One of the facts about Japanese cuisine in the USA we've always lamented is that most restaurants are the same old sushi places with eerily similar menus. Sure, you may get lucky enough to find an odd bowl of ramen or some delicious tempura here or there, but odds are good that any given Japanese restaurant will have a menu similar to the rest.
It wasn't until I visited Japan, where I tasted so many other unique Japanese cuisines, that I realized how much we are missing in our own Japanese restaurants.
Thankfully, many chefs have taken note of this as well and the under-represented foods of Japan are now getting their audience in the USA for the very first time.
In Pittsburgh, one restaurant that will be at the forefront of this blossoming trend is Lawrenceville's Umami. Themed after a Japanese izakaya (equivalent to our own alcohol-heavy gastropubs), this restaurant is one of just a few places in Pittsburgh where you can find some of the country's best entrees you've likely never heard of before.