PABU - San Francisco

4.7
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1034 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Japanese
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 - San Francisco 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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What 1034 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had our team celebration over lunch and decided to order family style. We ordered couple of hot appetizers and it was good! We ordered Scallops, Toro, Salmon Belly, Yellow Tail and Uni Nigiri and all of them were delicious and so fresh! The hand rolls were pretty good too most especially the Ken Roll! The highlight of the meal was the happy spoon 😊 will definitely comeback!!!!

a
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, excellent quality!!!

OT
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was above average, but service was friendly but very slow.

SC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Stellar sushi, stellar service. The quality of the fish was outstanding and the waiter's sake recommendation was right on. I will definitely be back.

MA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Business lunch

GG
Chicago
48 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

There are better places for sushi. We waited for at least 1/2 hour or more to get our starters of robata grill items. We were sitting at the sushi bar and luckily, the sushi chef escalated. They finally delivered, beef heart and chicken thigh were very tasty. Ordered some sashimi - tuna, salmon, yellow tail - all fine, but not any different from any less expensive sushi restaurant.

Place was very busy so service was lacking.

j
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and service!

MK
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

It used to be excellent. This time very low quality food and service was meh.

CN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food quality continue to be superb. Can’t go wrong with Pabu

s
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

High quality, fresh seafood, great taste. Quick service gets you in and out during lunch

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Super fun! Great food, service and ambience!!

GS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An extraordinary Epicurean evening with excellent service and the very best Japanese art food we've ever experienced. Stuart, the sake sommelier, was a true master and a great conversationalist. We will go back many times in the future.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Not wowwwww.

CC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent from beginning to end

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unexpectedly seated us in a private space - perfect! Service was phenomenal given we were not in the main dining room. Our drinks and meals arrived promptly and our water glasses were never empty. Meal service the way it should be!

BR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing Sake Sommelier named Stuart! He’s one of a select few Master Sake Sommeliers in the world. He’s world class. Great Nigiri and Sashimi as well!

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a delightful experience my boyfriend and I had for his birthday dinner. We wanted to fine dining restaurant and thats exactly what we got, but with stellar execution without paying an arm and a leg. The fish was fresh, well cut and we LOVED the "outside" dining area/ambiance. We will be back and not just for special occasions!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

PABU was fantastic. The food was amazing, exceeding my expectations and then some. They had a full house, but the food came out very fast. I loved the music that was playing, a perfect vibe for an upscale sushi restaurant. I was in and out of the restaurant quickly, which is what I wanted, but there was never any pressure to leave after I finished eating. The staff was incredibly nice, professional, knowledgeable, and had amazing attention to detail. A manager came over to check on me after my food arrived, which just put the cherry on top of the whole experience. Well done PABU!

ER
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Disappointed that uni was replaced by scallops in the pre fixe menu. Didn’t care for squash sushi in the pre fixe menu (can be left out).

R
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, consistent service...wine at lunch is tooo expensive!

VB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

I was hosting a high school classmate from Mexico with friends and PABU was an excellent choice. The service was very good, although it was challenging to find our waitperson a couple of times. Also, a piece of Tokyo friend chicken karage in one of our orders was under cooked and our waitperson immediately took it to the kitchen and it the entire order was replaced -- great response and turnaround time. Our meal was delicious, we were not rushed and the staff was welcoming. PABU made a great impression.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice, as always

OT
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

cute for a night out with the girls, a date, or a birfhday!! the staff here is incredible & i’ll definitely be back! also recommend the Citrus cocktail- soo good.

OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

rotating cocktail menu 😍 clean sashimi 😍 attentive servers 😍 lovely location 😍 this was always a dream happy hour/small bites bar. Try to get a booth in the bar area if you can!

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Service and food was incredible. It was FREEZING where we were seated, and despite being reassured they were warming it up, it never improved.

U
Los Angeles
126 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I generally like PABU but the service was very slow and little attention was paid to simple requests (I know, extra wasabi is a stretch...). The size of the sushi relative to the mound of rice looked like a penny sitting on a silver dollar so all in all, I’m not racing back anytime soon

W
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The main course was just ok. The main course food was tasty but not memorable. The dessert, however, was phenomenal. I will be dreaming about that custard dish for days.

F
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Good to try since it is Michael Minna's restaurant. Food is very average. Cocktail drinks selection is great.

d
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I was looking forward to this meal and was disappointed. I didn’t think the fire was amazing and for the price it should be

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for a wonderful birthday dinner. They accommodated nine people very well. Service was great and fast and staff were attentive to our needs. Food was always delicious. We loved the cocktails as well.

RG
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Came for lunch with a friend and shared their King Crab and Seaweed salad and two rolls. The salad had hardly any King Crab and the rolls were ho-hum, very ordinary for the price, not very fresh tasting. Will be heading back to Ozumo for sushi lunch next time.

ME
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always excellent food and service. Definitely my favorite

DD
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was good but outrageously priced. It was $250+ for our family of 4 to eat dinner. One drink each for my husband and myself. For food this expensive I expect more of a wow factor. Pieces and even rolls were very standard fare. I would have rated it higher if it were not for the outrageous prices.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible sashimi

WS
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite SF place for Sushi. It's so good, not too much rice. Simply delicious. I can just eat the Hawaiian Kampachi, the Yellowtail Nigiri, and the A5 Beef Nigiri and die a happy girl. I'll be back for sure.

S
San Francisco
270 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed another fantastic dinner at Pabu! The oysters h/s were delicious followed by ice cold Sapporo in a special can....... sushi/sashimi fresh and superbly prepared by their chefs. Service outstandingly provided by Sophia and Andrea. Can’t go wrong at Pabu if you are looking for authentic Japanese.

RC
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Wonderful restaurant, definitely try.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent sushi and sashimi choices, exceptional service and an awesome bar offering

CN
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The freshest sushi that I ever had! This place is a must anytime I am in San Francisco.

5
Hawaii
69 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

If you are looking for an upscale trendy Japanese restaurant, PABU is worth a visit. This restaurant is located right in the heart of San Francisco's Financial District. The restaurant serves sashimi, sushi and various tapas style dishes. The seafood and tapas style dishes are fresh and delicious served by a courteous wait staff. The restaurant has a large lounge area serving all kinds of cocktails and appetizers. PABU has an extensive sake' selection by the bottle but, in my opinion, the prices/mark up is "extremely high"! My recommendation is to order the jumai daiginjo, Kurozaemon PABU Label, by the carafe $48.00. This sake' is light, bright and slightly sweet with a clean finish. Pairs well with sashimi and traditional nigiri sushi. When ordering sake', be sure to ask your server for sake' cups, otherwise you will be drinking sake' out of wine glasses.

Since this restaurant is located in the Financial District, after work and dinner periods are packed and rather noisy. PABU is not your traditional Japanese restaurant, but is still a great place to visit and enjoy delicious food and drinks!

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