I hope you have a lot of friends. I don't mean that in some sad way, just that you will need them because anyone who tries to eat at Vaca alone won't make it out alive. I can't understate how truly fantastic this place is. It's the equivalent of walking into the Hersey factory if they were really into proteins and small plates instead of candy. Tapas, meats, and everything that goes with them make up the menu at this vivacious second restaurant from Chef Amar Santana. It's all good and you both need and want it all. Also, when I say tapas, I actually mean tapas. Real, Spanish tapas. Bring a bunch of friends, spend way too much money eating way too much food and drink a lot of cocktails, wine, and sherry. The steaks are so good they will make you angry knowing you may not eat like that for a some time. The Spanish wines are sublime and other worldly, flirting with your taste buds. It is loud, big, and overwhelming in the best way possible. Truly, a place to be loved.
You may be surrounded by theatergoers and South Coast Plaza regulars, but that does not mean you need to act fancy. Do you want 15 plates of tapas and some Iberico ham? Then treat yourself. This is not a place to hold back, be shy, or subtle. Order with abandon, eat while wearing your emotion on your sleeve, and a wry smile across your face. Vaca does not do things quietly, and is down right seductive in its ability to draw you in. Valet the car, because after your meal walking sounds just horrible, even if it’s medically advisable after what you just did you your body. Sit anywhere unless you are with a large group, though there is something wonderful about sitting near the meats and cheeses. Only make this a date night spot if there is an established level of trust and understanding when it comes to food, because trust me, you won’t be able to hold back.