The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Art meets music meets wine & food at Amaya La Jolla

Prospect Street in La Jolla is squeezed with many restaurants vying for prominence.

Some have a west-facing view of the Pacific which may give them an edge, but only one has that “wow” look, with curb appeal reminiscent of a Venetian Palazzo or Roman Villa, with dramatic wrought iron, gold leaf and cubic stone mouldings. Presenting the new Amaya La Jolla!

This urban dining work of art is the sister restaurant to the original Amaya at the Grand Del Mar resort. Both were architecturally carved by the masterful Warren Sheets, evoking a European style interior warmth and elegance from floor to ceiling.

Familiar faces from the original Amaya lead this new addition to the La Jolla dining scene, including Manager Nolan Seu, Lead Sommelier Andrew Adelson and Executive Chef Camron Woods, the star chef since the original Amaya opened 5 years ago.

“I always get asked about what is different in the menu and the wines between the two Amyas,” Woods observed. “The answer is not that much. I worked many years perfecting the Amaya menu and we want to keep our favorites coming with this new location. The only new feature here is the Southern specials every night. I get an opportunity to cook the food that I grew up with in the South,” he happily explained. It all adds up to luxury dining with a casual, fresh feel.

The wines are global and regional consisting of 300 labels with surprising value: all are under $100. There is also an impressive lineup of 20 wines by the glass. I had a bottle of Lewis “Mason’s” Cabernet from Napa Valley, a provocative taste sensation ( $95.) to complement the smoked King Salmon, a perfect pairing.

Amaya La Jolla is open for lunch and dinner daily. Live entertainment nightly in the lounge from 7pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30pm to 11:30pm. Valet parking available in front of Amaya. Visit


iPad Your Wine Choices at Flemings

Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar has rocked the restaurant world with an exclusive customer service: the Flemings WiNEPAD, a custom app on iPad that helps guests easily navigate the restaurant’s wine list tableside or at the bar. All 65 locations have it offered complete with label-specific tasting notes.


Ashlee Cote table

server and Casey Eades Operating

That’s only the beginning of what this wine-centric device can do to customize your wine experience. It has the ability to match up your current mood for a particular tasting wine with the “What’s Your Mood” function. Whites range from Fragrant and Fruity to Rich and Elegant. Reds include Big & Intense, and Rich & Voluptuous. Sweet wine moods feature Sweet & Mouthwatering and Sweet & Powerful. Other fun settings are: wine list, recommended wines, perfect pairings, spin the bottle, share the wine and other fun information. Check out the “Fleming’s 100,” an exclusive collection of 100 wines served by the glass. Fleming’s is well-deserved its reputation as the steakhouse destination for lovers of fine wine. See more at

Wine Bytes

North County Wine Company in San Marcos is celebrating its third Anniversary July 27 all day and until 9 p.m. Huge selection of great wines at 50 cents a taste. Food and raffle drawings. The night before, from 5 to 9 p.m., “big gun” tasting flights from $10 and more. Details at (760) 744-2119.

The San Diego Country Festival happens July 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Over 20 San Diego wineries will be there for tasting. Food vendors will have tasty snacks. Silent auction. Call (858) 487-1866.

Carruth Cellars in Solana Beach is doing a wine tasting and art raffles July 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. to benefit breast cancer research. Hors d’oevres and live music. $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Call (760) 458-3130.

Fleming’s La Jolla offers a First Friday event, Aug. 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with “Fleming’s Reserve” featuring the best of the best. Most are reds from Napa Valley, paired with small plates. Cost is $55. RSVP at (858) 535-0078.