Japanese Restaurants in Friendship

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Tamari takes its name from the Argentinean Huarpe people’s word meaning “to do everything with passion,” and the staff heeds it as a call to action. Executive Chef Roger Li expresses this joie de vivre through a bold menu of Latin, Asian, and European cuisine, uniting cultures through food like a model of the 1933 World's Fair made from fondant. Lobster-tempura maki tempts mouths alongside shrimp tacos garnished with yuzu-margarita foam and scottish salmon paired with chimichurri and ginger polenta. While dining, guests take part in a rich, interactive experience, sipping exotic açai mimosas and watching chefs prepare shareable tapas or custom-made menus in an open-pit kitchen. Altogether, the combination of unexpected flavor from the kitchen and unhindered elegance from the dining room has earned Tamari a great deal of respect. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for instance, named it on its Best Dining: Top Dishes list, and CBS Pittsburgh ranked it at the top of its list of Best Outdoor Dining options.

3519 Butler St
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

Most chefs get stage fright when customers are watching, but the fearless artisans at Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar concoct intricate Japanese dishes in plain view—either at tableside grills or just behind the sushi bar proper. Their collection of specialty maki exudes creativity and playfulness, from the deep-fried Godzilla roll with tuna, salmon, white fish, and crab meat to the Rainbow roll with fresh fish, avocado, and two wishes. Complete hibachi dinners satisfy hearty appetites and short attention spans with a choice of protein alongside soup, salad, vegetable, rice, and noodles—all prepared amusingly right at the table. Each location sports sleek and modern décor with accents such as bamboo walls or a back-lit bar glowing in chic blue or red tones.

983 Freeport Rd
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

The chefs at Taipei bridge the gap between two of Asia’s superpowers, plating Chinese favorites from Taipei duck to general tso’s chicken alongside delicately rolled Japanese sushi specialties. Although their menu is built upon a pair of thousand-year-old culinary traditions, they also understand the value of a speedy bite; each day, they arrange a selection of favorites such as the moo goo gai pan into fast, tasty lunches paired rice, egg rolls, soup, and your own personal fast-forward button.

1124 Freeport Rd
Pittsburgh,
PA
US

The cooks at Misaki Sushi and Seafood Buffet pair a menu of Pan-Asian entrees and sushi with an expansive buffet that blends Asian cuisine with Western favorites. They frequently replenish the buffet with fresh sushi, wood-oven pizzas, and pastas, artfully arranging the dishes beneath spotlights. They prepare à la carte options with equal care, whether curling tuna slices into maki rolls or frying flat rice noodles for pad thai or delicious shoelaces.

860 Saw Mill Run Blvd
Brookline,
PA
US

Entertaining guests is just as important as feeding them at Kazoku Japanese Steak House. Weekly musical acts take the stage, and karaoke nights enable patrons to showcase their singing chops. A back room is dedicated to pool tables, and other classic bar games at the eatery include darts and corn hole toss. Even the meals encompass an entertainment aspect, with hibachi chefs dicing and flipping shrimp, steak, and chicken on the grills mere feet from diners. Sushi chefs pile up to 50 pieces of sashimi, nigiri, and maki rolls onto decorative wooden ships for a fun-filled sushi feast.

176 Curry Hollow Rd
Pleasant Hills,
PA
US

Katana’s chefs draw inspiration from Thai, Chinese, and Japanese culinary traditions, creating faithful renditions of iconic dishes from each culture. Teppanyaki chefs thrill diners by searing cuts of lobster or filet mignon amid the towering flames of hibachi grills that adorn the tabletops of select seating areas. In contrast, sushi chefs studiously avoid open flames as they roll more than 15 kinds of specialty maki, which can include smoked salmon, mango, or piquant chili sauce within a cylinder of individually peeled grains of rice. The rest of the menu spotlights the seemingly disparate flavors of Thailand and China, listing aromatic curries along with meat-laden orders of lo mein or fried rice.

3229 W Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh,
PA
US