This week in L.A. restaurants: n/naka team opens izakaya n/soto, Greekman’s goes permanent

Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama explore Japanese technique and California seasonality at n/soto.
n/naka owners Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama are still exploring Japanese technique and California seasonality at n/soto.
(Wonho Frank Lee/n/soto)


The owners of Palms’ kaiseki destination n/naka have opened a new Japanese restaurant . Serving grilled meat and vegetable skewers; hand rolls; house-made tofu; uni-topped oysters; karaage; and starters such as carrot-and-fennel tartare, chef-partners Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama envision n/soto as a kind of California-inspired, seasonal izakaya. The new restaurant began previewing its concept last year with themed bentos in collaboration with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and a number of those bento items can be found at n/soto as a la carte items. The bar program, led by Jason Lee, focuses on sake, wine, cider, beer and low- and no-ABV cocktails, while the kitchen is helmed by executive chef Yoji Tajima (formerly of Yojisan Sushi). N/soto offers indoor and patio seating, and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.

4566 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 879-9455,

A moody photo of the interior dining room of n/soto, its design inspired by Japanese izakayas.
New izakaya n/soto offers an indoor dining room, a back patio, and an eight-seat bar.
(Wonho Frank Lee/n/soto)

HKC Dim Sum

A casual new dim sum spot is now open in Koreatown’s City Center on 6th shopping mall, serving handmade xiao long bao, barbecue pork buns, pan-fried turnip cakes and other classics on the third floor. HKC Dim Sum also offers stir-fried entrees such as pork chops, salt-and-pepper whole shrimp and beef chow fun, along with wine, beer and cocktails such as the lychee martini. HKC Dim Sum is open Tuesday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

3500 W. 6th St., Suite #301, Los Angeles, (213) 739-9205,

Button Mash x Tacos 1986

Echo Park’s beloved arcade, restaurant and bar is back in a new format. Citing the pandemic, Button Mash paused its service indefinitely in October 2020 after celebrating its fifth anniversary. It recently reopened in collaboration with Tijuana-style taco operation Tacos 1986, which is taking over the food program with the local chain’s signature menu of trompo-cooked adobada, mushroom tacos and more. Button Mash is open Tuesday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

1391 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 250-9903,

Lamb chops with tzatziki and salted cucumbers at Greekman's.
Lamb chops with tzatziki and salted cucumbers at Greekman’s.
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Greekman’s goes permanent


Greekman’s, the pandemic-era pivot of Freedman’s, was meant to be temporary as Echo Park’s Jewish-inspired restaurant tried to weather indoor-dining shutdowns. Its Greek menu and new patio proved so popular that owner Jonah Freedman — who had been hoping to open a Greek restaurant at some point — has decided to make Greekman’s permanent in the address and seek a new location for Freedman’s elsewhere. New dishes and new hours will accompany the change, and a party on May 1 in celebration will feature gyros, a martini cart and more from noon to 4 p.m. Greekman’s is open Thursday to Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.; expect the launch of daytime weekend service in the future.

2619 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 500-0916,

Crossroads Calabasas

Chef Tal Ronnen’s lauded plant-based restaurant, Crossroads Kitchen, is expanding to Las Vegas this spring — and a few months later, it’s expanding again. In fall the West Hollywood restaurant is set to open another outpost, this time within the Commons at Calabasas shopping center, serving Ronnen’s signature dishes such as fresh tagliatelle pasta with vegan bolognese. The new space will offer a patio as well as a private dining room.

4776 Commons Way, Suite B1, Calabasas,

An exterior photo of the forthcoming Calabasas Crossroads Kitchen.
The third Crossroads location promises some of the West Hollywood classics — along with a private dining room.
(Crossroads Kitchen)

Uncle Paulie’s Studio City

The third outpost of Italian American sandwich shop Uncle Paulie’s is here: The Studio City location is now open with limited hours, selling the local chain’s signature deli sandwiches, salads and spreads, with a larger patio and larger parking lot. Uncle Paulie’s is open daily from 10 a.m. until the food sells out; look for extended hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the future.

3990 Vantage Ave., Studio City, (818) 821-3313,