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101 California St. (Front St.) Send to Phone
415-668-7228 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
A refined, modern Japanese izakaya and sushi bar from chefs Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga.   Chef Michael Mina was GAYOT's 2011 Best Restaurateur in the US

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly

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Pabu, San Francisco, CA

Pabu Restaurant Review

: Energy --- in voice, volume and activity --- is the first note felt upon entering Pabu, Michael Mina's partnership with Sonoma chef Ken Tominaga (Hana Japanese Restaurant). The spacious and refined modern "izakaya" echoes the primary purpose of a true izakaya in spirit, as an after-work destination for drinking and small plates, but the menu is far more extensive, encompassing a range of Japanese styles normally kept separate in their home country: small plates, sushi, sashimi, tempura, robatayaki and shabu shabu, all of which can be ordered in assorted plates, à la carte or in the chef's omakase. Sushi is clean and cold with fish flown in from Japan's Tsukiji fish market. Tempura is crisp and fresh. House-made tofu is a highlight, creamy and as dense as panna cotta to the point of tempting you to ask for honey and have it as dessert. Wagyu beef in various preparations is another highlight. Desserts blend savory and mildly sweet in the Japanese tradition, such as coffee gelatin atop soy caramel custard. Wine, saké and an extensive array of Japanese whiskeys provide ample pairing opportunities, and aid from the wine and saké sommelier is an education addition to service.
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