n/Naka

n/Naka is an extraordinary restaurant. Chef Niki Nakayama is a fantastic chef who uses A+ ingredients with a perfect balance of flavors that is plated with incredible artistry. She began her career at Takao, our favorite sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. In fact we were the first customers at Takao.

From their website: “Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, chef Niki Nakayama began her career at the renowned Takao restaurant in Brentwood, working under the guidance of esteemed chefs Takao Izumida and Morihiro Onodera. Committed to exploring new techniques, Niki embarked on a three-year working tour throughout Japan, sampling her way through different regional flavors and immersing herself in the essentials of Japanese cuisine, both traditional and cutting-edge. While working at Shirakawa-Ya Ryokan, (Japanese inn owned by relatives) Niki trained under chef Masa Sato in the art of kaiseki the traditional Japanese culinary practice that emphasizes the balance and seasonality of a dish.”

We had champagne to start, then a chablis from their list, a glass of sake and finally red  wine.

n-champagne

Champagne  – BYO

N-Chablis

Chablis

N-Sake

Sake

n- red wine

Red Wine – BYO

We chose the premium  Kaiseki menu. This was very expensive but it was an extraordinary experience.  I asked them to send me the menu and they did. I have copied it exactly. Basically I will let the photos tell the story.

 

 Saki Zuke

(A PAIRING OF SOMETHING COMMON AND SOMETHING UNIQUE)

n-1

BLUFIN TORO TARTAR, SEA URCHIN, POTATO CHIP

n-2

SNOWCRAB WITH IKURA, ENGLISH PEA SOUP

 

Zensai

(SEASONAL INGREDIENTS PRESENTED AS AN APPETIZER)

N-3

CALAMARI WITH BLUECRAB SQUID INK SAUCE, FRIED RENKON LOTUS ROOT WITH LOBSTER

BLACKCOD MARINATED MISO, SEA JELLY FISH WITH GINGER AND SOY SAUCE

This was unbelievable – absolutely perfect. The lobster was deep fried and you dipped it in the aoli sauce. You then took the quail egg and mixed it with the squid sauce and then ate the calamari. The jelly fish was like a palate cleanser.

 

Modern Zukuri

(MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SASHIMI)

N-4

FRESH JAPANESE SCALLOP, BLACK TRUFFLE, HONEY TRUFFLE, PONZU, GOLD FLAKE

 

 Owan “Still Water”

N-5

HUDSON VALLEY FOIE GRAS, DASHI

 

Otsukuri

(TRADITIONAL SASHIMI)

N-6

OH TORO, SHIMA AJI, HIRAME, SHIGOKU OYSTER, NAMA TAKO

 

 Yakimono

(GRILLED)

N-7

AYU WITH SAUTEED FOIE GRAS SET WITH COMPRESSED WATER MELON

BALSAMIC SOY SAUCE

 

Mushimono

(STEAMED/FRIED)

N-8

KEGANI/ HAIRY CRAB, SHITAKE, MITSUBA, DASHI

 

 Shiizakana

(NOT BOUND BY TRADITION, THE CHEF’S CHOICE DISH)

N-9

N-9 Clearer

SPAGHETTINI WITH ABALONE, PICKLED COD ROE, BURGUNDY TRUFFLES

 

 Niku

(MEAT COURSE)

N-10

JAPAN MATSUZAKA WAGYU BEEF A5

HOUBAYAKI

 

 Sunomono

N-11

HOTARU IKA, JAPANESE CUCUMBER, WAKAME, YUZU MISO

YUZU OMOI , KYOTO, JAPAN

 

 Shokuji

(RICE DISH- SUSHI)

N-12

N-13

AKAMUTSU, TORO, AMAEBI, AJI, IKA, UNI

 

N-14

MISO SOUP

 

 Dessert

N-15

MELON SORBET, ROSE ALMOND MILK GRANITA

POPCORN ICE CREAM, MALTED MERINGUE, CARAMEL ANISE, CHOCOLATE RAISIN

Bottom line: This is an extraordinary restaurant with a talented and dedicated chef with a service team that is equally dedicated. Just be forewarned this is very expensive.

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