58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
G. SnyderSpaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles
Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka.
A meal at n/naka, by its very nature, is full of surprises. A parade of traditional kaiseki courses travels from an unseen kitchen into a zen-like dining room. It's a bit different from the traditional sushi bar view that's often the norm at high-end Japanese restaurants, but having your plates of picturesque sashimi appear almost out of thin air is pretty darn cool.
At some point in the meal there will likely be a course that involves pasta -- chef Niki Nakayama has a special affinity for pasta-making, apparently. If you're lucky enough to come when summer truffles are in season, you might get a dish of thin, swirling spaghetti noodles threaded with razor-thin slices of Monterey baby abalone and tinted with the slightest red hue of briny pickled cod roe. Truffles are shaved over the top and perfume the surrounding airspace with a heady aroma. The pasta is the perfect fusion of Japanese refinement and comforting Italian soulfulness.
Is it a bit strange to dream about pasta after leaving a restaurant known for its wisps of o-toro dotted with caviar and homemade ponzu? Sure, but that's the most fascinating part of a meal at n/naka.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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