Matthew Lickona 11:49 p.m., Dec. 10
Amaya's chance to shine in The Jewel
The Grand Del Mar’s hidden gem stepping out of Addison’s shadow
Despite being sequestered far beyond the guarded gates of luxury property, The Grand Del Mar, any local foodie worth their NaCl knows of the fine dining temple widely regarded as the best restaurant in San Diego County. Yes, I’m talking about Addison. See, you already knew. Told you it’s popular.
The winner of numerous accolades including a AAA five-diamond rating, a Forbes five-star rating, Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef status for lead gastronomist William Bradley, and a recent wine program-inspired nomination from the James Beard Foundation, Addison’s glow is such that, for years, it’s blinded resort visitors to the existence of another solid restaurant on The Grand’s grounds, Amaya.
I had the pleasure of dining at Amaya over a year ago and was immensely impressed with the quality of cuisine—food that is right up there with that served at some of San Diego’s most highly regarded restaurants—as well as the service and, since we’re talking about the high-priced Addison I just have to say it, reduced price points. I thought it was a real shame that by virtue of its neighboring eatery’s success, Amaya and its chef, Camron Woods, toiled away in comparative anonymity when both were qualified to contend for a ranking among the upper echelon restaurants in our county.
Turns out, Woods will get his chance to show what he can do on his own very soon. Later this month, a second Amaya will open. This one will be located in La Jolla at 1205 Prospect Street. Woods will be serving a menu built on “modern American” dishes similar to those served at the original Amaya. Some holdover dishes on the menu include smoked King salmon with parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts, bacon, apple chutney, and grain mustard; and a slow-roasted pork chop with sweet potato bread pudding, and roasted apples. Amaya La Jolla will also offer daily specials, all of which will be rustic in nature playing off popular southern staples Woods grew up on.
The restaurant will seat over 100, including a bar capable of seating 66, and feature live music. Amaya La Jolla will served dinner daily from 5 to 10 p.m. The bar will be open Sunday through Wednesday until 11:30 p.m., and until midnight Thursday through Saturday.