PABU
PABU
  • Address:
    101 California Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Neighborhood:
    Financial District / Embarcadero
  • Cuisine:
    Japanese
    Price: $30 and under

PABU

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.pabuizakaya.com/
  • Phone: 4156687228x
  • 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.

Getting there

  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
PABU reviews from OpenTable diners
215 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (145)hot spot (110)special occasion (103)vibrant bar scene (96)good for groups (73)romantic (44)notable wine list (34)neighborhood gem (30)great for outdoor dining (19)great for lunch (16)late-night find (14)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (3)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • Nickname
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Michael Bauer was generous with a three star rating. Of all the Michael Mina restaurants at which we've dined, this is the only one that was less than stellar. The Omakase was nothing more than a glorified sushi dinner. The sushi was indiscernible and so lacking in flavor, we had to dip it in soy sauce. The dessert was nothing more than a scoop of ice cream and cut up fresh Asian pears, no talent nor creativity involved at all. Service was poor. The very small teapot for two people had to be filled five times during the meal and each time we had to find a server to fill it. The last two fillings, we had to ask two different servers. For a wonderful Omakase experience I recommend Morimoto in Napa, Wakuriya in San Mateo or Ame in SF.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good sushi but....
    DeadmanonleaveVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Good sushi and service but......holy expensive. Granted we ate a lot and had some good drinks but I didn't think $400 was possible for two people eating tuna and salmon.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We did the chefs tasting. Each bite hit all the right notes. Also did the Sake tasting with the food. Completed a wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh sushi
    LuvSushi
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We went to Pabu for a birthday lunch. The sushi was really fresh. The bite size nigiri might seem small compared with other sushi restaurants but I thought it was delicate and fit the essence of the restaurant where you can savor the freshness of the fish. We also ordered the miso cod which was good but we thought didn't have enough of the miso flavor. As always, sushi is pricey and this is far from exception.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New place
    DimSumVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    It is for the financial district crowd. Nice place to unwind.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine sushi, Saki and more.
    BigTrev
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Great classical sushi. Enjoyed the chef's tasting menu enormously with a well thought out series of drink pairings. The only course that was less than outstanding was the final sorbet course which was a small step down. Exemplary waitress was a joy to discuss the courses with.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • over priced left hungry
    Jdegen
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Short and sweet, the food was good, but the portions were tiny. I'm not looking for a Cheesecake Factory meal, but I don't want to feel hungry after dropping almost $200 for 2 people. Some of the dishes wowed like the squid pancake with the fried egg on top, but others were ho-hum. It's tough in this city the food competion is so tight. Nieghborhood spots are putting up food that compete with the Michael Mina's of the world.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Rather over-rated
    LiveToEatVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Perhaps if was that my expectations were high, but I was quite disappointed with my first dining experience. I found most of the dishes and unremarkable but rather expensive. The dining room itself is quite pleasant and the night I was there quiet.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid food and great service
    RobSVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We've been to almost every Michael Mina restaurant and love his style and approach to dining. The space was bright and while crowded, was not overly loud. We could have a great conversation throughout dinner. The service was impeccable. The wait staff was super knowledgeable, gave us suggestions without being pushy, and paced the courses really, really well. The food was expertly prepared and the sushi was A++. The other food was also super well prepared, but not the most innovative, knock your socks off food we're used to from Mina. There is no equivalent of Lobster Pot Pie or Lobster Corn Dogs in terms of pushing the envelope. With that said, I would go back again. Maybe my expectations for a Mina restaurant are too high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad to have tried it once
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The service is excellent, the food was good but it did not blow me away. I am glad we went but b/c it is pricey and a bit of a scene I am not sure I would go back again.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Japanese Creation
    luv2eatndrinkVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Micheal Mina is a genius. He has brought forward an authentic Japanese touch to SF. Including the green tea was delicious. Great restaurant and tasting menu was brilliant. It is pricey so it will pinch your pocket if you ordered a good sake ;)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our 2nd anniversary
    Live2eat
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    We went to Pabu to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. Our table wasn't ready when we arrived so we went to have a drink at the bar. We casually mentioned it to Carlo, the bar manager. He served my husband a delicious cocktail and I ordered a glass of bubbles. The hostess came to take is the our table, a romatic booth in a quieter area of the restaurant and when we arrived there was a Happy Anniversary card on the table for us signed by all the staff. We had an amazing meal paired with an outstanding saki. At the end of the meal our server brought us out a complimentary dessert. The service of the entire staff was top notch. They made our special night even more special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inspiring Food
    Katy
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Food was amazing and wait staff very good. Took a while to get our drinks but that was the only downside. The flavors and presentation was incredible, innovative and just makes you glad you try new places. Micheal minna was even there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    If you are drinking wine...order a bottle. Wine by the glass crazy expensive. Nice vibe for Happy Hour (they don't have a Happy Hour - just during that particular post work period) - crowded, pretty people, lots to look at. Food good. Service excellent. Prices are pretty high for alcohol and fairly high for most of the food. It was good though. Would be a good work-event-place...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Choose another restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    The food was flavorless. I had a beef noodle dish. The beef was rubbery and without flavor...the dish itself was passable. I would not recommend that anyone dine here. Expensive and highly overrated.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Almost Perfect
    PandMVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Loved the food, service & ambiance but hated the noise and techno pop music.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rng1101VIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    very good food, although some sauces don't work ... stick to the traditional Japanese dipping sauces. For example, the chicken karaage was very tasty, but the spicy mayonnaise doesn't work; a squeeze of lemon juice is just the right touch; similarly, the traditional tempura sauce is fine; we did not care for the "salts"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oishii!
    magique
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The food was great - fresh seafood even for a Sunday night. The portions are small, however (gyutan yakitori, $8 for two bites). The staging between the kitchen and sushi bar seemed a little off - dishes came out of sequence at different intervals. A large table of screaming kids almost ruined our experience, but they left eventually. The small deuce (for two) table meant we right next to another small deuce table and we practically joined in their conversation. The high-margin wine and sake list is overpriced. The benchmark is 2.5 times wholesale, not 2.5 times retail! Stick with the filtered water. 3% SF health mandate. Not bad for a newly opened restaurant. Would like to revisit later to see if the operation is smoother.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasting Menu was great!
    KellVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    My only real complaint was it was way too loud! We did the tasting menu at the sushi bar. Though not very fancy, all the fish was very fresh and enjoyable. I thought the $95 cost was very reasonable for all the nigiri you got as well as the fun shabu shabu at the end. We also did the sake pairings which were excellent. No skimping!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed after hype
    KatarinaVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    The decor is terrific: modern, hip, very clean. Great place for a drink. We had a fabulous sever. But after all the hype, the food was very disappointing. The sushi was very average and the roll we had was too loosely rolled. The chicken meatballs were bland and the mushroom tempura was way too heavily battered. We did like the cooked spinach salad a lot and who can go wrong with edamame. Corkage fees are excessively high, and the noise level is over the top. We will try it again because too many people have said good things about their food, but the first trip was a letdown.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pabu continues to shine
    CapHazVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We were loyal customers of Pabu in Baltimore and were disappointed that they closed that location. We were so excited that we were able to experience the restaurant again during a recent trip to San Francisco. Everything (Food, Service and Ambiance) was a step better than what we experienced in Bmore. We will definitely make this restaurant a "must visit" on future trips to San Francisco.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Shocking Service
    Dailydiner
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We had to wait to be seated even though booking in advance; it was impossible to place an order - staff kept diverting their eyes. In the end I stood up and waved my hands to get their attention. Then still had to wait another 5 minutes. Staff are not experienced at serving Japanese cuisine; the style of the food lends itself to sharing however sharing cutlery was not provided and we had to keep requesting.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous Sushi! but not cheap
    Maxx
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    If you're a fan of sushi this is the place to go....top quality and fresh. You cannot get anything better in San Franciso. We had the seasonal set menu and it was amazing. Highly recommended if you love sushi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ruthieVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    restaurant will want to deal with smokers outdoors as the smell permeates the restaurant with the right breeze. while many find their food expensive, it's certainly high quality. though $5 for an iced tea is over the top, right? come on.....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • teatimeforfrau20
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Beautiful space, friendly servers, and we have to go back to have more. Very nice for lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great service
    FoodElevated
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I have to say that the service was exceptional. The sashimi was fresh and the plated food was good. I say this because the pork belly could've had more texture, the skewer items should have a smokeyness to it and I guess while it all was good, these little details couldve made it great. I would highly recommend investing in a habachi grill. The aroma and flavors will take the menu to a whole different level.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    GbOkVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Had the omokase and a few tastes of some of the robata and other sushi dishes. All was superb. Great service and knowledgable sommeliers for wine and sake.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pabu raises the bar
    Margot
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    After dining in Sydney at Tetsuya's we felt we had to come here. Outstanding quality, great wine list. Just perhaps a bit noisy on a Friday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small portion high quality sushi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The sushi quality is very good but the portions are very small. 10 piece sushi for $60? I left hungry after spending $125
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Over Rated
    FoodyFinn
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    My wife and I had lunch after making a reservation a month in advance. I have eaten a lot of sushi both here and in Japan and Pabu was over priced and average at best. I am a foodie and would not recommend this place to anyone. There are a lot of neighborhood sushi places that are much better at half the price but I guess they have to cover the rent in a downtown high rise! A restaurant needs more than a well known owner and an over sized dining room to be great. Very disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced
    EnchanteVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food is okay, but it is WAAAAY WAAAAAAY overpriced for what it is. I know you have to pay bit more for ambience, etc, but not THIS much. Ordered typical very small bowl of Japanese fast food (Tendon) and 2 sushi with a glass of wine and the bill was $64 + tip. Menu was limited too, I suggest you go next door to the ramen shop and eat there instead.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • KismetVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Not your top Japanese restaurant ! Service was only fair and food as well. I have had much better and not too far away..... But it is a trendy new place with Mina's name and that for sure will sell.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great meal - Try the Happy Spoon!
    SpideySensesTingling
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Enjoyed a great meal for my friend's birthday at Pabu. We tried many things including the Happy Spoon (great!), Grilled squid (great and that's a big serving!), Monterey squid okonomiyaki (Tasty!), Miso black cod (Nicely prepared with large serving), Harami, Tsukune and Eringi skewers. I also tried the Yakuza 3.0 whisky cocktail --very comforting and mellow cocktail (dangerously easy to get another round). Great service and excellent atmosphere. I'll be back soon to try more on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Be Willing To Pay!!!
    Samurai6VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Hot New Spot to hang out downtown. Sushi/sashimi good, Yakitori so-so but you are paying for the location. Four of us, incl 3 gals who drank a bottle of wine/cold sake EACH for crying out loud, spent $1100 incl tip!! I had to pick up the tab since I'm the boss. Service was pretty good also so I recommend this place when you feel really celebratory.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So so
    1foodlover
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    You just can't get good sushi in San Francisco. Fish quality was just ok...my guess is all the best fish stays in southern cal and SF restaurants get the seconds. Dinning experience was nice and the sake sommelier was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Extraordinary
    SFCAVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The tasting menu was wonderful. Most of the 8 courses had 4 different kinds of fish and/or seafood. There was 16 kings of fish/seafood. Amazing. The experience was as good as that I have had in Japan. The wine and sake tasting was superb. If a person thinks that hot sake is what sake is they should have the pairing to discover the joy of fine sake. The experience was about 2 hours. The only complaint I had is that the music was too loud early in the evening. This is the big problem having a bar on the other side of the room. It ruined the lovely ambiance on the restaurant side. Hopefully a divide will be installed in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I loved it!
    PKPalmieri
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Four of us went for lunch and we loved it. The food was delicious and service was superb. I can't wait to try it for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing
    Genie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    can't believe this is a michael minna restaurant. went there with a big group and was very disappointed. food and service was sub-par. Embarrassed with people from out of town.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pabu Fabu!
    HKSFO
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Pabu is in the financial district we went on Saturday night, it was busy and a little noise due to the size of the space and number of people. The vibe was good, mixed crowd of date night and such. Lots of amazing sake and whiskey from japan, the Nikka Whiskey was the best. The sashimi was so fresh, and the shrimp and scallop soup was simple yet so complex in flavor. It's a place where you order a zillion dishes to share, and let your inner fat kid have a field day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Service and food were amazing. Our waitress was one of the best I have had in a very long time. Food was great, excellent variety.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.