If you had any doubt that Spanish food remains one of the hottest crazes around even years after El Bulli’s Ferran Adria introduced the world to foams, just take a look at what’s happening in the Bay Area.
In January, Chef Paul Canales, formerly of Oliveto, opened Restaurant Duende & Bodega in Oakland. This spring, look for celebrity chef, Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Yountville, to open the splashy Coqueta on San Francisco’s Embarcadero.
Thankfully, the South Bay has not been left behind in all of this. Donostia (the Basque name for San Sebastian) opened last month at 424 Santa Cruz Ave. in Los Gatos to serve up tapas alongside Spanish wines and beers.
The new restaurant is by the same duo behind Enoteca La Storia, just a couple doors away in the same retail-business center. Owners Joe Cannistraci and Michael Guerra, couldn’t resist when this long, narrow 1,000-square-foot space became available.
The two Italian guys traveled to San Sebastian to familiarize themselves with authentic tapas. That’s where they met Agustin Elbert, a native Argentinian who has spent the past dozen years cooking in Spain, including at a number of well-known tapas places. They lured him to Los Gatos to be their consulting chef.
Last week, I had a chance to visit Donostia as a guest of the restaurant. With a built-in clientele who often spill over from sister establishment, Enoteca La Storia, Donostia is already packing in regulars even if it’s only been open a couple of weeks.