N/naka ...101


I am glad the food was great. Honestly, a simple apology would have sufficed. I’m not a big drinker and I was not with big drinkers (our party of four finished two carafes of 44 dollar sake) so an alcohol comp wasn’t even necessary. In fact, I was driving back to Orange County so I very well may have turned it down.

I understand that with a restaurant of that size, a table can’t be forced out. I just wanted an opinion on how to handle situations like these. Thanks for your input.


Yes, the street corner is because the space is so small there’s no place to congregate. I did send a polite email. Will post their reply–assuming it comes.


I have waited 10-30 mins for the late seating on about 4 of 5 occasions.
No wait at early seating which is now my preference - I skip lunch and go early.


Makes sense to me. It’s a difficult little balance they are trying to find. No way around waiting–I get that. And if that’s part of the expected experience, so be it. I have no problem eating at ten.


No not from Yelp.

I contacted my friend who works at n/naka to see if I could get things straightened out for you and was told that there was indeed a party that night at 9:00 that was inconvenienced for nearly an hour, and was not seated until close to 10, at which time the party was comped (what exactly I am not sure).

Anyway, that’s really beside the point. The bottom line is things like this are unfortunate. They suck. But are really out of the control of the restaurant. Sometimes, things are just what they are.

Perhaps Jeffry and the rest of the FOH crew could have handled things with more of a human touch, but sometimes humans are such difficult creatures to figure out.


Fair enough. Thank you for contacting them, though I can assure you we were not comped whatsoever.

Though a party of two waiting alongside us did appear to be comped. Perhaps that was the whole companion thing? They certainly got a starter dish that we didn’t. And potentially a drink pairing?

I’ll survive, though. And I still look forward to returning. Just hope the service (of which I’ve heard so many wonderful things) is a tad better.


An update: As I think I mentioned somewhere, I sent a very reasonable email explaining that I thought the service during my wait was not superb.

N/Naka went above and beyond and acknowledged that communication should have been better and that an apology certainly should have been issued for seating us 35 minutes late. They offered either a rebate on our drinks or a 100 dollar gift certificate for a future visit.

I took the gift card. Thank you to everyone for their input.


You are so nice. What a very kind thing to do.


Another wonderful meal at N/Naka last night, wth @SFDiner along for the ride. Undisputed highlight…

This bowl of cod, uni, and matsutake mushroom in dashi. Pretty much perfect.


Probably the best dish I’ve had all year!


Gosh that was my favorite dish as well. Simply outstanding!


Smoked dashi = insane


I was annoyed by that episode myself. It seems Ms. Nakayama has been very successful. She has a three-month wait for reservations. Why all the bitterness and paranoia?

I liked the Nancy Silverton episode much more.


Finally made a resie. I read @ipsedixit’s post above indicating that no dietary restrictions are allowed (i.e. vegan or gluten free), so I interpreted that to mean you can only select between the full menu and vegetarian? So for example, if my dining guest would eat the fish but not the beef, then the guest would have to pick between the two menus?


From their website:

When we confirm your reservation, we will ask each guest about specific allergies. Please make sure you get everything over to us within one week of your reservation so that we can have enough preparation time. We will handle each instance as reasonably possible by substitution or omission. However, in order to maintain the integrity of our dishes, there are certain dietary accommodations we cannot facilitate - including but not limited to requests for: no vegetables, no fish/meat only, no seafood (including kelp broth) and severe bean or gluten allergies (that would exclude all soy sauce or miso).


Thanks, since the menu is so seafood heavy, they may be able to accommodate. I will let you guys know…in March.


At least in Japan, every kaiseki restaurant I know of will accommodate “seafood only.” What they typically won’t accommodate is someone who refuses to eat seafood, even in broths and sauces. That’s like telling an Indian chef not to use spices. I’m sure they’re happy not to serve you wagyu; cheaper for them.


Note that N/Naka diners will be experiencing a $40 price increase starting in May, based on an email I received about an upcoming reservation.

{emphasis added)


Yikes, been to N/Naka 4x and it gradually got worse. Guess this is the final nail for me.


I have a hard stop at $200/pp so I guess March will be my last hurrah here.