Pabu Boston opened in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and good thing, too, because I was hungry. It’s a very upscale izakaya, the real thing, and you might as well be in Marunouchi or Ginza: The vibe is young, urban, relaxed, confident, and soothing. I’ve been in three times for dinner out of the past nine nights.
The place operates with a menu that is really going to be the template or trend of the future: Small plates of the best-sourced ingredients. Nothing culled from a chef’s meagre imagination, nothing meant to shock or awe, no surprises. Just exceptionally first-rate food.
Anago that tastes as if it was just fetched from the sea. Thinly sliced burdock root. Little pork gyoza. Yakitori that has just the right amount of marinade: Tsukune, negime, kawa…
All in all, great raw fish, great small dishes of vegetables or various animal proteins, grilled chicken.
It’s by far the best restaurant to open in Boston in years, along with Babbo Pizzeria. Again: Small plates, great ingredients, pleasant rooms, and consistent service. Neither place is chef-driven, and both recognize the importance of focusing on high-end products.