100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Pabu

Pabu Restaurant’s Happy Spoon appetizer—with oyster, uni, ikura, and ponzu crème fraîche—is well worth a trip to Baltimore. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Pabu Restaurant’s Happy Spoon appetizer—with oyster, uni, ikura, and ponzu crème fraîche—is well worth a trip to Baltimore. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

That evocative smell that hits when you walk in might make you
think you’ve wandered into a sauna at a ski resort. But it’s actually
burning logs of Japanese white oak, the fuel of choice for the
robata (grill), which is responsible for some of the highlights
here, including a delightful array of
umami-rich chicken parts:
heart, skin, tail, and more.

These aren’t the only temptations to make the trip to Michael
Mina’s restaurant in the Baltimore Four Seasons, led by executive chef
Jonah Kim. The sushi chefs are better stocked than most—there are 22
varieties of fish, including a daily selection from Tokyo—and also more
artful.

You’ll drink as well as you eat if you explore the region’s
most extensive sake collection (bottles range from $13 to four digits) or
dabble in the Japanese beers. Don’t miss: Scallop sashimi
with ponzu; egg custard with prawn, scallop, and mushrooms; Happy Spoon
(oyster with sea urchin, salmon roe, and ponzu crème fraîche); “chicken
noodle” ramen; tiny eggplants with spicy miso; miso-broiled cod; sashimi
or sushi of live scallop, kadai bluefin toro, king
salmon, uni, and mackerel; pumpkin sundae; dessert
omakase tasting. Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.
Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

Most Popular

More from Food