101 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111Neighborhood:
Financial District / Embarcadero
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.pabuizakaya.com/
- Phone: (415) 668-7228
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: M-F 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: Su-Th 5:30pm-10:00pm
Dinner: F-Sa 5:30pm-10:30pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Sushi, Yakitori, Japanese
- Executive Chef: Ken Tominaga
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Wine
- Catering: PABU is available for catering requests. Please contact Jin Park or Nancy Zammit at 415.625.5460.
- Entertainment: The music at PABU is inspired by Quentin Tarantino soundtracks. Retro cool tracks set in a modern context, the music at PABU serves to create energy in the room.
- Special Events: PABU can accommodate your party, large or small and can host special events for either lunch or dinner and is available to reserve in its entirety. One of our Event Manager's will assist in seamlessly planning your special event.
PABU also offers a private area suitable for groups up to 22 guests as a seated function.
Please contact Jin Park or Nancy Zammit at 415.625.5460.
- Cross Street: Front Street
- Public Transit: Bart station is located conveniently on Market and Davis Streets. Muni is located at Market and Geary Streets.
- Parking: Street Parking
- Parking Details: Valet parking is offered nightly beginning at 5:30pm on California Street. Street parking and various parking garages are located throughout the Financial District.
A word from PABU
Chef Ken Tominaga brings forth a modern take on traditional Izakaya-style dining with PABU San Francisco. In partnership with Michael Mina this modern izakaya and sushi bar in downtown San Francisco is a dream brought to life for Tominaga and Mina. Located at the landmark 101 California space in San Francisco’s Financial District, PABU combines rustic, old-world Japanese charm with modern, urban sophistication to create a dynamic, social dining experience. Requests for the sushi bar cannot be guaranteed.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
- Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
PABU reviews from OpenTable diners
280 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (184)hot spot (125)special occasion (112)vibrant bar scene (99)good for groups (97)great for lunch (44)romantic (41)notable wine list (40)neighborhood gem (39)great for outdoor dining (27)late-night find (15)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- Lived up to expectations!AnnMosesVIPDined on 11/22/2014This was the best sushi experience we've ever had. Sit at the sushi bar. Order the omakase. You won't be disappointed. The omakase started with a "happy spoon" with uni and roe and some other ingredients for an umami explosion in your mouth. From there, the menu went through four courses of nigiri meticulously and lovingly crafted by the sushi chef, from light and delicate fish, to oily, to pungent, to textured. When we expressed interest in where the fish was from, the chef pulled out his iPhone and showed photos of the fish we were eating that he had selected that morning. He also showed us the hook used to catch the bluefin tuna we ate. The meal closed with wagyu shabu shabu, which was fine, but underwhelming after the amazing sushi. We will definitely be back for the sushi and the overall experience! But, if you are like the couple next to us drenching your nigiri in soy sauce and wasabi with your chopsticks, this may not be the place for you.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An exceptional second visitsFoodiesf65VIPDined on 11/20/2014This was my second try at Pabu, a little skeptical because my first visit two months ago was so underwhelming. I was truly blown away at not only the quality of the food we ordered but the over the top service that was delivered. From the super friendly hostesses, to the knowledgable bartenders. From the spot on server to the server assistants. They were ALL OVER my table all night and it was the level of service you would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant. The sushi was quite pricey and the pieces were pretty small sized but the quality of the fish was probably the best I've ever had. The kobe beef plate and the miso black cod were also exceptional.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome bartendersEricaVIPDined on 11/19/2014The bartender was so friendly and attentive. We waited a long time for our pork buns after our bartender made a follow up on the order. He ended up going to the kitchen to make them for us. He is awesome.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, better drinks, best servicePabuDined on 11/15/2014Pabu has been on my eat list since it opened and was featured on 7x7. My bf and I opted for the Omakase. My favorites were the Happy Spoon, and the Bluefin Tuna, Toro, and Snow Crab Nigiri. We also ordered the Cuttlefish Nigiri and Grilled Squid on the side. All in all the food was good but nothing really exceptional or mind blowing good. Drinks I thought were better. Being a Michael Mina restaurant the price was expensive -- I think you really pay more for the name and the service. With that said the staff was attentive and expedient...with a touch of something Gary Danko-like. Would I come back again? Yes, just not anytime soon. I'd probably prefer going back to Roka Akor for the food instead.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our first visit, we were very impressed.foodyDined on 11/15/2014Our first visit, we were very impressed. When in SFO again we will come backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisapointingHleighVIPDined on 11/15/2014This restaurant is located in a lovely courtyard. The service was passable, not exceptional in any way. The food was expensive and uninspired. My husband and I had the tasting menu which had about 8 courses, and we also had the sake pairing. The first course, the Happy Spoon was very lovely, with intricate flavors on the tongue. Unfortunately, every other course, tasted like a sushi from a good sushi restaurant. Fish was fresh, but not inspired. No explosion of tastes, just boring. I don't think the chef ever tasted the "palate cleanser" or he wouldn't have served it. The combination of flavors all clashed, too salty, icy. The sushi continued, a little cold rice topped with some mildly marinated assorted fish. The shabu shabu preceding the dessert was awful. Some miniature assorted food items, including a thimbleful of beef in front of a steaming pot of broth with noodles. Then a waiter came with another bowl of broth with different noodles, and spooned it into this bowl. It was all confusing, two kinds of noodles that didn't go together, a poor combination of juices. Dessert was nothing to write about. How many ways can you say disappointing? Boring? We even had to ask for soy sauce and wasabi! They brought wasabi, and 2 huge bowls of very sour marinated ginger, but no soy sauce. No one asked if we enjoyed our food, either during the meal or at the end. All in all, it was a sufficient amount of food, but not satisfying or creative. For the most part, the food did not taste like it was just made by the sushi chef. The rice should not have been as cold, and the food did not make me interested in the next course. I, unfortunately, was looking forward to leaving. The cocktail-lounge type music was very loud though we were seated in supposedly quiet "solarium". We came here after enjoying a truly enjoyable omakase at Kusakabe a few weeks ago, as we heard Pabu was comparable to Kusakabe. There is no comparison. Kusakabe wins hands down.
- Michael Mina Delivers againDanHDined on 11/12/2014I went for a Wednesday night dinner (8 pm) for a table of five. They started out by seating us at a booth that could barely fit all of us, and located in prime real estate right in front of the door. To call the restaurant's noise level energetic is far far too kind - it was deafening. My dining companion seated to the left of me could not hear my dining companion seated to my right, and visa versa. It was almost impossible to carry a conversation. The food, and the menu, were both okay, but nothing to be ecstatic about (and certainly not at those prices). The menu needs to be severely slimmed down, with a focus placed on quality of dishes as opposed to quantity of different dishes offered.Special Features:
- Cool Place To Dine Japanese In The City!Samurai6VIPDined on 11/12/2014It's not cheap but the location right in the heart of the business center and quality sushi/sashimi selections make PABU a place to gather and graze! Service is very efficient with a lot of folks on the floor and our server Dana was top notch. Recommend sticking with the seafood, yakitori was OK but this place is really all about the sushi and raw fish prepared by experience. Bar made some great Vodka tonics to go with the oysters on the half shell which were fantastic by the way. If you got the guts, go eat ramen next door after your dinner but we were so stuffed and content after all the sashimi.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/10/2014I made the mistake of not ordering a large plate the first time I dined here and left hungry. That said, quality of food was very good. The restaurant gets pretty loud so if you are going in a group you may want to opt for the private dining table for 6-8 if you want to be able to hear each other easily. Overall though I really enjoyed the ambiance and service was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pabu - not Michael MinnasfmelaniVIPDined on 11/8/2014I can't put my finger on it, was it the slightly too loud rock music? was it the "off" timing of the wine/sushi pairing? was it the "coldness" of the vast space (we sat in a booth in the bar area)? Not sure but it wasn't what I was expecting. The food was excellent. The service was friendly. We'll go again but probably not with a group, I think it might be better for 2 people, sitting at the bar then 4, trying to converse at a booth.Special Features:
- Best sushi we've ever hadAnitaMWVIPDined on 11/8/2014The four of us had the omikase, consisting of a happy spoon, 16 pieces of sushi, a shabu shabu with waygu beef, and a dish of fruit. We shared 2 sake pairings among the 4 of us. It sounds overwhelming, but the chef limits the amount of rice so that it's not. Every piece of sushi was perfect, and the tastes were unlike anything I'd had before. The shabu shabu was thankfully small, the beef very, very tender. The fruit was interesting. The service was excellent for most of the meal. Our original server explained each sake and each piece of fish. But he then disappeared, other servers took over, and at the end no one was around to bring us the bill or even thank us. This was the only negative, an unfortunate last impression.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Big Check & Bad FoodOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 11/2/2014Came-in on a Sunday evening and we were seated at a table close to the sushi bar. This place is lacking any sort of welcoming atmosphere. All this place wants to do is to get you to purchase expensive liquor and drinks; since it was a Sunday evening we were not interested in that; we came here for sushi and not bottle service. Following, our order was mixed-up and delivered to the table next to ours. The diners told the staff that it was not their food but the waitstaff insisted it was theirs until about 5 minutes later they realized the mix-up. Random waiters stepped on my wife's feet at least twice while they walked by yet no apologies. Quality of the fish was mediocre at best and small portions. Overall, a terrible place.
- Great Pabu dinner experience!MeowCatFanDined on 11/2/2014Outstanding service by waiter and water boy - attentive, friendly, & knowledgeable. As first-time customers, waiter gave us a complimentary Monterey Squid Okonomiyaki which was delicious! We ordered 2 cocktails, 1 blue-fin tuna sushi, steamed clams, grilled squid, black cod, dueling tempura, the Pabu green tea and custard desserts -- unique, delicious, and filling enough for $146 + tips. We really enjoyed our dinner, did not feel rushed, and the dishes came out after the previous dishes were cleared and our plates replaced with clean ones. The whiskey cocktail had a solid ball of ice; the Citrus had a pretty rectangular tall solid chunk of ice with pansy blossoms embedded on the ice at one end but tasted mostly grapefruit juice. Go try it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- are you kiddingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/31/2014chef cris was outstanding at the sushi bar, server cecelia greatSpecial Features:
- ExperienceNot4usVIPDined on 10/30/2014Dissapointed with the food. And way too expensiveSpecial Features:
- Welcome to the neighborhood!PatricDined on 10/30/2014Pabu was excellent! Everything I hoped it would be. Michael Mina has done it again. The food was amazing, the wait staff was attentive and completely well-informed. The Sushi Bar was masterful- we watched them create works of art. I had the best spinach I've ever eaten. The decor is beautiful. The timing and plating of our meal was perfect. The attention to detail was spot on. I can't wait to go back and I will certainly tell my friends and business associates.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food, great service!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/28/2014I was there at around 7pm and was early for the seating, they were able to grab me a seat right away rather than waiting for my seating time. The food was great, everything was made fresh and the service was excellent. I really enjoyed the nigiri sushi served by the sushi chef. He explained in detail each of the sushi and provide me with an authentic Japanese cuisine. Highly recommended to everything who love Japanese cuisine!Special Features:
- Very Enjoyable, but PriceyOsirisVIPDined on 10/27/2014A short walk from the Embarcadero Theater, a quick bite was desired before a late night film. Service was outstanding and real care was taken to expedite the meal to meet our schedule. The quality and creativity really shined at Pabu, much more so than the chef's long-running wine country restaurant. The cocktails, sushi, robatayaki, and okonomiyaki were splendid. I have a bad habit of running up a bill, though even I was surprised that a light, late night repast with two house cocktails had us pushing $200.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious but still hungry.OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 10/27/2014Delicious but you will walk away hungry unless you spend a fortune and over order. The small plates are great but you need a lot of them to fill you up.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still had to buy a sandwich afterSFfoodieVIPDined on 10/27/2014Ordered crab cake appetizer and one of the most expensive lunch entrees: sukiyaki. $24 entree with 2 slices of tofu, 7 unremarkable slices of rib eye, some onion and yam noodle. Bowl of rice. I don't load up on plain rice just to fill up, so I walked out hungry. Spent just under $50. Headed straight to the sandwich store before going back to work. I'm a woman...can't imagine how much a man would have to order to fill up.
- Greatksl6Dined on 10/25/2014Great tasting menu with the beverage pairing, also tried the pork belly robatayaki. Food is very fresh especially the snow crab nigiri is our favorite. The best part is the service provided by Daniel, overall great experience and will be back within 2 weeks.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good dinner, but service was spottynemodosDined on 10/24/2014We really wanted to love this restaurant, because we've been looking forward to visiting Pabu for a long time. We went for dinner on a Friday evening, and the restaurant was vibrant and bustling. We did really enjoy the food, but the service was spotty at best. Our server seemed to be unfamiliar with some of the menu items and how they were prepared. They also brought us the check without asking if we wanted it first, and without offering dessert or coffee, which we actually wanted. We felt like we were being rushed out, so we didn't ask for a dessert menu. It really soured the end of the meal experience.Special Features:
- Everything is deliciousTastyDined on 10/22/2014We ordered several plates to share. Everything was tasty and super fresh. Service was 5 starsSpecial Features:
- An OK $660 dinner for 4 peopleOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/21/2014We took our friends here for dinner. We were a party of four and had a friendly server. We asked her to get us a menu together (their menus were rather lengthy and we were hungry). We ate and drank well but at the end the $660 tab was a bit shocking.
- tastless music.swineDined on 10/20/2014this place was lively and noisy, don't need additional noise! just typical loud music, that didn't match for excellent foods and wonderful decor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 10/20/2014Disappointed. Didn't live up to the hype. I am a big Michael Mina fan but this is not his forte. Rice is everything in sushi and rice here was bland, flavorless and not even really sticky.
- ExcellentOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/18/2014Could be the finest sushi I've experienced in the Bay Area. Worth the cost.
- Good Japanese RestaurantJAR33Dined on 10/18/2014PABU had good food, but not my favorite sushi. The service was amazing and the restaurant was beautiful. I would still go again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Unique Dining Experience !AllanVIPDined on 10/18/2014The Omakase was to die for. It was so much food for us that we could barely enjoy the wonderful Wagyu Shabu Shabu at the end and Dessert. The Sake list was excellent and the recommendations from the sommelier were spot on. Our Sushi Chef, John and our waiter (Sorry forgot her name) made for a wonderful dining experience. We can't wait to go back and try some of the cooked offerings and appetizers. It was a 3 hour eating extravaganza that we look forward to sharing with friends. The vibe and decor are also beautiful and full of energy. Anthony the manager was also very kind and gracious. Basically we loved it ! Go there soon.Special Features:
- Pricey but a great spotOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/17/2014The drinks are fancy, the food is really delicious, the service is excellent, and the restaurant is beautiful and large. It's just a but expensive because it's a very Americanized elite version of Japanese izakaya dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent SushiPeggyVIPDined on 10/17/2014This was my second visit with a client for lunch. We enjoyed the very fresh sushi and black cod entree; service is attentive. Would highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, but service was meh.hongdenglongDined on 10/14/2014Great food, unfortunately service was very slow. Food was served unusually slowly, even for a fine dining establishment. Waiter forgot + messed up our order.Special Features:
- Good early dinner findOttercarDined on 10/13/2014Great option for an after-work dinner. The food was good and the atmosphere was lively.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sunday nightJennyVIPDined on 10/12/2014Not always easy to find a good meal on a Sunday night but Chris made sure we did! Spectacular service and food. Will be back for sureSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Ok food/service, overpriced fancyCharlesFromTexasDined on 10/9/2014Glad they had valet parking here. Would only walk or taxi here otherwise. Menu interesting, food was presented well and looked good but did not live up to reputation. Overpriced. Extremely noisy, most coming from music and conversation in Bar Area.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 10/9/2014I invited two clients to have dinner at Pabu, and it was a first experience for all of us. We all felt that our waiter was hounding us to order and continually came to our table to see if we were done or wanted additional dishes. We all thought the food was mediocre. Surprised that this is a Michale Mina restaurant, since his restaurants tend to be very good regarding both food and service.
- Great FIDI spot with GREAT food!FoodieAdventurerDined on 10/9/2014I have been anticipating the opening of Pabu since I saw the signs went up while it was still under construction. I read some articles and knew it was a partnership between Michael Mina and Chef Tominaga. I've dined at Michael Mina's restaurant just down the street and loved the food, so I had to come here! A friend and I decided to meet up for lunch one afternoon. We could only get a later lunch reservation, which was fine. The place wasn't crowded, which was nice. We ordered the okonimyaki and ahi tuna tartare to start. Both were delicious and beautifully plated. I went with the nigiri entree and my friend went with the sashimi entree; fish selections chosen by the chef. Delicious and fresh!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Surprisingly excitingSignoreDined on 10/7/2014OK, I thought, another Japanese restaurant. How good could it be? Well, one bite in I had my answer: great! The seaweed salad was extraordinary and the black cod was one of the best pieces of fish I've ever eaten. The source was minimal but potent, a perfect complement to the perfectly prepared fish. I can't wait to go again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous!FabulousVIPDined on 10/4/2014We had an exceptional experience. From the minute we arrived, until we left. Service was top-notch, and we were treated like VIP's! Will definitely be back with friends!!!Special Features:
- PABUmropDined on 10/3/2014Very authentic Edo style sushi at Pabu. Most of the seafood is flown fresh from Tsukiji Tokyo. Chef Tominaga did a great job and he was very friendly too. My favorite new sushi restaurant so far. I had the sushi tasting menu and was very pleased. The sake list is amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.