2000 Smallman St
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4428
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Kaya

Neighborhoods: Strip District
Cuisine: Caribbean, Californian, South American

Kaya is a Caribbean, Californian, and South American restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid between $10 and $25, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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  • 2/13/2015

    A dining patron from Chicago, IL tried it, liked it, and rated it . They liked the food, liked the service, and liked the ambiance.

  • 5/15/2013

    A dining patron from Springfield, NJ tried it and liked it.

Gayot
Rating:
14 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
Read Gayot Review »
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momar930

 Pittsburgh, PA
 

Great Sunday Brunch!

This was my first visit to Kaya, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am a fan of most of the Big Burrito group’s restaurants in the area, and was happy to add Kaya to the list. I chose the Steak and Eggs (adobo marinated flank steak, eggs your way, chimmichurri, grilled tortilla). There have only been a handful of times in my life where I wished I was alone in order to lick the plate—this is one of them. The steak was cooked perfectly, as were the eggs. And, the added treat of fresh pinapple just sealed the deal. Really wonderful, and I look forward to many future visits.

Steak and Eggs

Excellent! Cooked to order, and cooked perfectly!

cynsation photo

cynsation

 Pittsburgh, PA
 

Always soooo tasty

I’ve been to Kaya several times in past years. Everything I or my dinner companions had was always outstanding. I was recently there for lunch with my daughter. Again, every dish that came to our table was superb. The plate composition, textures and temperatures of the foods, and accompanying sauces are perfection. The whole facility is clean and well attended by staff in each area. Bathrooms have been exceptionaly clean and well-supplied.

corn and lentil beignets

corn and lentil beignets with green curry sauce. Is so good… 5-6 almost tennis-ball sized savory beignets. Toasty and golden brown arrives screaming hot. They were substantial, yet delicate. Crisp outer shell opened to the fork without effort. The inner beignet was tender pastry combination of whole kernel roasted corn, black lentils, seasonings are savory with a bite at the finish. The green curry sauce has a mayonaise-like texture. This smooth and creamy light-green dip was so full of complimentary and contrasting flavors, also had a good kick to it, spice-wise. I coulda licked the bowl!!! Two of us shared these and it was plenty for an appetizer.

jamaican green curry vegetables

A wonderfuly filling vegetarian plate. The island-style curry sauce is sweet, tangy, spicy, and not so hot that it takes the skin off your palate. There was a pleasing variety of winter vegetables in the mix. Carrot, cauliflower, mushroom, swiss chard, fingerling potatoes, onion, and probably more. There is a heaping serving with this of savory, saffron tinted rice.

Crispy fish tacos

I’ll guess that the two fish fillets per taco was talapia, it was very mild. The light breading was delicate and yes, it was crisp. The slaw tasted of asian influences, it was fresh and very crisp. That contrasted nicely with the ripe, creamy slice of avocado, which lay at the bottom of the soft taco shell. There was a smattering of a spicey sauce topping the taco. The menu lists it as a spiced creme fraiche. This item comes with two tacos and a tossed greens and a salted, toasted seed salad, simple but very good. It was tossed, very lightly in a savory, but nondescript dressing.

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condimentqueen

 Pittsburgh, PA
 

Island Delight

Part of the Big Burrito Group, Kaya stands out in the sea of Pittsburgh eateries. Located in the Strip District, this small in size; big on flavor eatery is the perfect place for island fare. Another bonus to the location is that it is right across Smallman St. from the Society of Contemporary Crafts, a little gem of a gallery and shop.

The atmosphere is hip and trendy and displays the theme of the islands with great mosaics, wood carvings and funky barstools. Long and narrow with limited seating it is reminiscing of a bistro in NYC. The menu is extensive which includes tapas, sandwiches, and salads. There is both a lunch and dinner menu but we were there for a late afternoon lunch. I opted for the Tondo En Uno which affords you to have a smaller sandwich with two sides so the price was all inclusive for a very reasonable $10.00. Kaya tends to draw a crowd so if you are in a hurry, I would recommend going at off peak hours. The service is friendly but also tends to be a bit slow and holds true to a laid back island theme. No hurries…No worries.
My friend ordered this seasonal special but I just had to try this Gazpacho. After tasting this, I wished I had ordered this thick chilled fruit based soup. The combination of the Purred watermelon had a slight sweetness coupled with a hint of hot from the jalapeño pepper which is blended to perfection. Not to hot and not to sweet, this was truly a party in your mouth.

Watermellon Gazpacho

My friend ordered this seasonal special but I just had to try this Gazpacho. After tasting this, I wished I had ordered this thick chilled fruit based soup. The combination of the Purred watermelon had a slight sweetness coupled with a hint of hot from the jalapeño pepper which is blended to perfection. Not to hot and not to sweet, this was truly a party in your mouth.

Conch Chowder

This was one of my sides to my Tondo En Uno. The Chowder consists of a rich thick base loaded with corn and conch. I found the base to be good but some of the conch was a bit rubbery. Conch can get like this when over cooked and perhaps since we were late in the day for lunch, it was simmering a bit too long in the soup.

Pulled Pork and Banana Sandwich

This truly delightful sandwich was served on a soft dusted roll. Loaded with perfectly seasoned, not to wet, pulled pork and topped with a gently cooked banana for sweetness and finished with sautéed red onions, lime and mayo. The sandwich was a fusion delight. Blending flavors of sweet and savory I left wishing I had ordered a full sandwich but knowing that I would not have been able to finish the meal.

Sweet Potato Fries

What a nice change from the usual fries. These are anything but French! Crisp and golden fried on the outside while soft and sweet on the inside. No need to salt or ketchup these puppies!

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Caribbean Reservations Californian
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Kaya is located near the cities of Pgh, Downtown, Mount Washington, Strip District, and Mt Washington.
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