Donostia, Los gatos -5/2/13

If you are curious as I am you probably want to know the meaning of Donostia, right? “Donostia” is the Basque name for San Sebastian a coastal city and municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain.

Donostia is a small Basque style pintxos (small plates) restaurant that can seat a maximum of 28 people.  Most of the seating is counter-based and lined along the wall are 4 small tables for two. Donostia is not meant for groups over 6 people. Come as couples, trios or a maximum of 4 people and your chance of finding a seat will be easier. 

Donostia offer a Spanish menu of pintxos to honor Spain's products and flavors.  Tapas (small plate) is a Spanish word but if you are in the Basque country it is referred to as Pinxtos.

Hoa and I we been to Donostia 3 times in a space of month and each time we really enjoyed their food.  Donostia served small plates so you can eat as little as a plate with a few drinks or if you are really hungry you can order until your tummy is full and this concept is really appealing to both of us.

Donostia is fairly new I think the restaurant was opened only a few months ago.

The entrance does not even have a sign on top of the roof.  Donostia's logo in on main door but if you don't know this place you would never know this is a restaurant.

That's is the only Logo of the restaurant on the main door.

This is the view of the kitchen from the counter where we are sitting.

I know the picture is blurry but it does give you a view of how small the restaurant is.

You can see there are only a few tables for 2 along the walls, about 20 counter/bar seats and that's the whole restaurant.

The aqua marine tones and ocean wave wall suppose to evoke the Basque culinary capital of Donostia.


Here Hoa is looking at the menu and in the back ground is Chef Agustin Elbert (in red t-shirt), originally from San Sebastian has relocated to Los Gatos to lead the menu and kitchen at Donostia.

The kitchen is tiny but they are very efficient.

Hoa and I we always go out on Friday after work. 

After a long week we are looking forward to slow down and enjoy life.


Let's start with the Pinxtos.

Indurian - Bonito tuna Belly, Anchovy, Guindilla pepper, & olive -($6.50)

Indurain is named after the Spanish cyclist, Michael Indurain, is made with cooked Bonito tuna Belly, spicy-sweet Guindillo peppers, anchovy and an olive.

Eat the whole thing as a one bite and you will get a burst of briny, tangy, tart and salty flavors all at once.

I like it specially the Guindilla pepper but somehow I could not help but to wonder that if they used raw tuna instead it might elevate the dish to another level but I was told this is an authentic pinxtos and that's how it is served in the Basque Country.

Why it is named after the Indurain?  I have no clue.. I should ask on our next visit to Donostia.


Fritos (Fried)

Croquetas de Bacalao - Codfish croquette - ($4)

Crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, it’s no wonder that croquetas are one of Spain’s most adored bar snacks.

Salt cod (bacalao) is a favorite filling and since I really like I told Hoa to order the Croquetas de jamón so we can compare.


Croquetas de Jamón -Iberico Ham  croquette - ($4)

Oh well the croquetas the Jamon was a disappointment.  I am not sure what happened here but the Croquetas de bacalao was a lot tastier. This one was just tasteless.



Tabla Ibéricos - Ibérian meats platter (Jamón, Chorizo, Lomo, Salchichon) - ($25)

Tabla Ibéricos basically means selection of Ibérian cured meats


Hoa enjoyed having cured meat with a glass of wine or beer.

Their cured meat selection is very tasty!



Brocheta de Gambas - Skewer of prawns with sautéed onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, olive oil, garlic, parsley -($7)



The shrimps were perfectly cooked and the tomato, bell pepper, and sautéed onion on top of the shrimps has a really nice flavor.

Brocheta de Pescado - Skewer of Monkfish, prawns and Jamón -($14.50)

Love, Love the combination of Monkfish and shrimp!  What a tasty skewer!  Everything on this skewer was so delicious.


Especiales (Special)

Carrilleras en salsa - Slow cooked beef cheeks with romesco sauce and chickpea puree ($13)

Long, slow cooking makes the beef cheeks unbelievably succulent. I also enjoyed the romesco sauce and the chickpeas puree.


Mejillones con Pimenton de la Vera - Mussels sautéed in white wine, olive oil, smoked paprika, Garlic, Parslery ($12)

The Mejillones con Pimenton de la Vera is a specialty at Donostia and the mussels are artfully arranged like a flower. The white wine, smoked paprika, garlic and olive oil sauce were pretty good and we ended up wiping clean the plate with some bread.


Daily special

Albacore y Piperrada- albacore tuna with Piperrada sauce.

Piperrada is a sauce made of onions, peppers and tomatoes, typical of the Basque Country.

The seared tuna was so good and the sauce is also wonderful.  Perfect with a nice glass of red wine.

Scallops with silky cauliflower purée and fresh greens


Scallops are easily overcooked but here it was simply perfect!  The scallop was paired with a wonderful and very tasty romesco sauce .

Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce from Spain. It is typically made from any mixture of roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive or sunflower oil, bitxo peppers and/or nyora peppers..


The hook is made with pork trotters cooked slowly, de-boned and then wrapped tightly to form a shape.


Postres (Dessert)

Soft brownies served with passion fruit ice cream topped with toasted almond slices ($6)

We also ordered the Torrija Caramelizada (on the right) - soft bread soaked in vanilla cream and cinnamon, the caramelized ($6)


I really like the brownies with passion fruit ice cream!  So rich, so decadent, and so yummy!

Our friends like the soft bread better than the brownies.

A strong cup of coffee is a must with dessert!

Told you I really like this dessert!  As you can see we ate it all!

Overall, we enjoyed dinning here!  This is a tapas bar so it is really casual and perfect for Friday evening when you want to have a glass of wine and few small plates.



424 N. Santa Cruz avenue

Los Gatos, Ca 95030

408 797 8688

Filed under: Restaurants



Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin