Monday, March 10, 2014

Amaya (La Jolla, CA)

It's been almost a year since Amaya opened their La Jolla location (the first is at The Grand Del Mar). 
The fancy interior may seemed old school and stuffy, but the servers were very friendly and courteous, and the young female wine director walked us through a fun pairing throughout dinner.
Bread Bowl
The menu is quite promising, with a nice variety of seafood (lobster pot pie!) and game meats. We started dinner with an amuse of lobster bisque.
We ordered the half dozen chilled oysters, served with a carrot and ginger granita on top, which complemented the oysters very well. These were paired with an Alto Adige Chardonnay.
She told us that Chablis and oysters is a textural, while this Chardonnay is similar to Chablis but crisp. It brings out notes of apples and oranges.
The entree I was looking forward to the most was the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, truffled potato puree, brandied lobster gravy ($34)
Lobster Pot Pie
It did not disappoint. The pot pie was filled with a generous serving of lobster and crust was nice and flaky.

Whole Roasted Quail, dried cherry and brioche stuffing, Sauternes sauce ($18)
This was paired with a Beaujolais from the Régnié region which was very light. 
I loved the stuffing in the quail, and the gamy (chicken liver) sauce. The light yet earthy wine works well with richer dishes like game birds, and this was a great pairing that cuts all the richness and gaminess of the dish and cleans the palate very well.

The Beaujolais also works well with the Carnaroli risotto, wild mushrooms, fresh black truffles ($16)

While not a mixology bar, the signature cocktail menu at least offers a couple of interesting options, like this Coastal Sage (tequila, Cointreau Noir, lime, agave nectar, sage), or seasonal ingredients like blood oranges.

OK, more on the food.

Free Range Chicken Supreme, pumpkin and barley risotto, arugula, cranberry gastrique ($29)
I don't normally order chicken, but this cut at least gives me my favorite part - the dark meat - and it was quite tender and moist as well.

Slow roasted pork chop, gorgonzola and potato hash, peppercorn sauce ($32)
Pork Chop
The pork chop was very tender! The sauce a was bit too salty but hash browns are nice.
Rioja to pair with the pork
For dessert: Chocolate Truffle Torte, black pepper caramel, hazelnut brittle, caramel-poached bananas, banana foster ice cream ($9)

We didn't want to get a third dessert but was really curious about the ice creams and sherbet that came with the other dessert, so we asked for those. The orange buttermilk sherbet that comes with the cashew tart was phenomenal, and we also enjoyed the white cheddar ice cream.

We really enjoyed our dinner at Amaya, from the oysters topped with granita to the delicious lobster pot pie and the quail, not to forget that orange buttermilk sherbet! Amaya is one of the solid dining options in La Jolla and a good place to try some fun wines.

Amaya La Jolla
1205 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA
(858) 750-3695
Amaya La Jolla on Urbanspoon


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