs, 18 chickens, and many wild animals.
In his spare time, he enjoys DIY and gardening.
||Akasaka, Tokyo Restaurant Staff
||Hotel Kitano, NY Restaurant Staff Japanese Country Club, NY Food/Beverage Manager
||Hilton Hotel, Fort Lee, NJ Food/Beverage Manager
||Chaya Japanese Cuisine, Owner
Awards & Reviews
Chaya has been awarded with many prizes, for instance, New Casual Restaurant (Pittsburgh Magazine 2003), Best Sushi (Citysearch 2005), 2nd place in Japanese Food in the Best Restaurants Annual Readers' Poll (Pittsburgh Magazine 2007), Best Sushi Roll (Best of Pittsburgh 2008 in Pittsburgh Magazine), 2nd place in each of Japanese Food and Sushi category in the Best Restaurants Annual Reader's Poll (Pittsburgh Magazine 2009).
Here are some reviews:
"... Friday Roll at Chaya Japanese Cuisine, you'll understand why this particular roll deserves a shout-out."
- Best of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Magazine, 2008
"... meals inspired a childlike experience of food, where every mouthful is a surprise."
- Pittsbugh Post-Gazette, February 14, 2008
"The city's best and most authentic Japanese food is served up at Chaya ..."
- Tartan, November 5, 2007
"Sushi -- rightly -- is the big draw here."
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review, December 8, 2005
"... Chaya is the real deal: an authentic, affordable slice of everyday Japan in Pittsburgh."
- Pittsburgh City Paper, July 15, 2004
"More than dining, a visit to Chaya becomes a delicious cultural-immersion experience."
- Pittsburgh Magazine, June, 2003
"You'd be hard pressed to find a better plate of sushi in the area."
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 19, 2002