If you’ve ever eaten at Los Angeles’ n/naka, then congrats, you’ve eaten at one of the nation’s top 10 restaurants! Announced last week, OpenTable released their list of the best 100 eateries in America and five of the top 10 hail from the west coast (three from California). Based on an analysis of more than 5 million reviews, the rankings were from verified diners across over 20,000 restaurants.
In first is St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa, seventh place went to Acquerello in San Francisco and following close behind was n/naka in eighth. Born and raised in LA, Chef Niki Nakayama worked her way through Japan, immersing herself in the essentials of traditional and unique Japanese cuisine. During this time she learned the art of kaiseki, “the traditional Japanese culinary practice that emphasizes the balance and seasonality of a dish.”
After returning to LA, she opened her first two restaurants, which led to a number of awards before opening up n/naka in 2011. Four years later, the eatery is now a staple among locals. Chef Nakayama uses her kaiseki skills and techniques while creating an ever-evolving seasonal menu from their own organic garden. Guests are treated to thirteen course meals with wine pairings and can expect items such as Modern Zukuri, a modern interpretation of sashimi with Kanpachi, bell pepper gelee, jalapeno gelee and avocado sauce; and Shiizakana made from spaghettini with abalone, pickled cod roe and burgundy truffles. For dessert, diners may be treated to sweet creations such as passionfruit cheesecake, golden plum granite or lime sorbet.
n/naka is reservation only and is open Wednesday through Saturday. Early reservations begin at 5:30 p.m. while the evening’s last table is available at 9:15 p.m.