Here is a press-release from Acme Hospitality, owners of The Lark, La Paloma Cafe, and other local eateries:

Acme Hospitality, renowned for its distinctive restaurants and hotels across California, proudly unveils its latest endeavor, La Vaquera. Positioned as an elevated dining destination, La Vaquera is poised to anchor the innovative River Street Marketplace, scheduled to debut in summer of 2024.

Nestled in the heart of San Juan Capistrano within the historic Los Rios District, La Vaquera pays homage to the region’s rich heritage, drawing inspiration from the original Californio ranchero lifestyle. Its meticulously curated menu reflects the essence of San Juan Capistrano, capturing its local terrain and the diverse tapestry of individuals who have called it home throughout the ages.

Serving as the cornerstone of River Street Marketplace, developed by Almquist and envisioned as a lifestyle hub nestled within the district’s storied past, La Vaquera promises an unforgettable dining experience. Designed by Doug Washington Design, acclaimed for crafting stunning interiors for some of Acme Hospitality’s other establishments, the restaurant offers seating for 125 patrons, including seating on the beautifully landscaped outdoor patio.

At the culinary helm is Executive Chef Aaron Zimmer, whose innovative vision brings to life an approachable Californio ranchero menu. Infused with the flavors of the region, the menu showcases wood-fired delights and a steakhouse-inspired array of dishes, complemented by an array of comforting sides, offering guests a casual yet refined dining experience. Drawing from the talent pool of Acme Hospitality’s acclaimed establishments such as Loquita and The Lark in Santa Barbara, the opening team ensures seamless service from kitchen to table.

Echoing the spirit of the adventurous cowgirl, La Vaquera embodies authenticity and originality, celebrating the essence of Californio ranchero cuisine. Embracing locally-sourced ingredients and highlighting the bounty of the region, the restaurant invites guests on a culinary journey steeped in tradition and innovation. Menu specialties include Masami Ranch American Wagyu New York Strip with housemade Barbacoa sauce; Yellowfin Tuna Aguachile with strawberry and mezcal; Grilled Spanish Octopus with scarlet runner beans and charred spring onion; and Roasted Heirloom Beets with whipped queso fresco, citrus and epazote. Creative cocktails and a curated wine list featuring the finest in California and New World selections will be offered to pair with the creative cuisine.

Designer Doug Washington shares his inspiration, remarking, “La Vaquera serves as a beacon within the new River Street Marketplace, offering guests a sanctuary where they can savor moments of connection amidst the vibrant atmosphere. Our aim was to create an oasis where patrons can unwind and indulge, whether seeking a casual bite or a memorable dining experience on the patio.”

“La Vaquera celebrates the rich diversity of the farms and ranches of Orange County while honoring the time-tested culinary traditions of the original California rancheros. La Vaquera is a place for everyone to gather around the table in a lively and convivial atmosphere with gracious service and delicious food and cocktails,” comments Sherry Villanueva, Founder and Managing Partner for Acme Hospitality.

Follow La Vaquera on Instagram for the latest updates and more information.

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  1. Bob says:

    Who cares, it’s not SB.

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