Chef Niki Nakayama has been a major force on the LA dining scene, especially since opening her restaurant n/naka in 2011. Our partnership first started in 2010, long before the restaurant received its critical acclaim, Chef’s Table feature, or months-long waiting lists. We helped Niki secure the proper permits to ensure that she could serve a modern kaiseki dining experience with no obstacles. A little background on n/naka: diners enjoy a 13-course culinary experience that relies on the freshest seasonal ingredients--some of which comes from Niki’s own home garden--and presents them in their most natural state with an artful perspective. No guest ever experiences the same dish twice, meaning Niki takes the time to record every dish a customer is presented and guarantees that their next visit will be complete with an entirely new menu. N/naka continues to collect local and national acclaim, frequently gracing ‘Best of LA’ lists. With all that Niki aspired to do at n/naka, we took care of all of the technicalities of opening a new restaurant. That meant obtaining a Conditional Use Permit to allow for the sale and dispensing of beer and wine, securing a Zone Variance to allow for leasing parking off-site, and serving as the representative at local council and committee meetings. We navigated police conditions, health and building codes, and plumbing and kitchen requirements to acquire these permits. Most importantly, we permitted the property to change its use from office spaces to a sit-down restaurant so it could open its doors. When the permits were set to expire in 2014, Niki called us once again to handle the process. FE provided the renewal of all permits and entitlements so the restaurant could continue operating. Bottom line, we love working with Niki and the n/naka team. She understands and appreciates the work that FE provides for our clients and nothing makes us happier than seeing her continued success. Photo courtesy of Darin Dines.