Brendan Collins opens a quality Spanish tapas restaurant in Santa Monica

Despite the similarities of warm climate and more laid-back sensibilities, quality Spanish food is still somewhat rare in Los Angeles. Newcomers like Tatel, Otoño, Caldo Verde and Saso are joining the reopened Bar Moruno to establish a fairly low-key Iberian culinary scene. Now, Dono, from chef Brendan Collins of Fia and Fia Steak, opens in the nearby space with operator Michael Greco starting Friday, June 3.

Already the drinks are flowing and the tapas are moving thanks to a few choice pre-opening services this week, but expect a lots of classics here, croquetas with jamon, dates wrapped in bacon, albondigas with yogurt, grilled octopus with potatoes and grilled prawns with pimenton. Since canned fish is all the rage, expect canned tuna, mackerel and tortas de boquerones (anchovies), while dishes to share include seafood paella, grilled whole sea bass, wood-grilled butcher steak with romesco, lamb shank tagine and grilled meats. piri piri chicken. As with all Collins menus, expect the ingredients to be top notch. Pastry chef Danielle Christie prepares a polished mil hojas with dulce de leche and coffee ice cream, as well as a very mouth-watering chocolate flan with cherry jam and alfajore.

Named after the city of Donostia-San Sebastian, the former Charleston/Tacoteca space still retains its low ceilings and larger bar for happy hour mingling. It’s not the most inspired interior, but the large back patio seems to be a favorite summer spot. Bartender Gabriella Mlynarcyzk offers a range of gin and tonics, sangrias and other easy Spanish-influenced drinks to pair with tapas, while wines lean Spanish or Portuguese.

With all this food and drink, one wonders if Dono will help fill the meager Spanish food situation in Los Angeles or if he will give the kitchen the shock it needs to return to the forefront. With José Andrés opening his famous Bazaar Meat in downtown Los Angeles, as well as two other hotel restaurants, it’s possible Angelenos will wake up to a tapas and sangria scene before the end of the year.

Dono is open at 2460 Wilshire Boulevard and is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, closing at midnight on weekends. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Torta de boquerones.

Pickled yellowtail with radish and jalapeno.

Pickled yellowtail with radish and jalapeno.

Poultry liver pate.

Poultry liver pate.

Grilled prawns with marinated onion and pimentón.

Grilled prawns with marinated onion and pimentón.

Seafood paella in a steel paella pan.

Seafood paella.

Dono grilled sea bass on a white plate.

Grilled sea bass.

Burger topped with chorizo ​​accompanied by fries.

Burger topped with chorizo ​​accompanied by fries.

Mil hojas with dulce de leche and coffee ice cream.

Mil hojas with dulce de leche and coffee ice cream.

Chocolate flan with cherry jam and alfajore.

Chocolate flan with cherry jam and alfajore.

Sangrias: roja, rosada and blanca.

Sangrias: roja, rosada and blanca.

Rebujito, a rhubarb, manzanilla sherry and lemon tonic.

Rebujito, a rhubarb, manzanilla sherry and lemon tonic.

About Wesley Williamson

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