Restaurants , Dinner Palms
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Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Australian wagyu on houba (magnolia leaf) with red miso sauce at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Autumn mushrooms with Alaskan halibut at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Cauliflower tofu with Santa Barbera uni and uni butter at ikuran/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Lobster shinjo with Momotaro tomato dashi broth and fennel at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Modern tsukuri of hirame with spring garnish and kimchi yuzu air at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Modern tsukuri of New Zealand King Salmon with avacao purée, soy reduction and marinated konbu at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Nasu with foie gras and miso balsamic sauce at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Takosu with Japanese octopus and cucumber salad, cocumber air, sesame aioli and sanbaizu at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Chef Niki Nakayama at n/naka
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa
Photograph: Zen Sekizawa

You could say that the Netflix documentary Chef's Table helped shine a spotlight on n/naka, but the Palms restaurant was already on the map, front and center. Chef/owner Niki Nakayama is a former protégé of the legendary Morihiro Onodera (once the chef/owner of Mori Sushi), though Nakayama focuses her talent on kaiseki, a classical style of Japanese cooking that dictates a specific progression of textures, temperatures, tastes and seasonal ingredients. À la carte is not an option: n/naka offers either a 13-course modern menu ($185) or a 13-course vegetarian menu ($160), and both can be paired with wine for $85. The menus change daily and seasonally, but there is always something to delight in: a glass filled with sea urchin and lobster in a bath of chilled dashi, maybe, or a seared diver-harvested scallop cuddled next to a warm okra pod. It can take two or three hours to get through a meal here, but it's well worth it. Nakayama is one of LA's best culinary talents, and scoring a meal at her restaurant is money well spent.

Venue name: n/naka
Address: 3455 Overland Ave
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Seating: Tue-Fri 6pm, 6:30pm, 8:45pm, 9:15pm; Sat 5:30pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 8:45pm, 9:15pm
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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1 person listening

Shocked by the 2 starts above. Knocking the food because of the price seems strange, the price works out to about $10 a dish. I've been there several times, and it is always creative and feels like a mini vacation. My only complaint is that I leave too full. I have been there on light staff nights and full staff nights, they are always very professional. I tried the vegetarian menu last time and although I missed some of her signature flavors, the meal still held up as one of the best. Niki has a love of food and it shows in her meticulous work.