Nakama is a hibachi restaurant that has two locations in and around Pittsburgh, one on the South Side and another in Wexford in the North Hills.
Nakami’s prepares Japanese style food with a flair of entertainment. The menu offers a large plethora of menu items. The appetizers range from soups to egg rolls to salads to other prepared dishes. The appetizers tend to be on the pricey side. If you have a big appetite when you go, the scallops, miso glazed salmon, and Nakama onion soup, are all good items to start with. There are a large variety of specialty dinners to select from with varying prices. Every specialty dinner starts with a choice of a flambe shrimp or mushroom appetizer, their Nakama salad, onion soup, all steamed together with white rice and hibachi vegetables. The menu tends to be a little overwhelming with its choices, particularly how similar menu items are to each other. It seems like the restaurant staff would save themselves a headache by making the menu choices smaller. The first time I visited, I had the Bob’s Favorite triple combination, which was a trio of steak, chicken, and shrimp. My second visit, I was more on a seafood kick, and had the seafood combination. Both dinners were outstanding.
Nakami’s service is very good, provided that you make a reservation. This is not the restaurant to go to on a whim. Because of the layout of the restaurant, if you show up in a group, many of the table seatings have been mapped out by those patrons who made reservations and it might be difficult to keep a group together. The greeters, bartenders, and wait staff were very well organized, efficient, and friendly. The chefs were the best of all. They cooked right in front of you with expert knowledge with a flair for the entertainment.
Nakami’s ambiance is well crafted. The bar area is bright natural lighting with windows on two sides, as the restaurant sits at the corner of East Carson and 17th Streets. The rest of the restaurant is a little darker, but still warm, to emphasize the brilliance of the fires at the stoves in the center of each dining room table. Sound wise, the restaurant is filled with lively discussions and the whisp and snap sounds of cooking. This is not the venue for soft private conversation as it is part spectacle as much as it is eating. The entire atmosphere is welcoming and friendly.
Nakami is not only just eating a meal, as it is also part spectacle. The warm environment, quality service, and tasty food, make for a satisfying meal experience. It is even more fun if you are with a large group of friends, as it makes for a great outing. Don’t forget to make a reservation. My overall rating and recommendation is:
“Go For It!”
1611 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203