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Kaiseki Queen

February 06, 2017

Without doubt, the most hotly contested table in LA right now, booked up months in advance, is n/naka. Why not reserve a spot for later this year and plan a trip to LA to experience chef-owner Niki Nakayama’s Japanese kaiseki in Palms? Your taste buds will thank you…

Made famous by Netflix series Chef’s Table, serenely minimal 26-seat n/naka is known for super-fresh seasonal Japanese dishes, served close to their natural state in artfully plated portions. Traditional and modern techniques are perfectly balanced. Vegetables are grown in their own organic garden. And the rhythms of the earth are reflected in exquisitely prepared produce.

Menus are confirmed a few days prior to your reservation, flexing with the seasons, but expect a 13-course contemporary kaiseki selection, or a 13-course vegetarian tasting equivalent (vegan options aren’t available). You can pair either menu with global wines or sakes, including artisanal labels. Beguiling descriptions include an appetiser that pairs “something common with something unique”, as well as modern and trad interpretations of sashimi, steamed and fried delicacies, and a chef’s choice dish “not bound by tradition” (such as spaghettini with abalone, pickled cod roe and Burgundy truffles).

Born and raised in LA, but having honed her skills in Japan, Nakayama has already launched two rated restaurants – Azami Sushi Café and Inaka – meaning n/naka a decade in the making. It’s definitely worth the wait…

n/naka / 3455 S Overland Ave / Palms / +1 310 836 6252 / dinner Tue-Sat /