PABU is Chef Ken Tominaga‘s Japanese izakaya and sushi bar sourcing fish both locally and from afar, including Japan’s Tsujiki market. At the helm of Pabu’s cocktail program is Lead Bartender Nick Jones, and Head Bar Man of Mina Group Carlo Splendorini.
With their combined experience and creativity the cocktail program is reflective of Japanese traditions and flavors highlighting unique spirits with an emphasis on creativity and presentation.
“The philosophy of PABU’S cocktail program is true to Japanese culture, there’s an emphasis on detail and excellence. It’s parallel to our sushi program, all about less ingredients, more focus on only the highest of quality.” – Nick Jones, Lead Bartender of PABU
Located at 101 California St, PABU is thoughtful representations of modern-day Japanese inspired cocktails as envisioned in San Francisco.
Fun fact: The PABU sake collection, curated by Master Sake Sommelier, Stuart Morris consists of more than 100 sake labels ranging from all styles and prefectures throughout Japan. PABU also has one of the largest collections of Japanese Whisky in the US.
Why the (RED) Drank exists:
Founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) was created to help provide a sustainable flow of money from the private sector in the fight against AIDS. This June, restaurants across the United States including PABU, are participating in EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES to join this fight. PABU is hosting a launch event on Friday, May 29 at it’s sister restaurant THE RAMEN BAR before kicking off the monthlong campaign to #86AIDS. Tickets are available exclusively through SOSH. To purchase your ticket CLICK HERE.
ABU will be serving the (RED) Drank with Pluot-infused Belvedere (RED) Vodka, Shiso, Yellow Chartreuse, and Lemon throughout June.
“Inspiration for the Old “Foie”shioned came from a few of our team members who were discussing using foie gras in a cocktail and cleverly naming it the Old Foie’shioned. Once we heard the idea, we had to make it a reality. The garnish, a foie gras torchon, is just one more great way to elevate the cocktail.” relates Megan Palmer, of the MINA Group.
It’s fascinating that you chose Barr Hill Gin. What’s behind the choice of drink name?
“Barr Hill gin is made in Vermont using honey. The honey adds a nice touch of sweetness to balance out the drink. The name ‘Emotional Robot’ is a reference to Japan’s first robot with feelings being released this year, the robot’s name is “Pepper” which coördinates with the white pepper in the drink.” says Jones.
When walking up to PABU I couldn’t help but notice the grandeur of the space. Simple, clean design with a beautiful back-bar showcasing the enormous Japanese Whisky selection used to great effect in their cocktail menu.
I’ll definitely be back.
June would be a great month to show your support for #EatRedDrinkRed and explore the amazing flavors PABU has on display. HERE is a link to all the participating restaurants and bars in the (RED) campaign.
On a budget? PABU runs a happy hour from 3-6pm Monday to Friday. Check out their Happy Hour Menu HERE.