Costa Mesa: Tapas and Drinks at Vaca

Cocktails at Vaca


Vaca in Costa Mesa opened at the end of 2015 and though I managed to make it in for drinks last year, I didn’t have a chance to eat there until just recently. Fearing a massive crush before shows at the nearby theaters, we got there early and grabbed the last few seats at the bar.

We started with a couple of drinks at the bar. I had the Tiger’s Milk, a delightful modern tiki drink. I loved that it came in a rum barrel.

Tiger’s Milk – El Dorado 12-year-old rum, Hildalgo Faraon Oloroso sherry, black sesame orgeat, coconut cream, lime

chicken wings


We got a bunch of tapas including the alitas de pollo (chicken wings) which come with bleu cheese crumbles and pickled carrots. You could dip the wings into the salsa roja but I found they were flavorful enough without the additional sauce.

bikini sandwich


The bikini sandwich is served with paleta iberica, manchego cheese and truffles. We gobbled these right up!

potatoes bravas


Since we were having tapas, I felt we had to get a classic dish like the patatas bravas. The potatoes are actually under the veggies section. These were crispy just how I like potatoes.

In the Pines


My next drink was gorgeous! I love all the gins from St. George spirits and In the Pines showcases the Terroir particularly wine. It’s perky with grapefruit and lime with a touch of cinnamon. Naturally it’s pretty with a small sprig attached to the coupe with a mini clothespin.

In the Pines – St. George Terroir gin, cinnamon, grapefruit, lime

stuffed squid


I got the calamares relleno (stuffed squid) for myself since my friend doesn’t eat much seafood. These are stuffed with charcuterie. Be sure to swirl some through the squid ink aioli.



We had some lovely esparragos verde (asparagus). They’re grilled and comes with romesco sauce and marcona almonds.

I’ll have to come back to try the steak Vaca is very much known for the next time I’m in Costa Mesa.


695 Town Center Dr., Ste 170, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

© The Minty 2017