No. 41: N-Naka


As artisanal noodle joints were popping, Niki Nakayama went in the other direction, tailoring the rituals of kaiseki dining to a bungalow in Palms. It’s high formality without the airs. Courses begin arriving soon after you are seated. Whether it’s a skein of spaghettini with paper-thin abalone, a seared wagyu slice with blistered shishito pepper, or diced shiitakes folded into a butter sauce over Alaskan king crab, a pointillist intensity comes through in every dish. The goal of harmony does not detract from the directness of the poached sea bass and disk of mountain yam bathed in a broth of dashi and yuzu. The waiter knows better than to take away your bowl before you’ve licked it clean.

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