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Treat Yourself with a $100 South Coast Plaza Gift Card from Travel Costa Mesa

Posted on October 31, 2020 | 8:00pm | Travel Costa Mesa

Treat Yourself with a $100 South Coast Plaza Gift Card from Travel Costa Mesa

Travel Costa Mesa wants your holidays to still be bright this year. We’re going to Light Up Your Holidays with a $100 South Coast Plaza gift card when you stay 2 nights in the City of the Arts®! South Coast Plaza is the premier shopping destination on the West Coast. They’re also dedicated to your health and safety. You can find something special from one of 250 boutiques, of course. However, we think a trip to South Coast Plaza isn’t complete without trying, at least, one of their 30 restaurants. We’re sharing some ideas for you to treat yourself to some amazing food. 

Photo courtesy of Sarah King

Tapas and Cocktails at Vaca

Since Vaca is located across the street, between Segerstrom Center for the Arts and The Westin South Coast Plaza, you may not realize that it is actually part of the South Coast Plaza restaurants. The Spanish-inspired cuisine, from Top Chef finalist Amar Santana, is a Costa Mesa favorite. We recommend going for tapas and cocktails for an authentic experience. You can’t dine at Vaca without trying the Canellon de Pollo Ahumado ($18)–a smoked chicken cannelloni with foie gras sauce and a sherry reduction–and their signature Vaca Tonic ($13). Pair them with the Pan Con Tomate ($9) or the Ensalada de Remolacha ($13) with watercress, roasted beets, caña de cabra, saffron poached pears and a caramelized sherry-honey vinaigrette for an unforgettable meal.

Photo courtesy of Mike Shubic of Mike’s Road Trip

Sushi at Water Grill

Another adjacent South Coast Plaza restaurant, Water Grill is known for their extensive selection of fresh seafood. We think it’s a great place to stop in for some unbelievably good sushi. The Trojan Roll includes wild bigeye tuna, wasabi vinaigrette, yuzu tobiko and traditional ponzu sauce ($20). Pair it with the Smoked Hamachi Nachos ($17)–with Japanese yellowtail, Asian pear, yucca chips and toasted marcona almonds–or the King Crab California Roll ($27)–with wild barents sea red king crab leg, avocado, fried leeks and brown butter nikiri. In the mood for a cocktail? The Bristol Street ($14.50) is vodka-based with fresh strawberry and lemon juice, infused with tarragon essence.

Lunch at Terrace by Mix Mix

One of our favorite options for lunch at South Coast Plaza is the Express Lunch Menu ($25) at Terrace by Mix Mix from chef Ross Pangilinan. The three-course meal changes daily, so it’s a great opportunity to try a variety of dishes. Another popular option is their bone-marrow pizza ($19–with shallot marmalade, mornay sauce and red wine jus–and the marinated tomatoes ($9) with burrata, oregano, basil and sherry vinaigrette.

Photo courtesy of Sarah King

Breakfast or Lunch at The Hall: Global Eatery

The Hall: Global Eatery, also from chef Amar Santana, is inspired by European food halls. It includes a patisserie, a Mediterranean grill and poke. The patisserie serves coffee, pastries and sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for the Mediterranean grill, we suggest trying the shawarma fries ($12) or the bowl ($11), which comes with your choice of starch, protein, five sides and sauce. Poke bowls ($14) also come with five sides, two scoops of protein, sauce, topping and a base of rice or salad.

Photo courtesy of Knife Pleat

Tasting Menu at Knife Pleat

If you want to indulge at one restaurant, it’s hard to beat the tasting menu at Knife Pleat ($175) on November 6 and 13. Chef Tony Esnault’s 6-course menu begins with vegetable consomme and foie gras, followed by pasta, fish and meat courses and dessert. You can view the entire menu here. The tasting menu dinners regularly sell out, so we recommend making reservations as early as possible.