Dono - Basquing in Santa Monica

New from Brendan Collins and the team behind FIA/FIA Steak (in fact, next door to them), Dono is in soft opening phase, offering a take on San Sebastian/pan-Spanish fare. Portions were generous and the food was quite good. As a starter, I had croquetas jamon (4 for $8), which were excellent, followed by a delicious lamb shank tagging with wonderful, toasty, saffron-infused couscous with pomegranates chickpeas, almonds, and a mango chutney ($36). The burnt Basque cheesecake with a pineapple compote was ok but not as good as the ones from Pasjoli and Republique. There is an intriguing sounding presa Iberica with grilled melon ($44) that I want to try on a future visit, though the server was touting the Piri Piri chicken in choclo salsa ($38). And, since I know there are some conserva fans on here, there are four conservas on the menu as well. Tables were well-spaced and, as yet, the place is not too crowded. Decor is somewhat spare, some prints on the walls and a stained glass of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian being the dominant element.