PAO Detroit - Modern Dining

4.4
429 reviews
$30 and under
Pan-Asian
Located in the former Michigan Oriental Theater serving exciting shareables in an iconic, historically-rich and high energy atmosphere. PAO is located in the former Michigan Oriental Theater, a space so rich in cultural history, we decided to preserve Detroit’s memories as part of our dining experience. Since 1950, the space sat unoccupied. Today, we reintroduce PAO the restaurant in the heart of Grand Circus Park. The flavors of PAO draw upon Pan-Asian influences, a collaboration of efforts by Chef Howie Barnes, Chef Alex Farhat and the PAO culinary team. Our drink menu offers approachable, yet rare Asian spirits to be enjoyed as classic favorites. Stop in to sip your favorite handcrafted cocktails or share a meal with friends.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
What 429 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.5
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
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OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2Food1Service4Ambience5

Drinks and ambiance were the only saving grace. Food was subpar. The dessert wasn’t even completely thawed out.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2Food2Service3Ambience4

The place is really nice and the service was okay but the food was not good. Most of the food would be considered an appetizer, and a lot of it was flavorless and expensive. Most of our party didn’t eat their food, the only thing that was edible was the steak.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded a day ago

Pao Detroit is known for its shareable entries. We value your feedback and will address your comments with our culinary team.

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JB
JustinB
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing Food and Fantastic Service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CC
ColetteC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1Food1Service2Ambience2

I was very disappointed in the food. We ordered the rock shrimp, mushroom dumplings, wagyu burgers, and wasabi caesar salad. The "rock shrimp" was normal shrimp dredged in breading, the mushroom dumplings were extremely greasy and had a doughy wrapper, and the inside filling was bland. The wagyu burgers were extremely dry and tasteless-- not reminiscent of wagyu at all. The wasabi caesar was fine-- I would not come back here ever again.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 4 days ago

We appreciate your feedback but are sorry we missed the mark. We hope you consider giving us another try.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

Sweetest Day

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 5 days ago

Thanks for celebrating your Sweetest Day with Pao Detroit.

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K
Kate
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food and great vibes. I’ve already recommended this place for anyone who wants to celebrate a birthday or just have good food. Had great vegetarian options too which I really appreciated!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 5 days ago

Kate your review is greatly appreciated. Our club vibes really make any occasion a real celebration. Thank you for your feedback and 5 star review.

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JH
JessicaH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience4

I have come here around ten times. Love the restaurant and food and staff is always nice. I don’t know any other place in Detroit like it.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 5 days ago

We are incredibly grateful for our loyal clientele. Thank you for the 5 stars! There is nothing better than receiving a glowing review from our customers. Pao Detroit is known for its great environment. We are glad you enjoyed your dinner and look forward to having you back.

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great time! Love Ashley the bartender she is amazing!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 6 days ago

Thanks for leaving a review and mentioning Ashley. You're right, Ashley is always going above and beyond. We'll be sure to share your praises with her.

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D
vipDetroiter
London
51 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The vibe is energetic here and the menu wonderfully eclectic! Four of us ordered across the menu to taste as much as possible but the hit of the night was the chef’s choice option. Five courses starting with mushroom bisque served in a tempura seaweed shell (presentation-A; taste too salty), lobster roll (outstanding!), duck confit (absolutely on point!), Chilean sea bass (tender and buttery, delicious!) followed by a plate of delicate and delicious assorted French macarons. Absolutely recommend this restaurant though as the evening wore on, the music became very loud and the age of the patrons was a younger set than are we.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded 5 days ago

We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing dinner. Thank you for taking the time to highlight the excellent food and ambience. We will be sure to share your praises with Chef Alex.

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JC
JamesC
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience2

A creative menu, but poorly executed timing. We had a 7pm sitting and ordered cocktails and 3 dishes. The dishes were all delivered almost simultaneously making for a very crowded table. The lamb was the best dish but the fats started solidifying on the serving platter which created an unpleasant mouth feel for the last bites. Our server seemed to be in a hurry to turn our table, but made up for it when we mentioned we felt rushed to finish. I suspect this venue is best with a large party. Not the best place to bring your elderly mother to.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 12, 2021

James, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are sorry that your night felt rushed. Your review will be addressed and we will do better. We sincerely hope that you and your party give us another try.

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KK
KennieK
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall1Food1Service2Ambience2

The food lacked flavor, the dumpling were doughy and it took a long time for drinks that only tasted like straight alcohol.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 12, 2021

Kennie, We appreciate your review but are disappointed we missed the mark. Your honest feedback will make us better. Feel free to reach out to us with your contact information and allow us the opportunity to address your review.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food, served fast and hot. Nice setting and great service. Also, a very good value.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 11, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to post a 5 star review for us. We are thrilled to see you had an awesome experience.

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SR
SriniR
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience3

Music was way too loud .. almost seemed like they want to be a nightclub, not a restaurant. Food was good, drinks were ok

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 9, 2021

Srini, thank you for your feedback. We understand our club vibes aren't for everyone. We are always looking at our reviews to strive and do better.

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m
matthewg
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall4Food3Service5Ambience5

Food was unique, charred octopus was good as well as the cauliflower lettuce wraps (best I’ve had). Rest of the food was ok

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 9, 2021

Thank you for your feedback Matthew. I wanted to let you know we've taken the comments you've mentioned in your review to heart.

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TM
TimM
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

The service was great and our waitress was very friendly and helpful while choosing food. PAO is small plates. the waitress told us whether there were 3 or 4 items on the plate as there were 4 of us dining. That was helpful. At 7:30 pm on a Sunday night the music was turned up and fortunately we were finishing our small plates. The food was excellent, perhaps a little overpriced for the amount, but not terrible. Overall a good experience.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 4, 2021

Thanks for your detailed review Tim. We love to receive great feedback and appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

There are really great food options here. Appetizers were cool and tasted wonderful. The ambiance is fresh and the art is interesting. The only con was that the music gets really loud at night. To the point that it’s difficult to hear what the people you are with next to you can be saying.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 4, 2021

We're happy you had a fantastic time with us! Thanks for your trust, we're thankful for amazing customers like you and we hope to see you again soon!

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TP
TonyP
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall3Food4Service4Ambience3

Food is good, cocktails are extremely weak, watered down and overpriced; stick with wine, beer, straight alcohol/shots. Happy Hour ONLY 1 hour. Good service.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 4, 2021

Tony, thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. While we are glad you enjoyed your food and service we are disappointed to see that you were not happy with our cocktails. Pao is known for its unique drinks and hope that you come back and give us another try.

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BN
BaileyN
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience4

Nice vibe and atmosphere. Food is delicious, but portions are pretty small. I had never been before and went for happy hour. I confirmed with the hostess that happy hour prices were honored at the table, not just the bar. However, items listed on the happy hour menu are also on the regular menu and our waitress failed to mention that the portion sizes are different. So when I got the bill I had been charged full menu price. I was told that I needed to specify that I wanted the happy hour portion, not the regular menu portion, when I ordered. Not a deal breaker, but disappointing none the less.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 4, 2021

Bailey, sorry for the mix up on our happy hour menu. At Pao our dishes are meant to be shared allowing guests to try more. Please join us again soon.

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r
rawanj
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

The ambience was great! The server was fantastic! The DJ was off the hook played all the jams! It was a great vibe all around. Definitely will return.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on October 1, 2021

Its awesome to receive such great feedback. Thanks for taking the time to share your review with us.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

Reserved a table via OpenTable for 8:30pm on 09/26. Reached the restaurant at 8:20, was seated at 8:25. Waited from 8:25 to 9:00, waiting for someone to take the order or even pour water. Tried to call a couple of waiters, weird thing was they would make eye contact and not bother. So we just got up and left. Thank You Pao for ruining my birthday celebration that my wife planned. Ended up getting pizza from Cottage inn.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 27, 2021

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Prayat. We take feedback seriously and would like to gather more information. Someone from management will be reaching out to you.

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TB
TomeaB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

When I arrived for my reservations, they weren’t ready, so my party of 5 had to sit at the bar for about 20 minutes until they were able to make space for us. The drinks weren’t the tastiest to us and nobody ordered a second one. The waiter was decent but it was very bar/club like inside as they had a DJ on the second level and it was difficult to hear the waiter or get his attention at times. The food was decent as I could tell it wasn’t your standard bar food. I had the steak bites which were in a gravy and not the usual steak bites I eat from a place like Starters, that also came with bread. The truffle fries were a bit strong in flavor and I wasn’t able to eat all of those. The firecracker shrimp was okay too.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 28, 2021

Dear Tomea, It was a pleasure serving you. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and being so open with us. Please reach out to us with any further comments or suggestions you wish to share. We hope you will come and see us again and allow us another opportunity to serve you.

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JZ
JodiZ
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall3Food5Service2Ambience2

The food was good, but it had a very club like atmosphere.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 27, 2021

Jodi, Yes Pao does host a club like vibe. We realize its not for everyone. Thanks for sharing your feedback and your 5 star Food review.

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FB
FouadB
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience5

Only 2 single vacancy bathrooms available.. be prepared to wait in long bathroom lines

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 27, 2021

Fouad, Thank you for taking the time to provide your review. We are glad you enjoyed the ambience and service. Please come back and give us another try. We are confident that if you try other menu options you will be very happy.

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D
Dean
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience2

Just overall a really bad display of customer service. We had a reservation for my girlfriend's birthday at 7:30 and had heard good things about PAO. We waited for almost ten minutes without anyone coming up to us at the hostess stand. Once she finally did, she barely said anything to us, left and then proceeded to answer a phone call when she did come back. After again leaving without speaking, when she returned I asked her why we were waiting without anyone welcoming us. Her excuse was they were short staffed. That's an excuse for the wait, not the bad attitude and service. We finally got a seat, the worst one in the restaurant with the DJ on top of us. After basically being ignored, this also left a sour taste in our mouths. Nobody seemed to care that we were dissatisfied. There were two seats open at the bar, but apparently they were "at capacity" at the bar because there was one bartender. That was frustrating, since we would be ordering drinks from the table anyway and would probably have to wait just as long for our server (we were told there were two on staff). There was no thought to accommodate us the entire time, which is pretty sad. I work in service, not in restaurants but a different avenue and I would never have allowed someone to have this bad of an experience. We decided to leave, and were not spoken to on the way out. I'm not sure if there was a manager on site at the time. Many restaurants are short-staffed now, but that should not mean that service and attitude of the staff that is there should take a hit. Hopefully anyone else that decides to go to PAO has a better time, but it won't take much. I probably won't go back.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 24, 2021

We are really sorry about your customer experience recently at Pao. I agree that customers should be greeted immediately and I will personally take this up with the hostess. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention. While it has been challenging working understaffed we still want to make it a priority to ensure our guests are happy. We appreciate your feedback and sincerely hope you give us another chance.

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JD
JamesD
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

I had a piece of wax paper I bit into on my wagyu slider. On the rsvp they specifically asked if I wanted them to recognized occasion I said yes and they didnt..... the experience could have been better. Overall the food was ok.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 20, 2021

We are sorry to hear that your overall experience this weekend at Pao Detroit was not great. We do recognize our guests' special occasions and are sorry that yours was missed. We sincerely hope that you would allow us another opportunity to serve you.

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JG
JonathanG
Northern MI
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great atmosphere with great food and service. Different entrees with different proportions of food.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 20, 2021

Dear Jonathan, Great food always makes the heart rejoice. Thanks for sharing this lovely review with us.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Service was amazing! Very patient, accommodating, and friendly! Loved the food! Great atmosphere!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 20, 2021

Great service! Great Food! Great atmosphere! All the feedback we are looking for. Thanks for sharing.

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CK
CKCook
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Very good food! Order the vegetable fried rice-it's not on the menu.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 20, 2021

Pao Detroit is thankful for your business and we appreciate you taking the time to share your review with us and the OpenTable community.

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JK
JKOne
Detroit
8 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Our waiter Drew was amazing!! He really helped make our experience special. Beautiful decor and ambience--just love the vibe. We sat in the front corner booth on a warm evening with the windows open. Food was lovely and delivered quickly! We had theater to catch and Drew got us out the door with plenty of time to spare! I can't wait to introduce this place to more people.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 17, 2021

Thanks for leaving a review and mentioning Drew! Drew is fantastic and always going above and beyond to ensure our guests have a great experience. It means a lot to our entire team and we look forward to serving you and your friends soon!

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C
Charly
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Pao has hands down the best lamb chops and fried rice. On Thursdays and Sunday nights patrons can partake in Hookah while listening to the sounds of the house DJ or catching the game at the bar.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 14, 2021

Thank you Charly for letting everyone know how amazing the lamb chops and friend rice is. Our DJ nights are a Detroit favorite. Thanks for sharing.

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A
vipAnita
Detroit
8 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was great and our waiter was even better!!! Amazing time!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 14, 2021

Anita, We love to hear that our guests had a amazing time and great service. Thanks for taking the time to rate us. We look forward to your next visit.

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NS
NicS
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was absolutely incredible! Service was top notch. The main chef was out, so we couldn’t try to the chefs choice. I’ll definitely go back for that.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 14, 2021

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this amazing review. We are so incredibly grateful for our loyal clientele and we appreciate you sharing your remarks with the OpenTable community. Please make sure you come back for the chefs choice. You will be very happy you did.

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k
ksenijam
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience1

This place has a night club vibe. Music is loud and clubby and it is quite dark.
It is one of those places that wants to be cool and hip.
Menu was short which is great but food was so blah.
General Pao chicken was drowning in sugar and coating. Cold be from cheap Chinese place. Cauliflower lettuce wraps have a potential just too much soy sauce and overpowering flavor.
Octopus was excellent.
Old fashioned was supposed to be with smoked rosemary. They lit pine branch on fire and stuck it on the top of drink. It was silly and didn’t do anything.

Side note - if you want smoked old fashioned try Eddie V’s with baisl h bourbon.

Staff was courteous but knew nothing about food. Barely was able to make suggestions or show any enthusiasm about what they serve.

I would not go back agian.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 13, 2021

We are sorry to hear about your recent dining experience. Pao Detroit is known for its club vibe, cocktails and shareable dishes. We understand our vibe is not for everyone. We are always looking at our reviews and appreciate your feedback.

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JM
vipJaredM
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Food was amazing. Service was great. We'll be back.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 14, 2021

We look forward to having you back Jared. Thanks for highlighting the amazing food and service. Cheers!

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TJ
TracyJ
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

Overall, an interesting space and dining experience. We were disappointed that they were out of sake for the sake flights and also were not offering the chef's menu. The appetizers were good, better than the entree choices, especially the lettuce wraps and mushroom dumplings.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 13, 2021

Thank you for your detailed review. We apologize about the shortage of Sake and hope that you will come back and allow us another opportunity to serve you.

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EW
EricW
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall3Food5Service4Ambience5

I would say the food and drinks are great! The service is good but they seem overwhelmed and that’s not a surprise these days! However that said the wait to get your food is long but worth it if your not in a hurry. The valet parking is the worst thing about this place the valet’s seem confused and careless we waited over 20 minutes just to get our Jeep back to us even though we paid 20 bucks plus tip and the boys working were blocking the road with cars and the police kept on telling them not to block traffic to no avail!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 13, 2021

Thank you Eric for your detailed review. Management will be sure to address your comments with Valet. I assure you the service will get better! We appreciate your patience very much.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and a FABULOUS server last night!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 10, 2021

Awesome to hear that your server was fabulous! Thanks for choosing Pao Detroit!

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RE
REBECCAK
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall1Food1Service5Ambience2

Food was not good. Pre prepared and microwaved. Soggy chicken and everything was way over salted. Great service though! Skip and go to one of Detroit's many other stellar options.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 10, 2021

We are sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience with your meal. Pao Detroit is known for being a scratch kitchen incorporating whole fresh ingredients. We do not have a microwave in the building. Please give us another chance.

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R
Reetz
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was great, the atmosphere was fun, and the place had an overall great vibe!

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 6, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to post a 5 star review for us. We are thrilled to see you had an awesome experience. We really value your feedback and sincerely appreciate you taking the time to post this lovely review for us.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Loved my waitress

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining
Responded on September 5, 2021

We love the five star review, thank you! Happy to see you enjoyed your service and food.

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FAQs

You can order delivery directly from PAO Detroit - Modern Dining using the Order Online button. PAO Detroit - Modern Dining also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (313) 816-0000.

PAO Detroit - Modern Dining is rated 4.4 stars by 429 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.