Location: 3455 S. Overland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034. 310.836.6252
Date: June 16, 2021
N/Naka served as the host location for the second of our 3 epic June “Fred” dinners, this one being themed around Coche-Dury Les Rougeots.
The empty interior. This was actually the first night that N/Naka reopened after the long lockdown closure.
Our table — before we got to it.
1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. BH 97. A distinctly reticent but elegant nose with a purity of expression that is truly impressive to experience as it’s relatively high-toned and while the yeast comes up with air, it’s relatively muted at presence, combining with intense, precise and superbly detailed and complex flavors that culminate in an explosive and wonderfully long finish. This may very well rival the sublime ’90 in time even if it’s not quite as concentrated. This is still a baby so there is absolutely no rush whatsoever.
2015 Hubert Lamy Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée Haute Densité. A rare bird!
2005 Domaine Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. BH 94. A strikingly pure nose of white flower and spice aromas complements perfectly the delicious, intense and stony flavors that are wonderfully vibrant and gorgeously detailed on the transparent and equally pure finish that explodes with more minerality. This is beautifully balanced and understated with a Zen-like sense of calm. I very much like this and it’s very Perrières in character. In a word, brilliant. (Drink starting 2013)
2007 Domaine Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. VM 94+. Bright pale yellow. Soft citrus fruits and crushed rock on the musky, slightly reduced nose. Rich, perfumed and tightly coiled, with a terrific core of acidity intensifying the orange, floral and mineral flavors. Offers compelling cut and concentration but this infant will require several years of aging. Wonderfully refined Perrieres of grand cru class.
1993 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. 94 points. Signature coche gunflint, popcorn, dried extract, and smoked yellow fruit on the nose and palate. While the mid-palate did not have lots of substance, the flinty and popcorn-ish palate more than offset that shortfall. With the fresh acidity in the backdrop, the wine stayed energetic and interesting throughout dinner.
1996 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. VM 94+. Complex, lively aromas of lime, minerals and vanilla. Structured and almost shockingly intense; great material here. A step up from the ’97 in density. Extremely fresh and vibrant. A tactile, mouthfilling wine to drink and to eat. Palate-staining finish. I kept raising my score as I came back for more.
2000 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. BH 93. A completely different expression than any of the foregoing wines, which is interesting since the vineyard abuts Chevalières. This is classic Meursault in style with round, rich, generous, “warm” fruit and flavors, offering toasted nut and butter aromas plus fresh sliced peach, apricot and apple scents but gorgeously complex, intense, refined and beautifully precise flavors of terrific focus and cut. But it is the superb depth on the finish that really set this apart and this delivers such quality that it is almost a match for the Perrières, a compliment in anyone’s book. Simply beautiful wine that has just now arrived at its apogee though it should be capable of holding here for at least a decade. Tasted several times with consistent notes. (Drink between 2008-2010)
2008 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. VM 92+. Classic aromas of lemon, lime, minerals, hazelnut and grilled almond; smells rich in dry extract. Then dense and superconcentrated, with terrific inner-mouth energy to the flavors of peach, orange blossom, lemon and crushed stone. Time-capsule Meursault, finishing with superb length. This too should age very well.
1972 Domaine Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Charmes!
Sakizuke. Uni, Cauliflower Puree, Carrot Coconut Ice, Trout Roe, Nori Sable.
Zensai. Uni, Eggplant Dashi, Kabocha Roll, Oyster Lime, Flounder Hasamiage, Wagyu Beef Roll, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Carrot, Burnt Chickepea and Miso Puree.
Wagyu Beef Roll.
Cucumber, Cauliflower, Carrot, Burnt Chickepea and Miso Puree.
Modern Zukuri. Japanese Fluke, California Nori, Pistachio.
Owan. Hope Ranch Mussel, Summer Squash, Citrus Fern.
Otsukuri. Traditional Sashimi.
Yakimono. Tasmanian Sea Trout, Artichoke, Preserved Meyer Lemon.
Mushimono. Tomato, Lobster Shinjo, Tomato and Fennel Mochi.
Shiizakana. Spaghetti, Abalone, Picked Cod Roe, Truffles.
Niku. A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef, Baby Corn.
Sunomono. Nopales, Golden Kiwi, Cucumber, Aloe, Chia Seeds.
Yuzu juice intermezzo.
Miso soup with shrimp heads.
Nigiri sushi flight 1.
Nigiri sushi flight 2.
Blue crab handroll.
Mizumono. Lychee Sorbet, Shiso Lime Granita. Super bright and delicious flavors with a really nice textural contrast.
Mizumono. Peaches, Caramelized Pastry, Lavender Honey Ice-Cream, Hojicha Jelly.
Roasted green tea.
Burnt Basque Cheesecake Gelato — Milk steeped with Tahitian Vanilla Beans and Valencia Orange Peels and then blended with Cream-cheese and Egg Yolks, layered with house made “burnt” Caramel and topped with house-made Caramel Brittle, finished with the torch! — created by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #lemongrass #ginger #CremeBrûlée #basque #cheesecake #caramel #brittle #orange
The setting is elegant, minimalist, and very Japanese. N/Naka really is a very special place. All the meals I had here were spectacular (here for the first, here for the second, here for the third). Plus we even did an amazing all foie gras meal here once. The place keeps getting better and better. This is thrice wonderful because often one finds a slight bloom to come off a place on repeat meals. At N/Naka everything is seasonal and constantly rotating.
Coming back to N/Naka after the pandemic I thought they were really firing on all cylinders. This was the best meal I’ve had there since the incredible Foie meal. I think her sushi has gone from “okay” to “great” and with regard to other dishes she has toned down a bit of the “theatrics” slightly but really upped the flavor balance and intensity. There weren’t some of the more interactive dishes of years past, like cooking your own item on hot stones, but the cooking was even more on point.
Service is also spectacular, highlighted all the more by the extremely low understaffed standard currently found in LA.
And what can we say about the wines? Awesome labels, awesome wines. All the coches were flawless, although the 93 was my favorite. So good!