2000 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Just to give a quick rundown on Stacy and me, we met at my brother’s wedding. She was from Virginia Beach and eventually moved to Pittsburgh after over a year of long distance dating. Her backyard was literally the beach. Then she moved to Pittsburgh. Crazy, I know. To make a long story short, she gets homesick. She misses her family, her friends, the beach and their food. So as an attempt to bring home to Pittsburgh, I wanted to take her out for fish tacos. I went to my trusty restaurant alibi, Urban Spoon, for input. I wanted an authentic seafood joint where casual attire is encouraged. All fingers pointed to Kaya.
Located in the Strip District somewhere between 538,147,937 Steelers stores, this place fits right in with the creativity of the neighborhood. The interior is pretty intense. The owners tried hard to reproduce an island feel, maybe too hard. The artwork on the walls and tables is something to behold. But that’s where it should have stopped. The palm tree bar stools are slightly over the top. I’m pretty sure a trained monkey handed me a coconut rum drink at some point. But regardless, I appreciate the attempt to bring the islands to Pittsburgh.
We went for brunch and were seated right away. We knew we wanted the fish tacos and mango salsa as an appetizer, but our waiter was still very nice in explaining the specials. Throughout the meal, the service was there when it needed to be and distant when it wasn't. So that was a plus.
Our salsa came out during the Samoan fire twirling exhibition. Just as Stacy was pulled into the hula dance train, she retreated back to our seats.
We were still working on the appetizer when the fish tacos came out. I think Kaya was attempting to replicate Primanti’s with the absurd amount of cabbage slaw. Once I sifted through the slaw, the tacos were great. I didn’t think the three tacos would fill me up but it did.
Being that I’m from Pittsburgh and haven’t experienced seafood directly from the boat, I was impressed. Stacy mentioned she had had better fish tacos but as far as an island oasis in the middle of Pittsburgh is concerned, she was also impressed. Kaya succeeded in bringing Stacy a bit closer to home. Overall, it was a fun meal. I recommend you try Kaya.
KAYA SCORE = 85