n/soto coming to 4566 Washington Blvd
By Dolores Quintana
Acclaimed Westside restaurant with two-Michelin stars n/naka will soon be a second eatery in the area.
n/naka co-owners Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama will be opening a second restaurant called n/soto at 4566 Washington Blvd as reported by What Now Los Angeles. n/soto will be an izakaya in the California Japanese style that focuses on “market driven products” with Chef Yoji Tajima, formerly of Yojisan Sushi and Sushi House Unico, at the restaurant’s helm.
The restaurant’s concept is one that came about because of the pandemic and their attempts to stay connected to one another. The restaurant’s website says, “Soto” means outside in Japanese. n/soto was born during a pandemic that closed us off from the outside world. At n/soto, we hope to step outside of the familiar and welcome the opportunity to learn from the bigger world around us. We believe food can bring people together. It opens up new worlds and shapes our understanding of one another.”
The restaurant has been giving the community a preview of their new menu and concept with a pop up residency at The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in the Toshizo Watanabe Culinary Cultural Center.
Chef Tajima was part of the creation of the pop up tasting menu at the Center that showed the diners what they could expect from n/soto in the future. Part of the restaurant’s concept is to highlight the Japanese American culture to its diners through immersion into the culture.
n/naka is the venture of Nakayama and her wife and sous chef, Iida-Nakayama. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nakayama started her career at the popular restaurant Takao before embarking on a three-year working tour throughout Japan, sampling her way through different regional flavors and immersing herself in the essentials of Japanese cuisine, both traditional and cutting-edge. It was in Japan that Nakayama learned about the art of kaiseki, which led to her opening one of Los Angeles’ most esteemed restaurants, n/naka. The eatery was named one of Food & Wine’s 30 best restaurants in the world, and is one of six Los Angeles restaurants to have received two Michelin stars in the 2019-2020 edition of the Michelin Guide.