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100 Favorite Dishes

58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka

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Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

click to enlarge Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles - G. SNYDER
  • G. Snyder
  • Spaghettini 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.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles

99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1

98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil

97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.

96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche

95: Duck Shawarma at Momed

94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa

93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen

92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

91: Baco Mercat's Bazole

90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame

89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence

88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market

87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane

86: Galbi Jjim at Soban

85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post

84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun

83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co

82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus

81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant

79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan

78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat

77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho

76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure

75: Porcetto at Sotto

74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense

73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses

72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King

70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away

69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ

68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House

67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata

66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh

64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers

63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow

62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill

61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge

60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham

59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar


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