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Pittsburgh birthday recs - kaya or sonoma grille?

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I'm looking for some help deciding between kaya and sonoma grille for my mom's upcoming birthday celebration -we'll have a party of about 15 people, and I've heard that Kaya can get pretty loud in the early evenings due to happy hour, but haven't heard much about Sonoma (I've never been to pittsburgh). Both restaurants would have to split our party in half at separate tables. Due to hotel/walking distance constraints, the restaurant has to be close to the Strip. Does anyone have any opinions about Kaya or Sonoma Grille for this occasion? All input would be very much appreciated!!
Thanks

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  1. Is there any reason why you have it narrowed down specifically just to those two? If i I had to pick one, i would pick sonoma for food, but it can be hard to hear when the restaurant is busy.

    If you're in the strip, can I throw out Eleven and Lydia's as choices? both have small private rooms that are perfect for 15 people and are just as walkable as Kaya and Sonoma Grille

    Have a great party!

    1 Reply
    1. re: yammers

      Eleven looked a bit pricey, and due to passover constraints, Lidia's did not make the cut...Would you say that Eleven is price-comparable to Sonoma Grille?

    2. Sonoma is excellent with out qualifiers and not as pricey as Eleven.

      1. I think you should consider Lydia's. It seems to have a bad rep on Chow, but I don't know why. Perhaps they used to be really bad and people never went back? Regardless, the food is excellent now. It can easily accommodate 15 people.

        5 Replies
        1. re: PghFoodster

          I like Lidia's a lot and never bash it. It would seem to fill the bill perfectly, except that the poster cited "passover constraints" that ruled Lidia's out.

          1. re: yayadave

            Oh, I didn't notice any mention of passover, but if that is a consideration, it definitely rules out Lidias.
            I didn't mean to say you bashed Lidias, yayadave. I've just seen a trend among Chowhounds to do so, and don't quite understand why.

            1. re: PghFoodster

              I did not take it personally; I was not offended.

            2. re: yayadave

              Oh, I didn't notice any mention of passover, but if that is a consideration, it definitely rules out Lidias.
              I didn't mean to say you bashed Lidias, yayadave. I've just seen a trend among Chowhounds to do so, and don't quite understand why.

            3. re: PghFoodster

              I'm with you PghFoodster, my wife and I were there for brunch last Sunday which must have been our sixth or seventh visit. We've never had a bad experience and just don't get the bad rap. On the antipasto table they had fresh ramps, bread salad, several mushroom dishes, it was just all excellent.