101 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111Neighborhood:
Financial District / Embarcadero
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.pabuizakaya.com/
- Phone: 4156687228x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: M-F (opening soon)
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 WinnerJapanese
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
PABU reviews from OpenTable diners
111 reviews since April 22, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (81)hot spot (60)special occasion (58)vibrant bar scene (56)good for groups (38)romantic (32)notable wine list (22)neighborhood gem (13)late-night find (11)great for outdoor dining (10)great for lunch (6)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (2)great for brunch (2)Show More
- Beautiful meal experience!OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 8/17/2014Every 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:
- Good Japanese FoodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/17/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OverratedHMLMaynardVIPDined on 8/16/2014Nothing like the hype in recentagazine article. Really mediocre sushi without any chef sauce so has to use soy and wasabi. Nothing worth returning forSpecial Features:
- Great spot!sfdiningDined on 8/16/2014Food 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Foodie FindJessFVIPDined on 8/16/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PabuOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 8/16/2014We 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing Anniversary Night!Novastar55Dined on 8/15/2014Went 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not a good dinner choice.lunchgirlVIPDined on 8/14/2014Probably great for a business lunch, but sitting at a table for 2 near the sushi bar was like eating in a cafeteria--bright overhead lights and no ambience whatsoever. The booths for 4 looked better, but overall the interior has too many features of the past--pink granite floors in the atrium, etc.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best new restaurant in SF?OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 8/13/2014Arguably the best new restaurant in San Francisco, which as all of the locals know is a difficult thing to achieve. The tasting menu in the sushi bar is out of this world. Possibly the best sushi the two of us have ever had in any city. Carlo in the bar is mixing up some absolutely delightful cocktails, especially the ones made from Japanese Scotch Whiskey. Kudos to Anthony, Daniel and Carlo for making Pabu my new personal favorite in SF!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabuloussfw70Dined on 8/11/2014This was our first visit and as it hasn't been officially reviewed yet, we were not sure what to expect. We know the chef's other sushi restaurant in Rohnert Park which is outstanding and likely the best sushi you can get in Sonoma County. It's no surprise the food was so incredible. We had the prix fixe menu for $95/person and we had wine and beer. The courses were beautiful and every single fish/piece of seafood was absolutely pristine. One of the best dining experiences we've had lately with really no miss-steps at all. The chef came out twice to talk about our experience. It was nice to be able to tell him how incredibly delectable his food was.Special Features:
- BrunoVIPDined on 8/11/2014Best Japanese in San Francisco, though certainly not the cheapest. Service very friendly
- Nothing SpecialReviewerNicknameVIPDined on 8/10/2014Why nothing is wrong with the food or service at Pabu there is nothing special either and it is a bit pretentious for what the food and place is. Since the prices are on the upper end there are many superior Japanese restaurants in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.
- Great place for special occasionHappyfleeceDined on 8/9/2014We celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary here and the food, staff and service were excellent! The Omakase is a must try here...nigiri with fish so fresh and the presentation of each dish was lovely! Be sure to get the wine pairing to get the full experience. Upon arrival our table had a "Happy 16th Anniversary" card with a nice message inside and signed by all the staff...a nice gesture that we really appreciated. We couldn't have picked a better restaurant to celebrate our special day!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous Eveningjar321VIPDined on 8/8/2014Outstanding food and Out-Of-This World service! Everything went perfect for my wife's birthday celebration! We could not ask for more from PABU! They even greeted my wife with a birthday card signed by all the staff working that evening. Special Thanks to Ron Bonifacio, Asst. General Manager and Chris Chair, Waiter who made our evening so enjoyable! Both are very friendly and professional! Right from the moment you walk in the whole staff, starting with the receptionist are very friendly and helpful. We will certainly recommend this place to our family and friends. I am also sure this was our first of many visits to PABU! Thanks! John A Richards and FamilySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Exceptional ExperienceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/7/2014The food was exceptional and the sushi-sake pairings masterful. Delighted to see your success!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good SushiAlwaysHungryVIPDined on 8/6/2014The sushi was really fresh and reasonably priced considering the location. It seems like they make up for the reasonably priced sushi elsewhere. For example, the strawberry scallop was delicious but they seemed like very tiny bits for $16. I highly recommend the monterey squid okonomiyaki. It seemed like the opposite of the strawberry scallop because it's only $10 and the portion is a good size and delicious!Special Features:
- Food was great.OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 8/5/2014There were a few issues with service but management was on top of it which made our experieince much more enjoyable. When the food did come out it was excellent. I am looking forward to going back.Special Features:
- Michael, Je t'adoreMMagdaleneVIPDined on 8/5/2014I mean where do I begin. If you love Japanese cuisine then you need to go to Pabu. Michael Mina partnered with the right people and outcome is simply divine. From the Bloomfield spinach to the squid to every single item in the Robataki menu- it was all amazing. Cocktails were on point also. Also. if you love whiskey, this is the place for you. Going back 1,000 times.Special Features:
- Amazing foodLatepDined on 8/4/2014Just open and we loved it. Really amazing tasting menu, totally worth it! The service needs a bit of work, but they just opened so it was excusable. Regardless, food was great and the fish tasted really fresh.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Its OKdinkohVIPDined on 8/2/20143.5 stars. Trendy and fancy menu. But, I believe overall it's over-priced. Food is tasty, but rather on the salty and too sweet side. Portions are small, so you have to order a lot, which adds in price. Nice date place.
- Needs workOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 8/2/2014We had heard that this new place was going to be great considering the roots of the chef. Very impressed with the space, the bar and the selections of saki, shoji & whiskey were outstanding! The staff was very attentive and well educated about all the dishes. We decided to try the tasting menu thinking its the best way to sample the cross selection of the chef. Unfortunately we were disappointed. The menu items were uninspiring and repetitive. It basically was a long drawn out menu of sushi pieces prepared similarly. Nothing to inventive with each piece of sushi and the the worst part was the quality of the sushi was poor including the uni which was old and tasteless. Fresh uni should be bright in color and almost sweet to the taste.Special Features:
- Wonderful experience.CeCeMDined on 8/1/2014Took my friend for her annual birthday dinner. Service was great. Staff were attentive. Food came out on time and very delicious. Ordered the Karaage. OMG! Would have ordered a second serving but we had other food in mind. Unagi was mouthwatering. Had the Surf & Turf - beef wagyu & lobster. Perfection. Met Chef Ken and took a picture with him. Very nice and personable person. I will definitely come back and focus on the sushi menu.Special Features:
- GREAT.... but18andRhodeVIPDined on 7/31/2014A bit of everything — Sushi Bar, Isakaya Menu, Omakases menu. Wine menu and Sake menu. You get the impression that they want to cover all their bases. We ordered off their sushi bar and isakaya menu and some dishes were spot on and some were misses. The atmosphere and service made up for the above average food and pricey fare.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AngryaustinDined on 7/31/2014Very loud with after work crowd but get the omakaseSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pabu 2014woosmileyVIPDined on 7/29/2014Delicious food, decent service and great ambience!Special Features:
- Pabu-Chef Ken at his bestsrofjcDined on 7/29/2014First visit to the Tominaga/Mina venture although have dined many times at the best sushi restaurant in Sonoma county - Hana Sushi. Vibrant bar scene, attentive service, and impeccable dishes with the best quality products. Ken commutes every day from Santa Rosa and is hands on in the operation and food service. Wish it was closer to home, would be my go to place for the best in highest quality Japanese cuisineSpecial Features:
- Sushi BarFoodie415VIPDined on 7/26/2014Pretty good food. Wasn't too thrilled with "Happy Spoon" app. Ikura over powered the whole taste. However, hamachi sashimi was very fresh and delicious. Service in the beginning wasn't up to par, but definitely got better toward the middle of our dinner. Space is pretty simple on the sushi bar side but looked like has a fun bar area with nice red couches. Our favorite was the melt in your mouth cod! It was just heavenly. so was the soy-carmel custard. I would go back and do the tasting menu.Special Features:
- Good food/drinks dirty glassesOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/26/2014My wife and I ordered the omakase with wine/sake pairings each. All sashimi was pretty good and so was the drink pairings. We felt that the service was a bit rushed, it may have been because we were 15 minutes late. One issue I had is my wine glass was not very clean, so I told the waiter and he brought a different glass, but than again the glass he brought was also not very clean. This is just something I really hate to see at a restaurant where I am paying premium prices for food. I most likely will not go again considering the price and the bad experience with the dirty glasses.
- Great SushisftravelerVIPDined on 7/25/2014Great use of the space, food was excellent, service was top notch.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pabu Reviewmephy9Dined on 7/24/2014The restaurant is still new, so it might not have it all together yet. Overall, the food was below expectation for a MM restaurant. The setting and service were great. I also had a great sake recommendation from the specialist, but the food lacked. The selection in fish was underwhelming, the selection in robata was underwhelming. The quality of the fish was barely above average for SF. The robata was quite delicious, but so overpriced. The okonomiyaki was amazing, hands down. Get it. My recommendation is to wait a bit longer until everything is is more fluid at the restaurant.Special Features:
- A spontaneous special occasionOttoLovesToEatDined on 7/24/2014What started out as a regular "let's try a new place out tonight" turned into a special dining experience. The "Omakase" Chef's tasting menu with wine pairing sounded too good to pass up. We started with "happy spoons" of oyster, uni and ponzu creme fraiche that was so good, we wished it came in a "happy ladle" serving size. We were brought 16 different types of fresh fish in the form of nigiri - from sea bream to tuna to snow crab. Each grouping of 4 was served with a different wine or sake, and the flavors went from very crisp and light to more complex. After the fish, came a small dish of shabu shabu. Our server was delightful, and we were treated like royalty! What a great night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great addition to MM portfolioG8FOODDined on 7/21/2014Everything and everyone was incredible. They had a tasting menu but was almost all sushi. We created a tasting menu between the two of us. 5 cold items, 4 hot items, tasting platter of yakkatori ( 8 skewers ), shared 1 entree, 1 dessert.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good, but not worth the pricePolyglotVIPDined on 7/21/2014I work a block away from here, so was very excited to try it as soon as it opened. The space is amazing, the service is impeccable, and every dish is thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented. However, almost nothing we ate left an impression that has stuck with me for the few days since. We wanted to try the Japanese A5 Beef, but got it in one of the least expensive formats (two pieces of nigiri "sushi"). It was fine, but still not worth the money. The bill for two people for dinner with a couple of drinks and a shared dessert was almost $300. It might make sense for a business dinner or a special date...? I'm looking forward to trying the Ramen Bar next door (owned/run by the same people) - maybe that will be more my speed.Special Features:
- Let's See...Here's a Bad TableJimJVIPDined on 7/19/2014So much was enjoyable; however, it took awhile to recover from being offered, perhaps, the worst table in the restaurant (by the service station)--even though we had a reservation and the room was only about 10% occupied due to the early hour. We were dressed just fine, we were polite to the hostess, and yet we were lead past several excellent tables in order to get to the far end by the service area. Why? The couple who entered just ahead of us, with no reservation, was given an excellent table, so I'm at a loss.Special Features:
- Bordering on transcendent...ErikaSFVIPDined on 7/17/2014Nothing transcends a diner like the latest from Michael Mina! My husband knows a lot about Japanese food, and we were excited to try Pabu. We had nice seats at the end of the sushi bar, where we ordered the tasting menu. Plates of progressively rich nigiri were put before us with a beverage pairing. I was overjoyed, beginning with the Happy Spoon first bite continuing to the peach and sorbet dessert. The final savory course of wagyu beef was also excellent. The dining room is beautiful, and was filled with a glamorous and enthusiastic crowd.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not worth the priceZizzDined on 7/17/2014Went for my birthday looking for some great izakaya fare. Service was friendly and even gave me a card signed by the staff, cocktails were excellent, but the food was pretty hit or miss, and the portions were generally quite small for what you were paying for. I understand the small portions angle, but frankly the food was often not executed well enough to warrant such a high price tag. Biggest offender was the dueling tempura, which was cold and soft. Additionally, my friend and I suffered horrible stomach aches the night after dining here (we did not share the same lunch, so we just assumed it was from dinner). For the price, there are plenty of great bars and much better restaurants in the city. Probably will not return.Special Features:
- What a treatTable42VIPDined on 7/17/2014Happening place. Great ambience. The bar was hopping. Food is unique and delicious. Our group focuses on the cold salads and hot skewers. Everything was delicious. As an added bonus the scotch selection is pretty darn good. I recommend this place for its food, its service, its cool ambience, and reasonable prices.Special Features:
- Jury is still out...CityGirlVIPDined on 7/14/2014Food was delicious and not salty! But portions are extremely tiny for the price. We shared the seafood shabu-shabu and the miso cod. Desserts (coffee jelly and soy caramel, sake jelly roll cake) were delicious without being too heavy. and they are normal portions for desserts. The Ramen Bar next door to Pabu has the same sized jelly roll cake slice for half the price that Pabu charged. But, it did not have the small scoop of coconut ice cream and the few sliced berries. We did not try the sushi, but the plates of sushi had very small pieces of fish. Decor felt like we were sitting at a fishing village.
- PABU was okayBK13Dined on 7/13/2014Overall, I rate this restaurant as fair. The food was good and the service is great. The restaurant itself is very nice. However, and these are the reasons I would not return to PABU or recommend it, the value is very poor (i.e. the cost was too high for the food) and second, the options are overwhelming. There's just too much going on for an American audience not familiar with Japanese cuisine (other than sushi or ramen, of course). I went for the $95 tasting option to avoid decision paralysis. Hence, the large bill and the less than satisfactory feeling!Special Features:
- Wonderful new restaurant!FoodieloveDined on 7/12/2014Now I remember what good sushi tastes like...this place is a must try! Wonderful, vibrant atmosphere, great staff and service, and delicious food. My group of 3 did the tasting menu with pairings and it was magnificent. I had to replace the sake with wine--and their wine selection was on point!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.