Despite an infamously difficult reservation process, Niki Nakayama's modern kaiseki restaurant—of two Michelin starred Chef's Table fame—remains an indispensable part of the city's fine dining scene. The Japanese restaurant delivers a nontraditional kaiseki meal that excites, delights and even soothes across every aspect; in short, it lives up to the hype and the bloodsport level effort involved in snagging a reservation. Nakayama invokes a mix of contemporary and traditional sensibilities throughout n/naka's ever-changing 13-course tasting menu—which, unlike many others in this city, also offers an option for vegetarians. Each course invokes the rhythms of a particular season, seamlessly blending classical Japanese cooking with the inherent seasonality of California cuisine.
When out-of-towners hear the phrase “L.A. fine dining” they might scoff, thinking it’s an oxymoron considering how casual this city is, but the truth is that Los Angeles is home to some of the best tasting menus and fancy restaurants in the country—you just need to know where to look.
When you want to dress up for a romantic dinner or splurge on your birthday, there are some stellar spots; at the best fine dining restaurants in L.A. you might sit down to an elegant kaiseki dinner, a tasting from one of the world’s most famous chefs, or a seafood-centric meal filled with artistic flourish, and you can be sure servers won’t try to slip you their headshots as they present perfectly plated entrées.
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