Niki Nakayama’s n/naka only Westside’s restaurant among the finalists
Los Angeles restaurants – including an acclaimed eatery in Palms – have a chance to take home James Beard Foundation Awards this year, although the competition is stiff. Finalists this week were announced for the 2023 Restaurant and Chef awards following the release of a long list of semi-finalists by the panel of judges in January.
This year’s list of finalists is diverse, with nominees from across the country, including Lynn, Massachusetts, and Clawson, Michigan, as well as powerhouses like Los Angeles, Chicago and NYC. Southern California, however, did not receive any finalist nods for Outstanding Restaurant or Best New Restaurant.
The only Westside restaurant included among the finalists is Niki Nakayama’s n/naka, located in Palms, which has been nominated for Outstanding Chef. N/Naka is a renowned fine-dining restaurant located in Palms, Los Angeles, known for its meticulously crafted kaiseki cuisine, a traditional multi-course Japanese dining experience. The restaurant, led by Chef Niki Nakayama, offers a modern take on kaiseki cuisine, featuring dishes that reflect the seasons and highlight the flavors of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. With a focus on quality and attention to detail, each dish at N/Naka is carefully crafted to create a harmonious and balanced dining experience, earning it numerous accolades including two Michelin stars.
Other Los Angeles-based finalists include Rashida Holmes for Emerging Chef and Margarita Manzke for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. Ototo is a finalist for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program, while Gilberto Cetina Jr., Hayato’s Brandon Hayato Go, Anajak Thai’s Justin Pichetrungsi, and Taco Maria’s Carlos Salgado are all finalists for Best Chef: California.
The full list of finalists can be found on the James Beard Foundation website.
The winners will be announced on June 5, 2023, at a live event at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.