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Drinking the New Menu at Pabu in SF

Pabu in San Francisco has a new menu by the new bar lead Natalie Lichtman, previously at The Passenger at 25 Lusk, Nico, and Elixir. The menu just went live in December and can be found here. I also pasted pics of it below. 

I went in to try the drinks and long story short: They're very good and fun and playful, and you should get in there and try them. 

I started with a jelly cocktail - there are two on the menu and they're both vegan with great texture unlike the gelatin version. This one was the Lychee Martini jelly cocktail with vodka, lychee, lemon, sugar, and maldon salt on top. 

Tanuki - Kumquat, Imo Schochu, Blanco Tequila, Champagne Syrup, Malic Acid:

This one had the strangest serve: over frozen grapes with an ice sphere on top. You can drink it and eat the grapes with chopsticks. It's a light tequila-salt cocktail with fruity notes. Refreshing and comes with a built in snack. Would order again- and the jelly cocktail too. 

Pabu Dec 2022 10


Kappa - Cucumber vodka, Empirical Soka, vanilla acid blend, sparkling sake.

Topped with a pickled melon ball. A favorite. For some reason the combination of cucumber and vanilla registers to me as tasting like Midori, but I'm probably just making that up as I haven't tasted Midori on its own in a while. It tastes how you think it will taste and I was worried it would be overwhelming after a few sips but I enjoyed it even more as it started diluting. A crowd pleaser that pleased me very much.

Pabu Dec 2022 15


Karasaka - Bourbon, sesame-washed California brandy, Blue Dorris, sudachi, orgeat.

Fatty! Savory! Delightful! Would be great with food. Makes me want to sesame wash the rum for a Mai Tai. Another favorite.

Pabu Dec 2022 17


Kitsune - A milk punch with Cacao rum, cognac, matcha, and strawberry. Garnished on top of the ice cube with wasabi powder. 

I'm a sucker for milk punch, and this one was like Strawberry Quik milk punch! There is some wasabi in the cocktail but the powder on top made it into an aromatic component atop the bright strawberry flavor. Genius. 

Pabu Dec 2022 19


Tengu - Citrus Anejo Tequila (Don Julio Primavera I assume), umeshu, alpine amaro, rooibos, citrus, yuzukosho.

A balance between juice and amaro, who does this?

Pabu Dec 2022 24

AO King - Lyre's nonalcoholic absinthe, mint-melon-gochugaru shrub, ginger beer, lemon, mint. 

The shrub is the pickling juice from the Kappa. Even though it's not a Mojito, this is the spicy Virgin Mojito you want. Terrific. 

Pabu Dec 2022 32

Nekomata - Toki whisky, bitter bianco, bermutto. 

Like a white whiskey Negroni; chocolatey with a tea back.  

Pabu Dec 2022 38


Here's the menu:

Pabu Dec 2022 2
Pabu Dec 2022 2
Pabu Dec 2022 2
Pabu Dec 2022 2
Pabu Dec 2022 2
Pabu Dec 2022 2


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