I got to admit. This did get on my nerves.
I saw the Bento boxes pop up a week ago, but I wasn’t sure they would let me order with them again so I e-mailed them for their permission. It took them a few days to respond, and I’m glad that they allowed me to place an order again. I got a few boxes waiting for me and my close friend this week.
new $85 jūbako option:
A thoughtfully curated selection of dishes, highlighting the essence of California kaiseki for you to experience in your home. With dishes like:
Braised Monterey Bay Abalone
Japanese Style Smoked Duck
Seared Wagyu Salad
Binchotan Grilled California Kinki
Crispy Lobster Kara Age
Takiawase Braised Vegetables
Matcha White Chocolate Cake
Passion Fruit Chocolate Truffle
2 n/naka Kaiseki Jūbako available at retail price OR trade for Bento with Sushi box plus price difference
I managed to snag 2x n/naka bento boxes this morning. When I refreshed the page right at 10AM, the only option that showed up was the Kaiseki Jūbako. I rushed to buy it and had completed the purchase before realizing that the price was $85/box, not $38/box like I was expecting. Apparently they recently added this new higher priced option. I’m not entirely thrilled with spending $85/person right now, so I am looking to sell my 2 boxes, or trade with someone who has the cheaper box plus you would pay me the difference in price. My 2 Kaiseki Jūbako boxes are for pickup this Wednesday 4/8 at 7PM at n/naka. The total price for the two boxes, including tax and a $20 tip is $206.15.
Shoot me a message if you’re interested in buying the boxes outright, or trading plus paying the price difference if you have a reservation for the cheaper boxes. My preference is to trade with someone who has the cheaper box.
EDIT: Clearly if I had read the post right above this, I would have realized that there was a new higher priced option. But alas.
Extended OOE car-makase bang-bang continued…
n/naka bento with sushi
sashimi salad with garlic miso dressing shio koji-marinated tomato
kabocha potato salad, cucumber seaweed sunomono
shoyu koji-roasted sweet potato
miso-marinated black cod with sunchoke puree
a5 wagyu nikogori
matcha white chocolate cake
Thanks for the report @PorkyBelly. What did you think of the taste and QPR compared to Shunji? Thanks.
I’d love to buy one of the Kaiseki Jūbako boxes off you - I sadly wasn’t able to secure either in time. Just let me know!
taste-wise i think i prefer n/naka just slightly over shunji, but shunji had the better qpr. the miso-marinated black cod, shoyu koji-roasted sweet potato and matcha white chocolate cake were the standouts. At 38 bucks I wasn’t expecting much from the a5 but it was still disappointing; miniscule and overcooked. I would have preferred a larger portion of a cheaper cut.
in shunji’s, i really liked the crab cake, shiitake tempura, and tamago.
extended car-makase part II - kaiseki jūbako #covid15
this was a little more than twice the price of n/naka’s regular bento but more than twice as good, i thought this had a much higher qpr. everything in this two-tiered box was good to great, and a lot more like what you would eat at dinner. highly recommended @Chowseeker1999, @attran99, @NYCtoLA, @TheCookie, @Omotesando, @J_L, @CiaoBob, @Hungrydrunk, @Ns1, @butteredwaffles
- lobster nanbanzuke
- abalone with liver and truffle sauce
- lobster, uni, caviar
- matcha white chocolate cake
- strawberry daifuku
two tiered box with a side of soup and dessert
owan soup - shiitake mushroom
crispy lobster nanbanzuke
perfectly cooked and tender
california kinki with daikon, sansho, ikura
oily, smoky from the binchotan and delicious
i love you kinki
braised vegetables - eggplant, squash, broccoli, shimeji, golden beets, eggplant sesame sauce
lobster, uni, caviar
one of the best bites in the box
japanese roasted duck with mustard
braised abalone with liver and truffle sauce
all this was missing was some spaghetti
nigiri has also greatly improved from what i’ve had at dinner
american wagyu tataki salad with ginger and ponzu
passion fruit chocolate
matcha white chocolate cake
as soon as i bit into this it burst with incredible sweetness and i immediately knew this was from harry’s berries; even better than the ones i’ve had in japan, incredible .
+1 on kinki, strawberry daifuku, and lobster,uni,caviar bite. So, so good. I also really enjoyed the owan soup. The kinki sort of reminds of Hayato’s nodoguro in its smokiness and oiliness, and in addition to @PorkyBelly’s comment on the daifuku, the strawberries were wonderful with the anko (red bean paste).
OK so is there a trick to snagging these boxes? I have been trying for the last 3 Saturdays and when I click on something supposedly available, it’s always in someone else’s cart. I must be doing something wrong, or I’m just old and slow
I just keep checking. I had snagged two for this past Wednesday on Sunday. Perhaps the demand is much lower midweek.
Wait… reservations open up on other times? Making that tock page my startup page now. Thanks @Wakko11
You can also click to be waitlisted.
I dunno if they opened on Sunday, perhaps someone canceled. Either way, I saw and I grabbed
Thanks. I’ve waitlisted before but never got any notifications, this week will try waitlisting all days all times. Fingers crossed!
I signed up on the waitlist for every single slot and got lucky after a few weeks. They will email the entire waitlist for the particular day/time they have an opening, and the first person through wins! It helps if you have notifications on for new emails.
So just an update on this - a waitlist slot opened up and I grabbed it - there were quite a few slots (Fri, Sat) I wonder if some of the later slots got cancelled in anticipation of a continued LA curfew as the slots that had opened were 4:30 or 5:00. Will report back on the meal!
Here’s the reveal of tonight’s Kaiseki Jubako, two tiered box presentation:
Upper tier detail:
Lower tier detail
And the three desserts:
Included on the side was also the miso soup:
Braised abalone with liver and truffle sauce. This was a revelation - I usually have abalone in Cantonese cooking and never really liked it, so I wasn’t expecting much. But the perfectly braised abalone with that liver sauce was tender umami heaven. Truffle was quite subtle. Yes, I licked that shell to get ALL the sauce. Hey - that’s a perk of takeout, you can do things you would never do at a restaurant
Duck and firefly squid were good as well, but abalone definitely the highlight of this section.
American wagyu tataki was delicious, the daikon ponzu was a nice accompaniment to it texturally
Sashimi highlight was the toro
A bit disappointed in the tamago, but sushi nicely done:
Great way to start the lower tier with the vegetables takiawase. Snap peas were perfection, and eggplant was lightly marinated, I think. Wished the eggplant sesame sauce had a bit more punch:
Grilled kinki (fantastic flavor!) hidden under the garnish. Anyone know what it is? It had a bit of a sourness to it, I don’t recall having this herb (?) before.
Finished with the lobster nanbanzuke (extremely tasty but it would have been really amazing if it was eaten fresh at the restaurant) and the lobster chawanmushi (loved the flavor and texture, but I should have warmed it up. We actually ate outside, so just ate everything as is)
Excellent rendition of strawberry Daifuku, red bean was soooooo smooth. Fun fact … Costco in Taipei sells strawberry daifuku as a seasonal item in a pack of 12 for - get this - US$10!
No closeup of the passion fruit chocolate because it disappeared in my mouth before I had a chance to take a snapshot, but the passionfruit ganache was excellent, however, the outer shell was a bit too sweet for my liking.
All in all, an EXCELLENT meal. Ah, waitlist dreams do come true! Must be that FTC karma