Another great meal at N/naka tonight.
Just got back from Japan but damned if this wasn’t as good as what I had. I had 2 friends in town with me who liked it better than their kaiseki in Kyoto.
Extreme close up of the o-toro
Foie and unagi
Phone died before I could take pictures of the ikura and uni sushi and the two deserts. One Japanese and one western. Both excellent.
Food wise, LA’s only 3*.
Hi @Porthos nice!
Lucky! How many months in advance did you have to book this for? Every time I try looking it’s like 3 months in advance. Maybe I’ll be able to go one day.
Only been once, but I think about that meal daily. That fois / unagi / strawberry… And the service was so great. When Chef Niki came out to talk to us at the end, she mentioned that she was exploring a California-only-ingredients menu. I wonder of that’s come to pass.
Thanks for the pictures. Hoping to go back later this year. Did you email for reservations or get lucky with Opentable?
Beautiful. Have you seen the documentary about Niki Nakayama on the Netflix series Chef’s Table?
Great photo essay as always. You timed your visit soon after your return from Japan - coincidence? I think not!
I know kaiseki can vary a lot in Kyoto or anywhere else, and subjectivity is always in play, but how do you think N/naka would stand among her Japan counterparts?
I had no problem booking n/naka…exactly 3 months out at 12am.
@President_Mochi @Chowseeker1999 I had to email for a res 2 months prior and they just happened to have an opening 6pm on a Friday.
@bulavinaka it’s a tough question but I think the ingredients and cooking at N/naka were better than the traditional kaiseki I had at our ryokan here Report: Lake Kawaguchiko / Mt. Fuji.
And impossible to compare with the very traditional Kanda Tokyo Trip Report - #9 by Porthos
Might be easier to say that I for me this may be the best high end restaurant cooking and ingredient wise in the US.
Great shots and great to know Niki is still kicking it solidly into the back of the goal.
Yeah, email seems to be the best route unless you countdown to midnight NYE-style like @Ns1.
Also, for anyone going, I would highly recommend the vegetarian tasting menu. We’re not vegetarian, but when we went, we got one regular and one vegetarian and shared. Know that some don’t like to share, but for those who are willing, it’s a really good way to try more of her cooking.
The sake bottles, L to R:
Suehiro “Ken” Daiginjo (Fukushima)
Senshin Junmai Daiginjo (from the makers of Kubota) (Niigata)
Tedorigawa Tedorigawa “Iki na Onna" Daiginjo (Ishikawa)
Excellent sakes, especially the first two bottles which are personal favorites. The Daiginjos are also perfect with good izakaya food.
The complexity in Senshin is profound and is perfect with killer nigiri.
@beefnoguy you should change your name to sakeguy!
The senshin is really good but the Tedorigawa may have been my favorite. Very different profile from the others.
Iki na Onna, ~ $43 retail, to give you an idea of markup…
What do they use as vegetarian substitutes? It seems like 90% of the ingredients are fish of some sort. It must truly be a radically different menu? Very interesting.
I believe I still have the menu and some pictures at home. I shall return.
I probably don’t need to ask, because of their excellence. But, was there any fishy-ness to the vegetarian selections? I know that is a pet peeve of vegetarians who eat at sushi places. It must linger on the knives and utensils.
Oh man. Looking back at the pictures made me remember how great it was. I think the point you touch on is exactly what made it so great; it seems the vegetarian menu has to be really really thought through, and she does a great job making each dish on the level (or above) the regular menu counterparts.
This was the vegetarian menu as of Oct. 2015:
That’s an interesting question. I don’t remember noticing this at all. I was also eating fish, so I might not have noticed even if the veggies did have some lingering fish essence. Like you said though, they run at such a high level that I don’t see this being an issue.