PABU - Boston

4.5
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706 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Japanese
Chef Michael Mina and Chef Ken Tominaga bring forth PABU, a modern take on traditional Izakaya-style dining to Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood, located on the second level of the Millennium Tower. PABU presents a contemporary take on Japanese-style dining traditions, using modern technique and presentation to amplify time-honored recipes and market-fresh ingredients. PABU will source the finest of shellfish and seafood directly from New England¹s waterways, as well as from Japan¹s famed Tsukiji Market. The extensive menu of sharable items is ideal for convivial dining ­ guests can choose between Cold Small Plates, Hot Small Plates, Sushi, Robatayaki, Large Plates, PABU Steaks, and Dessert. Not to be missed is Ken Tominaga¹s omakase nigiri ­ an experience of culinary expressionism, boasting beautiful courses of Edo-style nigiri served two pieces at a time - also offered with an optional sake pairing. Combining rustic, old-world Japanese charm with modern, sophistication.

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What 706 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Found the food a bit pricy given the portion and sizes. Quality of the food was amazing, and service was outstanding.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Overall is good, but I hope the service can be better at this price.
My entree came until my friend finished hers. Huge disappointing.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

I went to PABU before. it was perfect. However, I came here today for dine out Boston. The $38 dinner is just a LITTLE! Every dish is less than normal time. For the man uni don it’s smaller than a teacup! We even ordered another Maki and we were still hungry.feel so disappointed this time.

FP
New England
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience3

We had a very disappointing evening. We attended for the Dine Out Boston Week - we could have gone anywhere in the city but wanted to check out Pabu. When we checked in with the hostess they brought us to a table of two...but there were three of us (made the reservation for 3). I had to get up to ask for someone to order a bottle of wine - we waited 12 minutes for anyone to come over. Our waiter was totally clueless - in the middle of us ordering dinner he said “be right back” and proceeded to assist a few other tables and returning 10 MINUTES after. It truly was one of the worst dining experiences - would is just whatever. This is my first time ever leaving a bad review on Open Table but I’m just so upset I wasted my time and money when there’s so many great and pleasant restaurants in Boston!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience5

food came very slow... wasnt worth the hype

MG
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat at the Sushi Bar and one of the Sushi Chefs (Ray) was incredibly helpful in providing us a unique experience. All of the sushi provided was delicious and the drinks were great, as well. Definitely intend on returning.

y
New England
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely stunning experience. Authentic Japanese style sushi. My partner and I are both from China and a Chinese sushi chef came and explained everything about sushi for us in Chinese. He also showed us a sushi book that from the restaurant library and told us about history of Pabu - the owner is from Japan with multiple restaurants around the US (SF, Bos, NYC) and his son also does sushi and has earned a Michelin star in Japan. I would say it's probably the best sushi restaurant in Boston, especially if you are looking for traditional Japanese-style nigiris.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent once again. Great hidden vibe. Front desk staff could use some work in terms of professionalism and comfort. Service fantastic. Susie the sake expert helped us pick an amazing cold sake. Food came out in a timely manner. Excellent fresh fish. Excellent maki rolls. You will not be disappointed.

LG
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for my birthday dinner and it was amazing! All the food is fresh and wonderfully put together, we each had two sushi rolls and the gyoza, seaweed salad, and tuna poke appetizers

A
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Early Valentine’s Day dinner. Everything was great except when the guy picking up the empty dishes dropped one on me and got my $500 suit dirty in food. Never got an apology or even a free drink... point being nothing was done to make it right. Then 5 minutes later the same guy dropped another dish and it fell under a women’s table and he bent down and picked it up. She was not happy with him under the table near her. This guy was a disaster. Besides that food was great.

GF
New England
28 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pabu was really wonderful! The food was outstanding, and Chris, the sushi chef, was professional, engaging, and even managed to get me to appreciate uni! Our server and bartender were also great, giving us all sorts of suggestions. And the space is beautiful. It reminds me of a restaurant we went to in Tokyo, Gonpachi Shibuya. That's high praise!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant ever

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KA
New England
41 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Definitely some of the best Japanese food I’ve had in the US. Makes for a lovely date night. Wish I could afford to go more often

S
New England
43 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really fantastic. We love Asian food and Pabu had lots of variety. Service and atmosphere was great. We will go back.

T
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Food was great but being asked to wait 40 minutes for an 8pm reservation is a bit much. A restaurant organization as good as Michael Mina should be able to manage their tables and reservations a bit more professionally.

OT
New England
10 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Great food but service very slow.

BS
New England
134 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing selection of incredible sushi.

LL
New England
5 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

much of the food (especially the sushi and sashimi) was excellent and clearly very fresh but the skewers were nothing special, especially for the price. I've had better for less. i wouldn't dissuade a friend from going and i myself am willing to return if someone wanted to go there, but nothing about it compels me to make it a regular stop in my dining life. for me, it's a matter of value. i enjoyed the food, but at the same price point, I personally would opt to go elsewhere. this is only my opinion, obviously!

s
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

WOW! I was craving sushi and had never heard of Pabu. IT. WAS. AMAZING.

Fantastic service from the moment we walked in, warm washcloths to clean your hands, SUPER helpful server (Jason) helped me pick the perfect wine, incredible gyoza and edamame appetizers, the sushi was phenomenal. Freshwater eel, yellowtail, and salmon sashimi were our favorites. We also had several delicious rolls. For dessert the Japanese doughnuts - SO GOOD we practically licked the plate clean. Fluffy, warm, soft...rolled in sesame...sweet sauce - everything you want in a dessert. Just enough but not too much. Perfect to share.

I cannot wait to make this place one of my go-tos. Was $$$$ for sushi but worth EVERY penny!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Pabu is now my favorite sushi place in Boston! It’s a bit pricy, but the food is amazing!

SS
New England
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We went for my boyfriends birthday and the staff was great. They gave him a card wishing him for his birthday, signed by the entire staff. However, the menu on Sunday is limited and they don’t have the skewers which are delicious.

KS
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food. Good service. It’s a great place to eat and have an enjoyable evening.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food4service3ambience2

New Years Eve Prixe fix menu, food wasn’t bad, but nothing to blow your mind, however walking out with nearly a $700 bill was a bit of a shock.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

GP
New England
20 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

NYE omakase was delicious and the service great as always.

PF
Edinburgh
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great food but very expensive.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Really good food!

AQ
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our meal at Pabu. Food was great and our server Christina was excellent - very attentive and knowledgeable. We will be back.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My best friend has never had sushi in her life and this was the best place I know. The quality of the food was top notch and the service was incredible. I sat at the sushi bar and the chef was very informative with explaining the selection of seafood that we had questions about. I will definitely make my way back here soon!

OT
Baltimore
23 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Nice location, pleasant evening. Staff appeared disorganised and service could have been better.

CT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific atmosphere and food

E
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pretty good seafood. Great sushi.

JB
Toronto
8 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

All foods taste good, especially the sea bass.

C
New England
61 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The tasting menu with beverage pairings was wonderful, presenting a broad range of Japanese foods and flavors.

F
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Celebrated my mother's birthday here and the staff were very accommodating and we got a small ice cream cookie cake surprise at the end.

Our steal was delicious but did take a while to come out. Food was great but portions were a but small for the price.

Overall, would recommend this place.

TT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

My wife and I partook of the omakase course x2 (no pairings) + Michael's Negitoro + Ankimo. Each dish was tasty, and in particular, the nigiri course (consisting of ~6 selections) was very tasty. The staff also provided a nice hand-signed card and complimentary dessert for my birthday, which was a very nice gesture, though I note that this review would not have been negatively affected had they not gone that extra mile. >>>

For those who might want to know how PABU compares to other high-priced omakase restaurants in the Boston area such as O Ya, Café Sushi, Oishii Boston, and No Relation, I have eaten at all of those locations, and although it is not my place to authoritatively rank them, I can comment on quality, price, and satiety of the omakase course. >>>

QUALITY: PABU's variety and tastiness are on par with all other places. Note that it is not Edomae-style, so most of the courses do not consist of nigiri. >>>

PRICE: PABU is comparable to that of No Relation and Café Sushi, somewhat less than that of Oishii, and probably less than half that of O Ya. >>>

SATIETY: PABU's 8 courses are probably enough for the average eater, but those of you with bigger stomachs will probably need a few more dishes to feel sated, which, I note, you could do outside of the restaurant if you want to save on $$ ;) >>>

I am not personally fazed by slow service (especially when I'm not in a hurry, as was the case this evening), but since there are a lot of people out there who care about that aspect, I will acknowledge that service was notably slow (we were there for a little more than 2 hours total from entrance to exit). Even the chefs behind the sushi bar counter (at which we were seated) were themselves commenting that "the kitchen" was taking a while to come out with our courses; I believe they were making this comment because that meant they had to delay the preparation of their own contributions to the omakase course since there is a course order.

GV
New England
15 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as usual. I will admit we had dinner plans at a closer upscale steakhouse that night. However, we were at a ski expo and our last stop was at a booth advertising for skiing in Hokkaido, Japan. After seeing pictures of sushi, we decided we wanted sushi instead and cancelled our reservation making one instead at our favorite sushi restaurant, Pabu. We were greeted warmly by the hostess and seated at the right corner of the sushi bar, where we usually sit, and were instantly recognized by the expeditor as we have been here several times. Great care as usual was taken by the sushi chef to recommend particular fish and prepare an amazing nigiri meal for us. They always take great care of their patrons and in a manner that is not at all intrusive but warm and friendly. Prices as as one would expect for the service, food, and experience. Definitely will be back when we are in Boston and hungry for sushi!

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Miso Soup with clams was fire! Sushi was also very good!

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience4

Food excellent but WAY overpriced. There are many excellent other japanese restaurants with comparable food with more reasonable cost in Boston.

OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food with exceptional service. Our server made sure that we would make it to our show at the Orpheum and still have a fantastic meal. Everything was very fresh. The restaurant itself was a little difficult to find the door to but once inside, the ambiance was warm and inviting.

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