NAO Japanese Grill

NAO Japanese Grill-Casual Dining with Vegetarian Selections
Local Expert's Rating:
3.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

NAO Japanese Grill offers a fresh taste to the cookie-cutter restaurants in the Pigeon Forge region! We absolutely think NAO is worth a try even though reviews are mixed.

- The Local Expert Team

Hung Truong, the owner of NAO Japanese Grill, had a simple dream: to serve the freshest and finest Japanese cuisine in the Pigeon Forge region. Even the name of his restaurant captures his vision and passion as “Nao” translates into “honest” and “greater.”

However, based upon recent reviews, Mr. Truong’s vision might be lost in translation. At best, it has become a “hit or miss” among diners. Customers have given NAO Japanese Grill either poor reviews or a strong thumb’s up. Most complaints focus on the long wait and the food not being cooked properly or tasting bland. However, others raved about their dining experience, commenting that the food was fresh and vowing to return.

NAO Japanese Grill serves authentic Japanese cuisine like hibachi style, sushi, and similar fare. However, noodle-based Japanese dishes are not on the menu. The offerings will satisfy diners with a broad palette, including vegetarians. With the wide selections available, NAO may be one of the best options for vegetarians in the Pigeon Forge area.

NAO Japanese Grill offers a casual dining experience where you order at the counter. Your food is brought to your table when it is ready. Drive-thru is also available, and the menu features many of the favorites found on the indoor menu. In addition, NAO Japanese Grill has a wide variety of beverages, including beer and wine, with some Japanese choices tossed in.

In typical hibachi fashion, you choose what type of rice you want (fried, white, brown) and what three vegetables you prefer: broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, asparagus, or sweet carrot. Then, for an added cost, you can include additional protein or vegetables.

We think NAO Japanese Grill is worth a try but remember, it’s not fast food so expect to wait, especially when it’s busy, while your food is prepared.

We think you’ll enjoy these menu favorites. 

Egg Rolls
These are hand-crafted and filled with cabbage, carrots, onions, pork, and deep-fried to a golden brown. You get two large rolls per order, and it comes with dipping sauce.

Samurai Dinner
This hibachi meal consists of scallops, shrimp, steak, chicken, and vegetables served on a bed of rice. You have the option to have fried rice, white rice, or brown rice. The meal comes with a side of teriyaki or hibachi sauce for dipping or pouring over the meal.

A large portion of salmon is seared to perfection and served on a mound of rice. Grilled asparagus garnishes the dish and adds just the right amount of color to the meal. It comes with teriyaki or hibachi sauce on the side.

Super Cali (Sushi)
This meal is perfect for those who haven’t tried sushi but want to give it a try. Avocado, cucumber, and crab are deep-fried to get a crunchy shell while the food inside remains moist and tasty.

Sushi: Vegetarian Rolls
The “Veggie” is a vegetarian’s delight! Lettuce, red bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, pickled carrots, asparagus, daikon sprout, green onion, and kanpyo fill this roll, making it a winner for the hungriest vegetarian.

Insider Tip:
NAO Japanese Grill is not a traditional hibachi grill where guests sit around the chef. Guests order at the counter, and meals are served at your table.