A few weeks ago Sandra and Maria joined me for lunch at Pabu. We haven’t had lunch together since I started my new job so we were so happy to see each other. Pabu is located at 101 California Street in San Francisco, right next to my favorite ramen place, the Ramen Bar. Pabu is not listed in the Michelin guide, but I would keep watching and not be surprised if it is in the very near future!
The table setting is lovely. Fresh. Minimalist and clean. I loved the warmth of the wooden tables and the muted green colors of the banquette. The staff was friendly and since it was early we had a few moments to chat as I waited for Sandra and Maria.
During the month of August, Pabu has their “Out to Lunch” three course fixed price menu. For the first course, Sandra and I ordered the Ahi Tuna Poke and the Kaiso Seaweed Salad.
The Ahi Tuna Poke – poke sauce, tobiko, negi, crisp wonton was delicious. It also had a hint of sesame oil which added to its charm. It was spicy and cool at the same time due to the chili spices in the cold tuna. The sprouts on top added a nice crunch to each bite. A smile moved across my face as I tasted it. The crispy wonton added a nice crunch but I also ate the tuna all by itself. The Poke also reminded both Sandra and I of the cheviche served at La Fusion restaurant a few blocks away.
By this time Maria arrived and even though she arrived well after Sandra and I, the staff was extremely accommodating and served Maria promptly. All three of us ordered the Miso Black Cod – dashi-braised lotus, turnip, snap peas, mustard miso. If our friend, Iris, had been there she would have pronounced the fish cooked perfectly!
The presentation was delicate and beautiful. The lotus looked like lace placed against the moist and flavorful cod.
Lastly, dessert!!! Here is the truth – mine was the BEST! Maria and Sandra ordered the Espresso Pudding – Whiskey caramel, citrus sponge, and vanilla ice cream. They did not seem to like it as much but mine, WOW!!! The Strawberry Parfait – Honey chiffon cake, yuzu mochi, vanilla chantilly cream and masago on the top was so delectable, I would have licked the container if I could have! Of course, I like ANYTHING with mochi in it.
Lastly, I want to just say that Anthony Kinn is a man of extreme patience and kindness. If all General Managers were as kind as he was to us, the world would be a better place.
Pabu was fun and I would go back just for the dessert!