Sunday, September 18, 2011


Here is the first official post for my restaurant review section.  Previously I had shared meals from the places I traveled, but after thinking about it I decided to share what Los Angeles had to offer as well.  The other week I went out to a fancy Japanese dinner near my house.  N/Naka is devoted to picking the freshest in season ingredients and creating a 10 course kaiseki menu.  Kaiseki is a traditional multicourse Japanese dinner which show off a variety of cooking techniques as well as the cooks artistry.  The restaurant itself is a small intimate modern space that probably only seats about 25 people.  It seemed like everyone there was on a “hot date” or celebrating a special occasion. 

We lucked out and got a reservation at the last minute, but if you want to check this place out I highly recommend calling ahead of time!  There are three menus available at n/naka, the Chefs Tasting Menu, the Modern Kaiseki and the Vegetarian Tasting.  We went with the Chef’s Tasting along with the wine pairing.  The Chef’s Tasting is a 10 course meal, the staff is amazing and walks you through each course and how each wine selection complements each dish.  Here were some of my favorites!   


A spring roll with chives, below it was some eggplant and other goodies nestled in a bed of pumpkin sorbet.  So good, one of my favorite dishes of the entire night!  Can I get 3 more of these please?? 


We were told that the fish on the right was extremely rare and only in season for 3 months, unfortunately the name skips my mind.  Aji?  But it was paired with watermelon and a balsamic soy reduction and on the left was a delish croquette with micro greens and a ponzu reduction. 


This was like a super high class modern poke/sashimi dish.  It was smoked bonito (I’ve never had it raw or fresh before!!) with garlic chips. Maui onions and balsamic reduction.  This melted in my mouth.  So flavorful!!


This was the traditional sashimi that countered the one above.  The quality of the fish was so good and it was so fresh, types of fish that I have never tried before were included in there and they all melted like butter in my mouth.  Can you spot the eyeball from the shrimp?? 


Seriously- this dish was so sexy!!  You might think it’s weird to say that about a pasta- but if you had this you would understand.  Japanese know how to do pasta!!  This was Abalone with a cod roe pasta, with some abalone liver and truffle sauce. 


This was our meat course which was a Wagyu beef, the table next to us got the Modern Kaiseki menu and they actually got hot rocks on which they cooked their pieces of meat. 


Love love Japanese desserts!  Some fresh fruits, a mochi like cake and a sesame custard with blueberries.  So delicate and refined! 

I love this place, while it is pricey it is definitely a treat to go to and I would love to go back there to celebrate a special occasion.  We had some great white wine and sake pairings as well.  The waiter was hilarious and told us that he was about to serve us the SEXIEST sake we would ever have!  It was true, it was so smooth and went down so nicely.  If you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend this place!  Go check it out.