Modern Japanese Kaiseki-Style Tasting at n/naka in Culver City (Veggie Friendly)

  • February 2, 2013 · 5:15 PM

PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF PLEASURE PALATE'S ATTENDANCE AND 3-STRIKES POLICY REGARDING CANCELLATIONS WITH LESS THAN 24 HOURS NOTICE AND "NO SHOWS."  THIS EVENT IS BEING CROSS-POSTED WITH "GAY FOODIES" -- I WILL BE HOSTING 1 TABLE FOR PLEASURE PALATE, AND 1 TABLE FOR "GAY FOODIES."  THERE ARE "7" AVAILABLE SEATS FOR THIS EVENT.

A DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT AS I DO NOT WANT TO BE CHARGED 50% OF THE COST OF THE DINNER BY ANYONE WHO DROPS OUT WITH LESS THAN 24 HOURS FROM THE TIME OF OUR RESERVATION.  IN ADDITION, ATTIRE FOR THIS RESTAURANT IS "BUSINESS CASUAL."

TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT:

  1. Using the web links in the description below, please review each keiseki menu before you add yourself to the "Wait List."  When doing so, in the comment section please indicate if you want to order the 9-Course Keiseki, 10-Course Vegetarian Keiseki, or the 13-Course Keiseki dinner, as I will have to provide this information ahead of time to the restaurant so that they can prepare accordingly.  Be sure to indicate if you are interested in the Wine Pairing as well.  
  2. Then, make your payment to me via PayPal (www.paypal.com) to [masked] for $57.00 -- a $55.00 refundable deposit plus a $2.00 non-refundable PayPal processing fee (Total payment of $57.00) per person.
  3. Once I am notified that payment has been made, I will change your RSVP from "Wait List" to "I'm Going."
  4. If you attend the event, your $55.00 deposit will be applied towards the total of your dinner.
  5. No refunds will be issued if you are a "No Show" to the event, or if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice.
  6. On the day of the event, please bring at least $150 in CASH ($200, if you are planning to order the wine pairing) to settle your portion of the bill.  With a party of 7, n/naka may not accept more than 2 credit cards as payment toward our check.

We will be ordering either the 13-Course Modern Keiseki Tasting at the price of $165.00, the 9-Course Chef's Keiseki Tasting at the price of $110.00; or the 10-Course Vegetarian Keiseki Tasting at the price of $110.00. A wine & sake pairing is available for each of the keiseki tasting menus:  an additional $85.00 for the Modern Keiseki Tasting, and an additional $55 for either the Chef's Keiseki Tasting or the Vegetarian Keiseki Tasting.  Please note that the prices of the tasting menus is NOT inclusive of beverages, tax and 20% gratuity.  Filter bottles of water are offered at $6.00 per bottle.

You can view the tasting menus here: http://www.n-naka.com/menus/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last November, I hosted a dinner here, and those who attended it thoroughly enjoyed the complete dining experience, including the wonderful detailed descriptions of each dish and wine pairing by the restaurant manager and certified sommelier, Jeffery Stivers; the visual impact from the stunning and meticulous plating of each dish; and the aromatics from the hot dishes were just symphonies of luscious smells that enhances your desire to take a scrumptious bite out of each dish.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Niki Nakayama is chef-owner of Japanese restaurant n/naka in West L.A. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she started her career at Takao in Brentwood, then trained at Shirakawa-Ya Ryokan during a three-year working tour of Japan. Under chef Masa Sato she studied the Japanese culinary art of emphasizing seasonality and balance in a series of dishes. Back in L.A. Nakayama opened Azami Sushi Cafe, gourmet Japanese takeout by day and an eight-course chef's table by night. Now, n/naka is the expansion of her kaiseki. For the month of June, Nakayama is creating a seven-course foie gras kaiseki menu, highlighting various cooking methods of foie gras paired with Japanese flavors such as miso, dashi and fish such as unagi and tara (cod). A sushi course will feature foie gras sushi."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles Times' food critic Jonathan Gold wrote on June 15, 2012:

"So, it is almost startling to realize that n/naka may be the first dedicated kaiseki restaurant in Los Angeles, at least the first outside the Japanese expatriate community, and that the sheer level of cooking in this modest bungalow eclipses what you find in grand dining rooms whose chefs appear in national magazines.

For the month of June, Nakayama is also running a foie gras tasting menu, probably because with the imminence of the July 1 ban it is suddenly, desperately, in season and also because she likes using the liver anyway: frozen and shaved over tofu, poached and flavoring soba, grilled and served with duck. I found it fairly astonishing how easily she integrated the liver into almost every course of the menu, as an egg custard with truffles, crumbled over amberjack sashimi, poached in dashi with abalone, seared and made into sushi, and laid over unagi "risotto," without becoming obtrusive or overrich. A dish of seared eel interleaved with melting slices of foie gras torchon, drops of jellied yuzu juice and halved figs that had been caramelized with a blowtorch was especially splendid, recalling the famous eel-foie gras dish of San Sebastian chef Martin Berasategui, but becoming something wholly new.

This is probably the place to point out that dinners at n/naka are quite expensive.  The wine and sake pairings, well-chosen by sommelier Jeffrey Stivers, run $55 to $85 per person on top of that. (There is also a vegetarian menu.) Is it worth it? One person I took ended up taking her husband back to the restaurant three evenings later. When you're up for an E-ticket ride, sometimes only an E-ticket ride will do."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yelp reviewers give n/naka an average of 4.5 Stars out of 5 (from 65 reviews), with a majority of the reviews giving 5 stars.  You can read those reviews here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/n-naka-los-angeles

Only street parking is available.  Be sure to read the street signs for any parking restrictions, especially whether or not you need to feed the meters, if you are parked at a meter space.  We will meet inside the lobby of the restaurant about 5 to 10 minutes before the reservation time.  As always, please call me at[masked] if you arrive before I do, or are running late or are lost.

 

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  • Mary

    Incredible!

    February 3, 2013

  • Rita

    13 course

    January 31, 2013

5 went

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