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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 52 times today

VACA

4.6
798 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Spanish
Perfect For:
  • Tapas
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
Ahmed Labbate and Chef Amar Santana’s inaugural effort is the hugely successful Broadway in Laguna Beach, CA. The pair will extend their influence on Orange County’s dining scene with the acquisition of new space in Costa Mesa’s Park Towers. “Spanish food is influenced by the cultures that have invaded and mixed with the indigenous cuisine. Our goal goes far beyond paella and bocadillos. We will bring Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucía, Sevilla and the Basque to Orange County — just as Broadway has re-interpreted food and drink in Laguna,” said Santana.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Spanish
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday thru Friday; 11 am - 02:30 pm, Bar open 11 - Close
Dinner: Tuesday thru Saturday; 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Dinner: Sunday & Monday; 5:00 pm - 09:30 pm
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Phone number
(714) 463-6060
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Amar Santana
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Bristol
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Parking details
Self parking in the structure is complimentary with validation both day and night.
Valet is complimentary during lunch hours and $7 in the evening.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 798 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 4 days ago

We sat on the patio, which was MUCH quieter than the dining room. I wouldn't have wanted to have a conversation inside, but outside was perfect. We were delighted with the small plates we ordered and have a list of others we'd like to try. Great meal!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Great food and amazing cocktails the housemade Vermouth on the rocks is worth the trip my favorite dish is the canelloni stuffed with smoked chicken and surrpunded my a sauce of melted froi gras and sherry.

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

Food was hit or miss, paella was great, other tapas was just fair. My biggest complaint was that the tables were very close together, less than a feet apart. Very pricey too.

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Simply the best restaurant in the South Coast Metro area. Great atmosphere, food is spot on and the drinks excellent. Right now, it is our favorite--and only restaurant--when going to any of the theaters in Costa Mesa. Easy, consistent and memorable every time.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Best staff!

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Food was very good....pricey, but good. Drinks before were way overpriced. Again, they were good, but overpriced. Adding a 3% surcharge was a little ridiculous since the prices were very high. Wouldn't go there often, but the cuisine was the attraction.

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

The food is excellent, but plates are not well staged if you are eating tapas. Tight tables and high noise levels reduce the ambiance.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

My mother and I dined at Vaca following a performance at the adjoining performing arts theater. The bar was inviting with excellent service and tapas. We selected a seafood paella to share that was well prepared and extremely tasty. I would definitely go here again.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Everyone was so considerate and caring.. I really felt welcomed and everything tasted amazing

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Fantastic dry aged steaks. Pick your own from the cooler. We split a 34oz bone in Rib Eye cooked to perfection. Five star service. Great wine list. Lots of dining options including a large tapas menu. If you are going for the steaks and a bottle of wine figure on $100+ PP but for a high end steak house it's worth it.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Outstanding restaurant, one I definitely plan to revisit. The food, ambience and service were all excellent. My only complaints were the noise level, which was accidental as we were seated near a party celebrating something, and the floor. I don't usually pay much attention to floors, but this looked like the floor of a warehouse. My friend tells me that's the trend, but I still don't like it. But that's a minor concern with a very excellent restaurant.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Excellent food. Would go there for fun, friendship, special occasion.

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4.0Dined on April 2, 2018

Excellent service! We had the weekday price fix lunch , the pork cheek was so good! The portion if the main course is a bit small though. All in all, great food and service. Will be back again!

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5.0Dined on April 2, 2018

All the tapas were AMAZING! Not one that we wouldn’t reorder. Same goes for the drinks. For our entree, the Hubs and I shared the tomahawk steak. It was GOOD...but I wouldn’t splurge for it again. Not bad by any means, just not the best I’ve had. Overall, would (and WILL) go back but stick to the the stuff we loved. Service was on point and we had a great first experience will DEFINITELY be back!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Fantastic food!

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Food, atmosphere and people watching can all be had at vaca. Service was a bit slow but the mananger was table hoping and she was pleasant and we were having a good time so we really didnt notice it that much and the waiter was kinda charming.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Love VACA! Great vibe and food! My go to place for pre-theatre dining.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Just perfect prior to the theatre. Great food ambiance and service.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

We had a reservation 2.5 hours before the show at the Segerstrom Theater. Parked the car one time for dinner and the show. The cocktail were spectacular, have the VACA tonic. Ordered only tapa’s, we will be back to try the entrees. Server explained the menu and was timely with drinks & tapas. Overall great experience, we will be back.

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Vaca was the most interesting restaurant I’ve been to in years. I love the small plates.

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5.0Dined on March 27, 2018

Wanted to celebrate my birthday by having dinner at a special place. Vaca did not disappoint! Wonderful selection of tapas, favorites were the deviled eggs and the calamari. Service was great, will definitely come back to try brunch!

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5.0Dined on March 27, 2018

Overall, this is a excellent “date place” restaurant. Drinks were superb. Stephanie and Javier were outstanding.
Very difficult to get into the cafeteria style seating.

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5.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Wow! Just wow! We shared six different tapas plates and each one of them was stellar. The soft scrambled eggs and uni served with buttered toast was a stand out. Will be visiting again very soon!

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

The ambiance is exciting partially due to the crowd. The place is small so make reservations. I can't say enough about the service - they were highly attentive without being overbearing. My water glass was always full. After cocktails, we started off with their pork pate which was delicious. Though plated within a slice of bread we did miss additional slices of crusty bread. We each split the Paella Valencia and a ribeye steak. Both were outstanding. The steak was cooked perfectly and we appreciated that they had plated it sliced. It was served with two sauces - I couldn't decide which I liked the best - and I also liked with steak by itself. The paella had seafood and meat - the flavors blended well. I completed the meal with Tres Leches. I particularly liked that it wasn't sweetened - just natural flavors and a beautiful plating. It seemed everyone around us was eating tapas (with paella on the side - or is it the other way around?) We decided to return soon to experience their tapas.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Had a great time and the food was awesome!

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2018

We had a selection of tapas and through the food was fantastic

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Amazing flavors! And the place is beautiful as well! Congratulations to chef Amar Santana! I’m a big fan.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Everything was just excellent!

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Everything we had was great and we wished we could try 10 more things. Our experience was especially enhanced by Stephanie, the manager, who seems to make her way around to everybody, offered great suggestions, and brought by different spanish wines to try. Great vibe and all-around fun experience.

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

The food and service was excellent, if the noise level would have been less, would have been perfect.

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2018

Vaca is a great experience. Nice casual atmosphere and great food. Expensive but worth it once in a while for a special dinner.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

It was our first time. Ox tail and albondigas appetizers were fantastic. The paella and bone-in rib eye were excellent. Pistachio ice cream was fantastic.

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2018

The waiters are very knowledgeable and the food is delicious. - Better than I had in Spain.
Although it is a bit too noisy.

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5.0Dined on March 14, 2018

Great restaurant. The food is excellent, wonderful selection of tapas as well as meats.

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5.0Dined on March 14, 2018

Vaca has a very creative array of foods that are very carefully prepared with precise attention consistently and expeditiously. The chef has added his own flare to the life of Spanish Tapas which keeps patrons like myself coming back for more.

Thank you Tamar for the exceptional service and suggestions.

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5.0Dined on March 14, 2018

'Wanted to bring my millenial niece - on her first visit to Cali - someplace cool pre-theater . We nailed it! Great vibe, service, food & wine list. Will be back ;)

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4.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Really good Spanish food. Setting's OK but not very authentic - located as it is in a Costa Mesa office park a stone's throw from the Segestrom Center. Outside patio nicely heated and a lot quieter than the restaurant interior. Service OK but not great. Shame that our first bottle of white wine was brought at near room temperature. Our server's explanation being that they were having trouble keeping the wine fridge door properly closed!!

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5.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Food was absolutely delicious! Our family of 4 ordered 5 tapas plates and 1 paella..plenty for us. Definitely recommend getting a paella to split! It takes time to make so our waiter recommended we order it right away so that it would come in time to still enjoy it before our theater date. Perfect suggestion...we got all of our food, including dessert in plenty of time. There wasn't a dish we didn't enjoy!

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Great food! Extraordinary although some meats tend to get a little too salty for me. But gotta try it!

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

This place was amazing. The Tomahawk steak was superb.

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