To celebrate my dad's birthday, my birthday, my parents' 50th anniversary and my husband's upcoming September birthday, my parents took us out to an AMAZING dinner at a hole in the wall (not even a sign on the door) restaurant called N/Naka. Leave it to my mom to read about it in the newspaper.
The menu is comprised of three tasting menus (nothing a la carte) and you have to place your order a few days before you dine! The three choices are a 9-course meal, a 9-course vegetarian meal and a 13-course meal. The chef changes the seasonal menu often and much of the produce used comes from her garden.
If you happen to be a foodie in the L.A. area you must try this place! We ended up ordering one of each kind of menu. Let the wild rumpus begin!
The presentation was not to be believed. I would have eaten a rubber tire if it came to my table looking like this!
I should have written everything down, but I felt obnoxious enough snapping photos at all of the food. Here's the description straight form the menu, "On a Bed of Crispy Thin Strips of Bull’s Blood Beet sits Roasted Nasu (Japanese Eggplant) topped with Shochu Crème Fraiche, Chives, a Flower of Pansy from Niki’s Garden and a Puree of Nasu and Kombu Dashi"
And here is a deconstructed wonton with squash blossoms and baby corn.
Here's the non-vegetarian version of the above with fish and octopus.
These were, "Roasted Portabello Mushroom, Daikon Oroshi, Myoga, Shiso Leaf, Fried Shishito Peppers and Ponzu"
Tuna with caviar. So rich and delicious. "Tartare of O-toro of Big Eyed Tuna, White Scallions, topped with Caviar of American White Sturgeon, Uni Butter, Soy Reduction, Chives and Kombu Dashi"
"Maguro (Tuna) of Big-eyed Tuna; Tai (Japanese Snapper); Fresh Kumomoto Oyster with Ponzu; Kanpachi (Amber Jack) with Freshly Grated Wasabi and Niki’s Special Soy Sauce"
A vegetarian's dream! tri-color cauliflower, tofu roll, kabocha sorbet, bok choy roll.
Here's the non-veggie version: "Olive Oil Poached Ono from Fiji on a sweep of Baby Corn Coulis, a Sauce of Yuzu Pepper, Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Baby Corn and Sauteed Shishito Pepper, Leaf of Cress; Maine Lobster on top of Flower and Herb-stained Rice Paper, Sauce of Saffron Miso; Fresh Zucchini Blossom from Niki’s Garden stuffed with Maryland Blue Crab, Curry Salt; Goma Dofu – Sesame and Green Tea Tofu topped with Fresh Uni from Santa Barbara and Kombu Dashi"
I'm losing track of what's what here, but you get the idea.
This might have been my favorite: "Kabocha Squash Yanagawa - Roasted Kabocha Squash with Shiitake Mushrooms, Mitsuba, Dashi and Organic Farm-fresh Jidori Chicken Egg" it came served on a live flame.
"Live Diver Scallops from Boston grilled in their own Shell with the Roasted Liver, Shiso Leaf, Shiitake Mushroom, Yuzu Zest and Dashi Picpoul"
Wait...maybe this was my favorite: "Spaghettini with a Melody of Wild Japanese Mushrooms including Shiitake, Orengi, Shimeji and topped with Italian Shaved Truffles and Radish Sprouts"
Still eating...."Fried Cutlet of Fresh Zucchini from Niki’s Garden with Russet and Corn Mashed and a Spicy Tomato Cream"
From the meat eater's course: "American All-natural Angus Rib Eye Steak served along side of a Canele of Russet and Baby Corn Mashed, Nanohana (Broccoli Rabe), Carrots and a Ponzu Demi Jus"
What is this? I don't remember! But I know it was good! We were definitely starting to feel very full at this point, but in came the sushi course!!!
"Traditional Thin Wheat Noodles with Kombu Dashi and Freshly Grated Ginger" This was so pretty, you mixed the ginger into the sauce and then removed the noodles from the ice water bamboo cup.
Here's one of the desserts (they had me at kabocha squash) "On a sweep of a Sauce of Dark Caramel sits a Cheesecake of Kabocha Squash rolled in Graham Cracker Crumbles, Whipped Cream, Fresh Organic Fruits of Strawberry, Raspberry and Kiwi; Crème Brulee of Black Sesame Seeds; Hojita Tea"
I mean, really....could we have been any happier??? This goes down as one of the best meals I have EVER eaten in my life. (and I've eaten a lot of pretty good meals!!) Did I mention it was a 4-hour dinner???