Clearly fed up with all the sibling-related hype Tia and Tamera continue to generate, Amaya La Jolla's a sister establishment to the original Grand Del Mar Hotel location, settling into La Jolla's downtown dining district and bringing with it yet another, more rough-edged sib in the form of a hidden back-room lounge
After passing through the iron gate you'll either find yourself navigating the treacherous politics of King's Landing, or admiring the 10,000sqft palazzo-inspired space with an elaborate veranda-style entryway
Here's a portion of their 118 spots to sit yourself down
Or if sitting among so many people freaks you out, The Wine Cellar Room is available for private dinners with seating for up to 12 near the temperature-controlled wine cellar housing 300 global and regional labels priced under $100, 20 of which are avail by the glass (also for under $100!)
Exec chef Camron Woods' contemporary American menu includes this Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with cornbread puree and butter beans, obviously to add punch
This seared day boat scallop sits on a cushion of parsnip surrounded by golden chanterelles
This frisee salad with braised pearl onions keeps its healthiness in check with lardons, fried sourdough, and a soft-poached egg
Buttermilk fried quail was pretty much artery trouble from the get-go, even before the addition of smoked mac and cheese
Crispy branzino is paired with confit fennel, tomatoes, and Niçoise olives, all topped with tangerine sauce
If the Amayas are sisters, then Club M is the family's black sheep, with a low-lit atmosphere, five large flatscreens, a shiny black piano, and neon signage providing a moody contrast to the rest of Amaya.
It has a separate bar menu (daily special stone-oven 'za, pulled pork sandos...), to sustain you during one of the nightly live shows.
It's also turning out signature cocktails like the Coastal Sage (tequila, Cointreau Noir, lime, agave nectar, and... sage), plus seasonal numbers like the Apricot Smash ("too easy", says Gallagher) with bourbon, lemon, apricot brandy & mint
Or ask for a Scotch and keep it simpler than the plot of a Sister, Sister episode.