Comfortably nestled in the heart of the Financial District is PABU Izakaya, your new favorite summer stop for the most exquisite and top-quality sushi and exclusive sake.
Effulgently located on 101 California St, PABU is the culinary masterpiece by renowned Michelin Chef Michael Mina and Chef Ken Tominaga, and this legendary collaboration has since naturally yielded high acclaim for their delicious food and exceptional interior and service.
Perfectly blending modern sophistication with traditional Japanese old-world culture, this must-visit restaurant will soon take further flight with an outdoor patio guaranteed to further add to its already enthralling experience.
Using the traditional Japanese izakaya as their inspiration, Tominaga and Mina had a mission to modernize and elevate it to become the perfect after-work bar experience, complete with cocktails and provisions as cutting-edge and contemporary as its surrounding business district home.
Upon walking in you will be fully amazed at not only the high ceilings and expansive bar that immediately greets you, but with the resplendence of its decor and personalized friendliness of their service.
Raised booths line the photogenic interior, with traditional Japanese dining rooms extending into the large latter half of the venue for spacious and intimate dining experiences.
Not only does PABU flawlessly exude its opulence throughout the atmosphere, but also consistently delivers the posh feeling through their creative and wide food menu. Praised as a "celebration of world-class sashimi," both chefs guarantee only the freshest and pristine quality of seafood, flown in daily from Japan's Toyosu Market renowned for their selection of A5 Japanese Wagyu.
Other robata grilled meats and classic Japanese fare are also generously offered, and we highly recommend ordering their rich Happy Spoon Oysters with tobiko and ponzu crème fraîche, refreshing Kaizo Seaweed Salad, and their comforting pork belly and Monterey Squid Okonomiyaki.
With Okonomiyaki being a traditional "drunk food" in Japan, PABU both honors and elevates this concept by sophisticating the plating and ingredients while still inviting everyone to come together and share it over convivial drinks.
When it comes to their Makimono or sushi rolls, you have to order their signature Ken's Roll with the lightest crispy shrimp tempura, creamy avocado and spicy tuna, all uniquely topped with pine nuts. The Crispy Spicy is another popular choice, living up to its straightforward name with yellowtail, spicy mayo, and eel sauce.
The swanky decor and divine food aren't the only places where PABU outstandingly shines, as their craft cocktail menu is just as coveted and ingenious. With a rotating seasonal menu, this summer features a nostalgic 80's video game arcade theme.
The Galactic Defender 9000 with distinct Toki, Umeshu, Yuzu, Pickled Umeboshi, and more, and their Tokyo Drift '88 highlighting Cachaça, Calpico, and Lychee Lemon-Salted Sakura Cordial both fit the throwback name while having an upscale mixology essence.
For those who enjoy a classic San Francisco espresso martini, you won't feel left out either with their Adventure Quest combining vanilla bean-infused Grey Goose and Japanese Instant Coffee for another perfectly balanced amalgamation of new and classic.
PABU's own incredibly knowledgeable and experienced Sake Master Stuart Morris.
As this summer heats up the city's Financial District, PABU will be the only undeniable spot to chill and refresh with their upcoming outdoor patio seating.
With their exceptionally talented and knowledgeable in-house Sake Master Stuart Morris, you are also promised a delightful and personalized sake tasting experience filled with insider stories on the sake-making process and Morris's own iconic journey into his prolific sake career!\
The M.Bison cocktail with cantaloupe-infused vida mezcal, fino sherry yuzu sherbet, umami salt, and more.
This innovatively lavish yet still true-to-their-roots restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with their can't miss Happy Hour from 4-5:30 p.m. for the most leisurely afternoon pick-me-up.
Valet parking is also offered just right across the street at 252 California Street for only $15. What will you try first?
Photography by: Mina Group