Pabu, an izakaya run by chefs Ken Tominaga and Michael Mina, would open in the Four Seasons at Harbor East. I'm already a fan of Wit & Wisdom, Mina's first restaurant in Baltimore. I was also excited to hear that desserts would be made by pastry chef Chris Ford.
Pabu is also promoting itself as having a master sake sommelier, Tiffany Dawn Soto, so when I first arrived for an early Mother's day meal with my parents and aunt & uncle, I ordered a sake cocktail, the Super X, made with Lillet Blanc, junmai ginjo, yuzu, and housemade falernum, a kind of simple syrup. It had a good tartness and sweetness to it.
They also inadvertantly served us a plate of the meso anago (young eel) tempura.
Both dishes were beautifully fried, and in particular the eel was great.
My father and I wanted to try their Rappahannock oysters served with a tasty ponzu sauce.
I always order the shishito peppers if they are on the menu. They served a bowl with at least 20 or so peppers, nicely charred, topped with shredded bonito and seasoned with shoyu.
We then got ika yaki, or whole grilled squid. It came with a side of the yellow Japanese style mayo.
We also got kokoro, sake-cured chicken hearts, which reminded me of very tender gizzards, and kariganebone, the shoulder blade of the chicken.
Somehow, they ended up giving us an extra order the the shoulder, but boy, was it good.
After the small plates, each of us ordered a "main" of either noodles or rice.
I ordered a tasting of nigiri sushi. Chef flies some fish all the way from Tsukiji market in Tokyo for the sushi.
The rice was awesome, and the selection of fish was pretty amazing including mackerel, yellowtail, sea bream, and horse mackerel.
It also came with a green tea sorbet with lemon grass, melon and pineappple, and a small mochi with miso caramel ice cream.
I'm already looking forward to go back to try promising looking items like Maryland crab okonomiyaki, octopus poke, and tsukune, as well as some ambitious looking rolls.