Umami Pittsburgh has been on our list of restaurants to try since its concept was announced last year. An Izakaya (Japanese pub) dedicated to umami flavors in Lawrenceville did not dissapoint. Excellent meal, and great pacing. We ordered and ate as we went which was a nice change of pace. The stairway up to the restaurant was a bit confusing (just keep going up!). We loved all the artwork in the darkened halls.

Food:

Our favorites of the evening were the Okonomiyaki (savory pancake) and the Tonkotsu Ramen Noodle bowl. The flavors and textures were so spot on. We also enjoyed the spicy tuna, scallion, nori rice ball. The vegetable tempura was good and made well, but will probably opt for something else next time. We got pork gyoza last, and for a moment were hoping it got lost in the fray because we were getting full and it had been awhile since we ordered. We liked the cooking technique, which looked like the dumplings were flattened, but I felt the gyoza were very overseasoned, and the saltiness was even more pronounced when tried with the dipping sauce.

Spicy Tuna Riceballs with housemade soy sauce in plastic droppers.

Spicy tuna riceballs with housemade soy sauce

 Okonomiyaki - savory pancake

Shared portion size of the Tonkotsu Ramen.

Tonkotsu Ramen pork shoulder, bamboo shoots, 5:10 egg, scallion, nori

Tempura vegetables

Tempura Vegetables

Drinks:

We each tried some sake. One hot sake, and a Falling Petal – a cold draft sake shot infused with Hibiscus. Both were equally enjoyable, with Falling Petal slightly winning in how refreshing and fun it was with the Hibiscus.

FALLING PETAL Draft sake shot infused with Hibiscus and served cold

The Tickle ‘n Giggle with Pop Rocks, Leblon cachaça, basil, coconut lemongrass nigori, lime was fun and delicious. I could not quite figure out how to get the pop rocks into the drink, so I asked our server and she kindly explained how she drinks it. I poured some of the pop rocks on top, which jumped back in my face, and then stirred a few in which complimented the drink throughout the meal.

My second biggest question about this drink was the Leblon cachaça. I did not recognize the ingredient and did a quick internet search and realized it was Brazilian rum. In agreements between the United States and Brazil in 2013, the imported liquor must be labeled as cachaça. While working on this post, Smithsonian.com had an entire article about Brazil’s national spirit. Another interesting article about the history, tasting notes, and more about cachaça appears on Eater.com. I’m looking forward to exploring this liquor a lot more, and until then because rum style spirits are fun!

Tickle ‘n Giggle Pop Rocks, Leblon cachaça, basil, coconut lemongrass nigori, lime

The Fairy Tail with cava, sweet potato shochu, beet, ginger, lemon, cardamom bitters was refreshing and visually striking with the beet garnish.

Fairy Tail cava, sweet potato shochu, beet, ginger, lemon, cardamom bitters and savory pancake

We can not wait to go back!

Review also appears on Yelp.com

http://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/20160811_172644.jpghttp://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/20160811_172644-150x150.jpgthesugarpixieReviewsPittsburghUmami Pittsburgh has been on our list of restaurants to try since its concept was announced last year. An Izakaya (Japanese pub) dedicated to umami flavors in Lawrenceville did not dissapoint. Excellent meal, and great pacing. We ordered and ate as we went which was a nice change of pace....Misadventures and fun in the kitchen and beyond