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
189 reviews since May 18, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (127)hot spot (96)special occasion (91)vibrant bar scene (89)good for groups (61)romantic (41)notable wine list (31)neighborhood gem (25)great for outdoor dining (17)late-night find (13)great for lunch (13)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (2)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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.
  • 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.
  • Memorable First Time There...
    EmbarcaderoEater1VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Great Food and great atmosphere. Went on a Thursday night, and the place was hopping. I would HIGHLY recommend Pabu to people that want good fun, great looking people and a fun evening.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pabu on a Thursday night
    Views
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Good martini, stellar oysters half shell, sublime nigiri, weak tempura and delicious duck. Back booth is best seat in house by large margin, you'll figure out why from first experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pairing Dilemma
    Teresa
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    The service was amazing. From the bartender who chatted with us as we waited for our reservation, to the water and napkin-folding genies, and our amazing server. She was so knowledgeable, friendly and fun. The food was delicious. The seaweed salad was the best I've ever had. But... We choose the tasting menu but wondered about the pairings. We asked about the pours. We were assured they where much smaller. This was not so. And while I can't believe I'm complaining about too much alcohol it was too much. I stopped drinking because I realized I was a bit drunk. Luckily I rode the Bart so I didn't worry about drinking and driving. I highly recommend the restaurant but also highly recommend not participating in the tasting/pairing menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful meal experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Every bit was beautiful in presentation and taste. The drinks were unique and sooooo good. The portions are quite small...so even after several hundred dollars spent on a party of 4 we all felt "not hungry" but not really sated. I realize that is a subjective feeling of preference or not for diners. The service was really excellent. Everyone knew what they were serving and was happy to answer questions. The only hard part was that it was really cold in the restaurant itself. So take a sweater and enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Japanese Food
    james4
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food was very well prepared. Every dish was great. Our waiter was quite attentive and gave us great service. The other personnel - assistant waiters, bus people, etc. were also very good.n The hosts also were really courteous and welcoming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated
    HMLMaynardVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Nothing like the hype in recentagazine article. Really mediocre sushi without any chef sauce so has to use soy and wasabi. Nothing worth returning for
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great spot!
    sfdining
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Food was prepared beautifully and everything was delicious! Highly recommend the happy spoon, the monterey squid and the american wagu and lobster. Robust sushi menu that was also delicious. Service was amazing and ambiance is nice, we had a great booth!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodie Find
    JessFVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The tasting menu was phenomenal. I've always wanted to try Uni (sea urchin) and was happy to get a taste during 2 courses on the tasting menu. Service was excellent. Enjoyed discovering sakes with the sake sommelier. I want to go again! I would also love to come back just for drinks. Their drink menu was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pabu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We arrived 10 mn early and we were to sit at the bar for 10 mn. They could have seated us immediately since the restaurant just opened. We tried the omakase menu. After the happy spoon, things became kinda repetitive, a quartet of fish kept arriving. The taste was great, but the presentation monotonous. We were relieved to see the shabu shabu arrive! The cherry sorbet dessert was absolutely refreshing. Next visit, we will try the regular menu. Excellent service! Will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Anniversary Night!
    Novastar55
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Went for a very special night and was not disappointed. It was a Friday so that would explain why the bar was so busy and bustling with activity. This made things a bit loud overall but still quite the enjoyable night. The service was impeccable and especially surprising was the reception from the entire team for our special night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.