So convenient to Costa Mesa’s live theater district, free parking in the structure and a lovely patio with a view of SCR and the plaza, Vaca is the perfect place for a pre-theater dinner. Go early so you have time to review the lengthy and interesting menu.


The hard choices began with the drink menu. After lengthy pondering, I ordered a white wine sangria, and Sandy (a tequila aficionado) opted for mescal with a splash of ginger ale and lime juice.  The bowl of munchies on the table contained corn nuts and roasted almonds with truffle oil. I could have made of meal on them!


Vaca is well known for their paella which is what I was going to order. Then I started reading about all the Tapas. Paella will have to wait for the next visit.  We shared the following extremely tasty small plates:

Albondigas – Roasted lamb meatballs with Lemon Yogurt and Cucumbers          Croquetas de Pollo – Creamy Chicken Fritters                                                            Coliflor – Roasted cauliflower, Tahini, Raisins, and Lemon                                      Vieiras a La Plancha –  Seared Scallops in cauliflower puree, Pickled Raisins & Red Mojo


We were intrigued with a cocktail two gentlemen were drinking at the next table. Here are the two Matts toasting with their Aperol Spritz – with prosecco and a splash of soda). Of course, we needed one of those to enjoy with our dessert – Tarta de Queso, a goat cheesecake with an ice cream accompaniment and drizzle beyond description!! So good. My only complaint – and it is a small one – is the time it took to get our pre-dinner cocktails. They were very busy though.


This was a perfect dinner experience. It will take many visits to experience all the menu, and I must try one of the paellas. The red meat options are on display in a closed glass case as you walk through the restaurant. It made me drool just thinking about them.

The Other Thing – Chef/Owner Amar Santana stopped by for a photo opportunity and the perfect ending to my blog.