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n/naka

3455 Overland Ave. (Lawler St.) Send to Phone
310-836-6252 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
At this reservations-only restaurant, chef Niki Nakayama presents multi-course menus that blend traditional and modern culinary techniques.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Tues.-Sat.
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Dining room at n/naka, Los Angeles, CA

n/naka Restaurant Review

: Dining out in Los Angeles can generally be a spontaneous affair, but an evening at n/naka will require some forethought. There are only 26 seats in the restaurant, so reservations should be made at least a week in advance to experience chef Niki Nakayama's modern interpretation of kaiseki. She presents a sort of dinner theater in which she executes various roles, from the "writer/producer" orchestrating the meal's progression to the "sound designer" selecting the music to set the mood. Her philosophy is that guests should slow down and engage in both food and conversation, so the décor is kept minimal aside from traditional wooden baking molds adorning the walls. Chef Nakayama hails from a family in the fishing business and she has spent many years in the food industry at restaurants in Southern California and Japan. Her multi-course menus blend traditional and modern culinary techniques, and also highlight herbs and vegetables from her home's organic garden. Select from the 13-course Modern Kaiseki ($165, $85 optional wine pairing) or 13-course Vegetarian Tasting ($150, $85 optional wine pairing). The sushi and other seafood preparations are excellent, particularly the sakizuke (kaiseki appetizer) of butter poached Alaskan king crab on top of white asparagus tofu, crowned with baby white and green asparagus and petals of nasturtium and pansy. The parade of small plates might continue with tartare of baby blue fin tuna o-toro served in a roasted bamboo shoot, and lobster and uni chawanmushi with shiitake mushrooms and shaved black truffles. Nakayama has access to exclusive sakés, such as Shichida Saké Yamahai Karakuchi, and the wine pairings complement the dishes quite well. It's clear that she has put an immense amount of effort into this challenging venture, which we think has the potential to get even better in time.

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