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“Unbelievably Outstanding”
Review of Kaya

Kaya
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Ranked #36 of 2,173 Restaurants in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Caribbean, Jamaican, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Strip District
Cross street: 20th Street
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Unbelievably Outstanding”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

The first impression was awesome. The ambiance is interesting and very cool. Our server was perfect. The wine was great. The food is absolutely so delicious you wonder if you are dreaming. My husband had the Mahi Mahi sandwich and I had the jerk-tofu tacos; both superb. We shared the trio salad; outstanding. The flavors of this Cuban/new-American fusion cuisine is absolutely delicious. All in all, this was the best meal I have had in a restaurant in years.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nJOYing_Lif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    182
    133
    35
    7
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
BurghGirl71
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“3-1/2 for GOOD (overall good, but value could improve)”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

TripAdvisor circles rating system jumps from 3 (average) to 4 (very good) with no number of circles for a "good" rating, which would apply to Kaya. So I give it 3-1/2.

Four of us went to Kaya in the Strip on a Sunday night.(good time to go cause no traffic or parking issues.) It was surprisingly busy but we had reservations and were seated immediately.

Service was good overall but was strange too. The server never really asked us if we wanted to order anything. She just appeared and hung around. She kept asking if we had any questions, then she'd disappear. She didn't seem to want us to order drinks first, then appetizers - she wanted it all at once apparently. She seemed unprepared for our drinks-only orders. When we did order food she repeated it and gave her verbal approval, like that is a good thing. Orders arrived fairly quickly. That said, the service was good, just odd in how she handled it.

3 of 4 enjoyed their entrees, including the vegetarian who loved her jerk tofu tacos. On the whole I thought the "tropical paella" that I ordered was too expensive for what I was given. It was too spicy (I love spicy food but paella isn't to be THAT spicy.) It was more like a jerk seasoned jambalaya, than paella. I looked at the menu again and nowhere was it stated it was spicy. It was just OK and for the $25 price, the ratio of meat/seafood to rice was small. There was a lot of sticky rice, and not enough of the proteins. For $25 I expect more. Not bigger portions, but better value for the asking price. Based on that, I wouldn't order any of the bigger entrees. Everyone else stuck to sandwiches or tacos and they were actually very pleased. The salads that came with some were very fresh.

My advice would be stick to appetizers and sandwiches for the best value. The drinks were good (beer, white sangria, hard root beer) and arrived quickly. Overall I'd give them a B, on an A thru F grading system: room for improvement.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BurghGirl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
387 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Loud but fun”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Kaya is a part of the Big Burrito chain, which has quite a few restaurants scattered around Pittsburgh (Casbah, Soba, Eleven...) so I was interested to see how it compared. We went on Mother's Day and were not disappointed. The location is not so great, but the restaurant itself is quite nice. The staff was friendly and welcoming and the food, though not overly imaginative, pretty good, though the portions were very large. It was, however, rather loud, which meant we had to speak in raised voices the whole evening. Still, the atmosphere was fun and I would go back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Calypso007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“Fantastic Food, Not So Good Location”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

I found out about this restaurant on trip advisor after searching for vegetarian brunch places. The food was absolutely fantastic (I had the granola with yogurt to start, the fish tacos as my entre, and then the chocolate lava cake as my dessert. All were wonderful, and VERY creatively done. I assumed that the granola would just be a bowl with it all dumped in, but it was presented in a lovely manner with the yogurt spread out on a rectangular plate with granola sprinkled on top. It also had banana slices and shredded mint (this was my favorite part).

In addition, the wait staff was great. They were all very young (I would guess high school age), but they were friendly, cheerful, and attentive. They all worked hard as a team. The hostess appeared to be talking and flirting on her cell phone when I walked in, but she promptly hung up after I looked at her. I didn't really care since I wasn't ignored, but I doubt her boss would approve of this.

My ONLY complaints were as follows:

- The location is terrible and there was no parking. I went at 2pm thinking that the crowd would be diminished but it took me forever to find a parking spot. When I finally parked I asked the parking attendant what the timeframe was and he did not speak English, he just kept asking me for $3. (He said "three dolla" over and over again). I know this isn't the restaurant's fault, but they might want to look into getting a few spaces reserved for their patrons, or doing free parking validation for customers.

- The bathrooms smelled atrocious. Not a big deal since they were in the basement and I was sitting outside, but still I just about passed out from the smell when I went in to wash my hands.

Other than that, the food was FANTASTIC. I will definitely be coming back for regular lunch or dinner.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 828KarlS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
“Amazing place to go for brunch.”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

My wife and I went here with some friends of ours. It was a very enjoyable brunch. We have since went back several times and will continue to do so. They have a great beer selection and the mixed drinks are perfect for anytime of the day. We have had several dishes but me personally; I love their paella!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dave P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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