PABU
PABU

PABU

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.pabuizakaya.com/
  • Phone: 4105765800x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner Only:
    Bar & Lounge: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm – Close;
    Dining Room: Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm,
    Friday – Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Jonah Kim
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: PABU's intimate and exquisite Tatami Room is the ideal venue for small business dinners and festive events in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or hosting a private dinner, PABU's team of award-winning chefs will create the perfect menu for you.
  • Private Party Contact: Shannon Toback 8667581538
  • Special Events: PABU can accommodate both large and small parties for dinner. The restaurant is available to reserve in its entirety. Please see the Private Party description for additional information.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: The Charm City Circulator has a stop for the Orange and Green lines located 1 block away from the restaurant entrance.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: The PABU entrance is located on Aliceanna St across from the Marriott Waterfront. PABU cannot be accessed directly through the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore lobby.
A word from PABU
Founded by Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga of Hana Sushi, PABU is modelled on traditional Japanese drinking establishments and takes it name from the Japanese phonetic translation of “pub.” We honour this inspiration with an extensive beverage menu featuring Asian beers and wines, Asian-inspired cocktails, and a list of more than 100 sakes. PABU also offers small plates, items from our robata grill, and sushi and sashimi.
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PABU reviews from OpenTable diners
12 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
71% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (8)special occasion (7)hot spot (6)vibrant bar scene (3)notable wine list (3)scenic view (2)neighborhood gem (2)good for groups (2)romantic (1)Show More
  • PGHFANVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    It took a few minutes to get attention and seated by the host, but once we did - we had an amazing meal. I can't believe they are closing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Last Meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    So sad to see the best Sushi spot in Baltimore closing it's doors. We had to go for one more final supper.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    Student
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    The food was mediocre at best, and I think that's because they're closing soon. But that's not an excuse. The octopus poke was pre-sliced and sitting on a plate in the fridge, they ran out of uni but didn't tell me and my dining partner until we ate the happy spoon dish and realized it wasn't on it. The chef's excuse was that uni was "expensive." We wouldn't have ordered the happy spoon if we knew there wouldn't be uni. The pork belly and skirt steak skewers were extremely tough and bland. Maybe the real chefs had left the restaurant already because they're closing in a few days, but this was some of the worst sushi I've had in Baltimore.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fancy Japanese
    SurferBob
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    My daughter loves all things Japanese and she choose this place for her birthday. The service was very good and we had a wonderful sake called Thousand Dreams. The sushi was better than Sushihana but not as good as the Bento Box in Wilmington NC which we love.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We'll miss you Pabu
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Along with Charleston, Pubu was the finest restaurant in Baltimore. Wonderful and unique cuisine; freshest sashimi; extensive sake list. Bad things are often caused by bad people.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sad to see it go
    paige29VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    last meal here wasn't the best but I am still upset that PABU left Baltimore. The quality and freshness of the fish was always 5 stars as well as the service. The prices weren't cheap but if you appreciate good quality sashimi and like to try new and different foods then this was your spot. We stuck with our usual dishes (ribs, soft shell crab roll, amberjack, spinach salad). Desserts are nothing great. I am excited to see what comes next.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • what
    apriloyster
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    We ordered 5 dishes - they came out all at once. Food was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyed the food
    Ange
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Good food. Sat at bar area so service wasn't perfect. Happy hour is a great deal. Otherwise good is a bit pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 4 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 321 reviews are from the PABU reviews archive.
  • Very very disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    This is my 4th time at Pabu and each time is more expensive than the last and it just isn't that great for the price. This visit was my wife and I and we ate at the bar. We ordered the sushi sampling of 7 pieces which had a set cost. We asked if we could select our own fish for it and were told yes. Well that's not the case. We were charged a la cart for each selection which took what should have been a $150 bill for 2 up to $300! It's not the money but the horrid explanation of the waiter. We were very specific and I double checked prior to ordering. When questioned after the bill arrived his answer was "oh, I thought I was clear" which makes me upset as he himself didn't understand the menu. I won't be going back ever again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hmm...
    Bellanera1
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The food was good, but very pricey for what you got. I took my husband there for his birthday. Definitely a place more suited for special occasions. Gorgeous interior and friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great find
    christine
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    this was our first trial of pabu. the food was delicious with a creative spin on Japanese food, similar in feel to nobu's. the tapas style can make the prices moderate to extravagant in dining and the scene was equally cool w/ a lot of patrons dressed down and comfortable and others completely done up. great service!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic
    MmmFoodVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    This was my second time dining a Pabu and it was as equally as good as my first visit. The service is excellent and their recommendations are spot-on. The food is exceptional; every bite was fantastic. I highly recommend Pabu to anyone who is seeking a well-executed Japanese dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Glad we found it!
    Zdub
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    First time and pleasantly surprised. Had reservations and arrived a little early so we decided to have drinks at the bar. The bartenders were so helpful and knowledgeable that I cancelled that table and stayed at the bar. Had some skirt steak, hand-rolls, ribeye, and tuna. It was all great. Ran out of room for sushi but will be back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best sushi in Baltimore
    AlexK
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    You cannot go wrong with a good daiginjo sake and the chef's choice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyed my experience
    Dnai
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    I was entertaining clients here, no one was disappointed. Service was great, the food was amazing. We had a wonderful time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Food and Drinks!
    ErinF
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    I recently went to Pabu for my first time this week and the experience was amazing! I had heard amazing recommendations from friends and foodies in the area so I had to try it out! We had amazing drinks (if you like vodka, try the Kawatsuru Mule) and lots of great small plates! I highly recommend the Ken's Roll, the Berkshire Pork Country Ribs and the Maryland Crab Okonomiyaki!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anthony is MIA
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    Pubu remains wonderful but we miss the positive energy of Anthony Kin, their recently departed GM. The cuisine remains supreme; the fluke was perfection; the quail, wings and BBQ ribs were all tasty, and the sushi & sashimi were fresh, delicate and delicious. Our server, Moe is one of the best in Baltimore, very intelligent, helpful, and friendly. The wine list and sake list are extensive and the staff is very knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exciting find in Harbor East
    drj1VIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    What a wonderful evening. We chose the tasting menu and that was a smart thing to do. Although the 6 courses are a lot to eat. I would still recommend it if you are not familiar with either the restaurant or Japanese food. Each course was very different and each excellent in its own way. We particularly loved the sunshine spoon, the spinach, the ribs and the fried chicken wings. Sushi was beautifully fresh but don't just do sushi if you go to Pabu. The service was flawless and i am really particular about that. thank you Julia! The wine by the glass list is a bit short, but there are great varieties of saki and you can experiment with several varieties by the glass. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WoW!
    Foodie4U
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    This restaurant was all I hoped for and more. The tasting menu paired with the drink tasting menu was awesome. If you are in Baltimore, it is a must.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Scenic View, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good eats
    CJ5A
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Portions were on the small side, but the waiter let us know that. The restaurant was out a few of the recommended dishes which unfortunate. Prices were a little on the high side.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of the best in the city
    WMColmes14VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    great food, fresh and flavorful. Servers are knowledgeable. creative dishes as well as classics. best sushi in the city by far.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • americanized japanese
    ItIsWhatItIsFoodCritic
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    We love sushi and we were expecting to experience new food items, however; we were very disappointed. Most of the menu items are americanized and are very expensive. We don't mind to pay more, but it wasn't worth it. They don't even have "hot sake", instead they serve all cold sakes with many different fruity favorites. Our bill came to $140 with two drinks. Again, we don't mind to pay more, but it wasn't worth it. We prefers RA sushi down the street instead. Also, one of the assistant have body odor issue that I have to turn away whenever she close by.
    Special Features:
    Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Night Out at Pabu
    CharlieVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Pabu is a restaurant that makes you feel more glamorous for dining there. I was looking for a place to take new friends - I'm so glad I selected Pabu. I had dined there once before when it just opened and was finding its rhythm. Its even better now. Beautiful design, handcrafted cocktails, great food with wonderful attention to detail. You'll spend some coin for your night out - and this restaurant deserves every dollar they charge.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Scenic View, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding sushi experience!
    ALS1
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Pabu is world class with sushi options rarely found outside Japan. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and service
    Tori
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    We went for my husband's 50th and received just the right amount of extra attention without going overboard. Food and service was excellent!! The weather was cold and rainy, but still enjoyed a wonderful view of the harbor.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional Evening at PABU
    StirredNotShaken
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    PABU is a real gem in Harbor East. From top to bottom, it meets all the things on our checklist for a terrific dining experience. The staff recommendations were helpful in every way. The menu does not do the food presentation and taste justice -- like the Happy Spoons -- they were phenomenal!! My wife and I had several different items, all of which were bursting with flavor and each complimenting the other items. Exceptional evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just about the best food ever
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Just about the best food ever - every course was grade A - service was first rate - one of the best dining experiences ever - will surely return and bring friends
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sushi was excellent--however
    winterworks
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    sushi was excellent--however cooked food was only ok
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service!
    Locavoris
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Our waiter was easily half of the great experience at Pabu; he was engaging, knowledgeable, attentive and funny. Pabu has obviously taken great care to train their waitstaff--the others we engaged with were also extremely knowledgeable. Above, I checked off notable wine list, but it really should read notable sake list; there is an unbelievable number of sakes on it. We had the tasting menu and found some interesting new tastes--burdock root being one of them (not on the menu--a surprise to our waiter also.) The chicken wings and short ribs were exceptional. Pabu is not your average Japanese restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anorexic
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Dining experience: N=1, so might be an outlier. Cons: 1. Specific table requests not honored. My wife did manage to get us a place we both liked after a what seemed way too long conversation given that the place was half empty. 2. The main waiter was not very pleasant and nowhere to be found when needed (place was not full). I had to remind the other waiters what was ordered on 3 occasions. For the spoilt ones among you: 3. Seaweed salad is not the usual variety - no algae! 4. No matcha but the sencha is great and temperature just perfect! 5. Limited menu Pros: Food quality and taste compares well with top restaurants anywhere in the States/Europe.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and exceptional service.
    annaVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    We were greeted on arrival and was escorted to our table immediately. I would highly recommend making reservations. The service was exceptional.I ordered 2 Hot small plates 2 Robatayaki &Ken's roll. I ordered only 2 plates at a time as I wasn't sure how my parents would enjoy this type of cuisine. Our waitress was very friendly and made recommendations and did not pressurize us to order more at any point in time! I have been to restaurants wherein they have insisted I order at least 4 small plates to begin with & would not leave the table until I did!! But here, there was no pressure and they bring out one plate at a time. Cocktails were fabulous. I loved the super X and the Katsura. They also have a tasting menu which looked really good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • fresh light and clean
    paige29VIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    always a good experience at pabu...food was exceptional however our server was not so much...she seemed to be quite busy and could have used some extra hands...wings were delicious as well as the rolls and scallop and tuna sashimi...will come back regardless of the service because the food is that good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, scenic view, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    PrincessSophia
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Heard such good things but got the feel of a Chinese Buffet or something rather than a nice restaurant. Menu had few selections- few roll selections after Reading how wonderful sushi was:) Server was polite but of little help when it came To bridging the gap of small selection and guest Desires. Rolls were small and average when came to taste. Not the worse dining experience ever but I don't Feel the need to ever go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing dinner. Now I know
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Amazing dinner. Now I know the best place for sushi in Baltimore I won't be going anywhere else.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food...only one problem
    Right322VIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Getting in an out of the restaurant was an issue. It took 5-10 minutes to valet the car and 10 minutes for the valet to get the car when we left. And we had to drive separately so this service cost $20 before we even had a cocktail. That said, the food was very good and our cocktails were made perfectly. You shouldn't leave without getting the country ribs. They were worth the tip alone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still my favorite Japanese in Bmore
    winetigerVIP
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Open after their water issue. Still as good as ever - the sushi is great, but it is the ventures outside of sushidom that also reward AND, notable for a Japanese restaurant anywhere, they pay attention to the wine. One of my favorite places in Bmore.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Welcome Back!
    cherieireneVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    After a few months closure it's great to see Pabu back. Perusing the extensive menu plus additional specials list over their newest Spring cocktail, the Kawatsura mule (infused strawberry and shiso vodka, lime, strawberry honey, ginger beer) we were excellently guided with suggestions by our wonderful waiter, Brian. We dabbled through every menu section, with some specials added in. Of note were the "Happy Spoon", Maryland crab okonomiyaki, and Pabu wings. Loved the special fried brussel sprouts. On to sashimi and nigiri, we wisely opted for chef's choice for a variety of tasting. Fresh, visually beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. A lovely sake suggested by knowledgable staff rounded out our wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, scenic view, late-night find, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique dishes & the freshest sushi!
    MyFancyPalate
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    My beau and I went here for dinner. Not as busy as I thought it would be on a Saturday night. Initially, requested the sushi bar, but glad we were unable to get these seats. I would say the hightops are the best seats in the house unless you sit by the window facing the water, which appeared to only have tiny tables or have a large group. Service was top notch, food was beyond our expectations. Can't wait to go do it again! Must try the Happy Spoon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    Erin
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Great place for a date night. Wonderful atmosphere and service. Delicious food and sake. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellence in Baltimore
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    The food at Pabu is VERY good. The dining experience at Pabu is really very much like taking an amazing trip to Japan and eating only the best, exceptional foodl! That being said, it is in no way overwhelming or too exotic at all and the best thing we tried were the RIBS!!! While the food and drinks (amazing sake and Japanese whiskeys) are stars, the service turns the experience into a very memorable occasion. Every person we encountered from the valet, to the receptionists, and ESPECIALLY our waiter was helpful, inviting, accommodating, and FUN in every way. I eat out often around the country, and you will not be disappointed with an evening at Pabu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.