Niki Nakayama’s Tuna Poké

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Niki Nakayama headshot
Chef Niki Nakayama brings California kaiseki to n/naka. (Photo by Zen Sekizawa)

Chef Niki Nakayama and her sous chef Carole Iida are not bound by tradition. They’re married. And at their restaurant n/naka, they might be the only women in the world doing kaiseki. The formal 13-course Japanese meal is meticulously prepared with careful attention to ingredients and technique. n/naka even has its own vegetable and herb garden. Now Niki and Carole have big plans to push the envelope even further, through constructing a kaiseki meal with all California ingredients, many of them wild, foraged. Between now and when they unveil their locally-sourced kaiseki menu in August, I’ll content myself with Niki’s tuna poké recipe. Perfect for a Los Angeles summer.

Top: Chef Niki Nakayama hands forager Pascal Baudar a flower. (Photo by Abbie Fentress Swanson/KCRW)