Culver City’s n/naka Rated One of World’s Best Restaurants

By Keldine Hull

Fresh off the heels of Michelin’s 2- star rating in June, Chef Niki Nakayama’s upscale kaiseki restaurant, n/naka, was rated one of the world’s best restaurants by Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine. Located at 3455 Overland Avenue in Culver City, n/naka first opened its doors in 2011. 

Over the course of 4 months, well- respected and award-winning food and culture writer, Besha Rodell, visited 81 restaurants in 24 countries across 6 continents. Along with a panel of chefs, restaurant owners, cookbook authors and food writers throughout the world, a list of 30 restaurants was compiled- each representing the best the culinary world has to offer. 


Impressed with her dining experience at n/naka, Besha wrote, “Because L.A.’s greatest asset is its diversity and its cultivation of culture that blurs the lines of influence and origin and arrives at something wholly new.” Besha continued, “n/naka is not a restaurant that would exist anywhere else: a chef born in Southern California but trained in Japan, working in a format traditionally reserved for men, growing her own produce and paying homage to the incredible edible bounty that’s possible in this specific part of the world.”

Besha wasn’t the only food critic enamored by n/naka and it’s 12- course traditional Japanese style of dining. Los Angeles Times critic, the late Jonathan Gold wrote that “the sheer level of cooking in this modest bungalow eclipses what you find in grand dining rooms whose chefs appear in national magazines.” In addition to being ranked among the best in the world, n/naka is also the only restaurant in Los Angeles to make the list.