Pagu in Cambridge, MA for Japanese/Spanish Influenced Pleasure

My foodbud Kevin and I repaired to Pagu in Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA on a recent Saturday to continue my month-plus 70th birthday celebration. We grabbed seats facing the kitchen, the better to watch prep of ramen with a 6-minute egg, Spanish tortilla baked in individual little cast-iron pans, and much more. We began with festive drinks. Me: the Orchard Julep with house peach-vanilla sour mash, apricot and mint - served up in a copper iced julep cup. Very spirit-forward and it went down easily. Kev went for the Jardin de Balata with rhum agricole blanc, lemon, pineapple and Thai chili. Also a winner. Properly warmed up, we tucked into the following:

  • Shishito peppers with ponzu and togarashi - lightly grilled, we ate every one and it was a generous serving

  • Curry crab croquetas with aji amarillo - hot fried

    balls of crab, with a touch of heat and a lightly curried dipping sauce.

  • Braised pork belly bao - rich and generous with the pork

  • Squid ink oyster bao - a big winner. The black squid ink bao enrobes a single fried oyster, a bit of slaw, and something that brings a touch of heat. Superb.

  • Okonomiyaki - a big plate full of japanese omelet, bacon, yam, sweet cabbage, furikake which is then drizzled with aioli. Very rich and there was enough for the two of us with half to take home for later.

By this point we were absolutely too full to explore the desserts but they sounded enticing. We’ll save that for another time. All-in-all we ate a lot of food plus the drinks, and walked out for just under $100. which, considering the quality, that we shared it all, and were genuinely delighted – seemed well worth it, especially for a celebratory meal. I’d definitely go back to try more of the carefully composed menu.


Great report, Suzie, and Happy Birthday!!!

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looks good. thanks for the lowdown!

Thank you for this detailed report! You have put Pagu on my radar. Shishito peppers are a favorite and that preparation, among other items, calls to me.

Does Pagu still handle its reservations by the ticketing system I read about?

Not to forget: Happy Birthday!

Thanks so much for your glowing report and the fun pictures! And Happy Birthday! A month-plus celebration sounds about right…

Happy Birthday! and thank you for this marvelous report. Page goes on the list.

I don’t know about their ticketing system since we went for what they call brunch and just walked in. There were more than enough seats and no waiting but I overheard a very patient front of the house person accommodating a reservation over the phone.

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