14 Apr n/naka: Kaiseki Tasting Menu
When it comes time to splurging on a meal, n/naka is the place to do it. From ambiance to presentation to flavors, Chef Niki Nakayama offers a traditional Kaiseki menu that will capture your attention.
Kaiseki is the traditional multi-course Japanese culinary which consists of a sequence of small dishes, each artistically arranged. At n/naka, Chef Nakayama uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, including vegetables from her own organic garden and presents them in their most natural and purest states.
There is a level of formality to n/naka. The restaurant is in a nondescript building that looks like it was a former house. Reservations are required and when you walk in, the rooms are sparse with simple settings.
Despite the formality, there is something comfortable and warm when you sit down at your table. The staff is very soft-spoken and friendly and provide wonderfully detailed descriptions of each dish as they are presented. There is a beauty in the simplicity of it all.
n/naka offers one thirteen course tasting menu for $165 (a vegetarian option is available for $150). You can also do an optional wine pairing for $85, but we opted to order a couple bottles of wine and enjoyed two white wines – a 2010 Venica Ronco della Cime Friulano, Collio, Italy and a 2012 Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo, Spain. The crispness and brightness of both wines were ideal pairings for the following courses.
With our wine glasses full, we began our meal…..a sort of ceremony in which each course is presented in a specific order.
Saki Zuke (A Pairing Of Something Common And Something Unique)
Crispy Potato, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Cauliflower Puree
Zensai (Seasonal Ingredients Presented As An Appetizer)
Australian Blue Shrimp, Ankimo Foie, Big Eye Tuna, Tai Ceviche
Modern Zukuri (Modern Interpretation Of Sashimi)
Fresh Japanese Scallop, English Peas, Yuzu Foam, Ponzu
Owan “Still Water”
Bamboo, Seabass, Mitsuba, Dashi Broth
Blufin Tuna Chu Toro, Halibut, Kampachi, Maine Lobster, Kumamoto Oyster
Alaskan King Crab, Shitake Mushroom, Mitsuba
Seabass, Satoimo With Dashi
Shiizakana (Not Bound By Tradition, The Chef’s Choice Dish)
Spaghettini With Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe, Burgundy Truffles
Niku (Meat Course)
Japan Matsuzaka Wagyu Beef A5
Sunomono (Vinegar-ed Salad)
Fanny Bay Oyster and Yuzu Omoi, Kyoto, Japan
Shokuji One & Two (Rice Dish – Sushi)
Tai, O-Toro, Aji Mackerel, Amaebi, Shima Aji, Uni, Soba With Dashi Broth
Chestnut Crepe, Chocolate Pot De Crème, Seasonal Fruit
3455 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034