New location, Great Sushi, BYOB!.
Chaya is an excellent neighborhood Japanese restaurant. They recently just moved to a location right up the street, which allows for much more space for seating. (Before it had a smaller seating area and, due to the fact that it is so popular, was always crowded.)
I literally go here at least once a month, and I have never had bad service. The waitresses are always very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu. There dumplings are great, and all the sushi is delicious. I cannot speak to their entrees, but their sushi is some of my favorite in Pittsburgh.
Never Go Here.
The customer service here is the WORST. The waitstaff rushes you out as soon as you pay. My friend and I were in the middle of a serious conversation about an ill parent, and the waitress interrupted our conversation within 2 minutes of us paying our bill to tell us to leave.
Moreover, the fish is not particularly fresh, and is overpriced for what you get. I have lived in New York City and Tokyo, and people who say that Chaya's sushi is so authentic clearly have never eaten high-grade sushi in their lives.
Terrible service, cramped space.
Awful!!! The waitress was very rude to us and when we received our check. On a credit card receipt from a restaurant, you know that blank space after the word "Tip"? Well the waitress wrote herself a $10 tip which is illegal! Even if gratuity is automatically added, a restaurant has to state that on their menu, and who ever heard of automatically adding gratuity for a party of 3? She's lucky I didn't complain about this because I wanted to get out of there for how mean she was to me and my two friends.
Terrible, terrible service! I don't understand why she was so rude to us, we weren't making a fuss like we could have... even after she altered our credit card receipt which is extremely illegal.
I would suggest getting there early, or you will wait for a table. Authentic Japanese cuisine and atmosphere, but at authentic Japanese (Tokyo metro area) prices. The sushi and sashimi are as good as any inland restaurant can be. Overall, I would recommend this place over any other Japanese restaurant in western PA.
Only for good sushi.
The sushi is great, but other regular japanese food is way to overpriced for its taste. And the waitress is really rude. Avoid going at peak times, you will have to wait for at least an hour to get seating since the place is real tiny.
One of the problems with Japanese places in Pittsburgh is that so few have staff that actually speaks Japanese. Chaya is NOT one of these. If you are trying to pick up Japanese and want to try it out on people who 'wakarimasu,' this is your place.
Aside from that, the food is excellent. They have an amazing selection of sushi, including the extremely hard to find Toro (fatty tuna). Their dinners offer a lot of food.
The only negative I'd say is that the price for Sushi is a bit high for this area, but if you are looking for quality over quantity, Chaya wins hands down.
Fantastic Sushi/Sashimi & Japanese food! Yum!.
Surprised by the 1st (&only) negative review of Chaya, thought I should respond-it's rated so high because it's excellent! Just returned this evening & again were not disappointed. Sure, the proportions aren't what you'll find in Kyoto, but are certainly par for American restaurant standards. The quality, however, is 2nd to none in the area. Also, it's the only place in Pgh that makes their wasabi in house-fresh off the root! Go & decide for yourself.
Awful sushi and japanese food! Yuck!.
We just ate at this place for the first time based on the city search rating. It was awful. Everything. Here is a list of what we ordered: edamame, miso soup, chicken teriyaki, spicy tuna roll, dynamite roll, tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri, and ama ebi. Nothing tasted good, the rolls were real scroungy, the nigiri was thinly cut, and the chicken had an awful consistency. Basically I dont know who rated this place so high but it was awful and we will never be returning.