Cortez is now serving Echo Park, serving daily changing menus with sustainability and sourcing at the core of its Spanish-inflected recipes. The restaurant, which comes from the owners of Cookbook market, is fairly snug, rooted to rusticity with a bare red-brick wall, wood floors and communal tables, and thin metal hoops ringed with bare bulbs serving as chandeliers to roughly 600 square-feet. The restaurant is well-suited to the neighborhood, with an abundance of meat-free dishes on its Iberian-accented menu, under the proclamation that "our produce, meat, and seafood come from farms, ranches, and fisheries guided by sustainable principles."
The produce-pitched slant feels more exultant in provincial purity and market treasure than it does of trying to appeal to lifestyles, with last night's menu carrying farro with charred collards and za'atar, grilled zucchini and eggplant with bottarga, and roasted delicata squash with sage brown butter and pecorino, along with rabbit escabeche with field greens and fennel, pimenton-cured pork loin, and line-caught halibut with tahini and lemon-baked olives, among a strong selection of small plates.
Beer is limited to just two Belgians, and a wine list adheres mostly to France, Italy, and Spain, though Morten Hallgren's Ravines Cab-Franc from New York hits the bill as well. Check out killer Cortez's full menu from last night to get a sense of what it might be serving as this new farm-to-table restaurant takes shape on Allison Avenue.
October 17, 2012
Mixed Olives 6
Spiced Marcona Almonds 5
Seared Cana de Oveja with Salad Greens 9
Radiccio with Walnuts, Apples, and St. Augur Blue Cheese 10
Arugula Salad with White Beans and Caper Berries 9
Rabbit Escabeche with Field Greens and Fennel 12
Farro with Charred Collards, Pecorino, and Za'atar 10
Merguez Sausage with Yogurt Sauce, Arugula, and Pickles on Grilled Flatbread 13
Flatiron Steak with Crisp Potatoes and Salsa Verde 15
Line-Caught Pacific Halibut with Tahini and Lemon Roasted Olives 16
Pimenton Cured Pork Loin with Cirtus Salad 12
Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant with Bottarga 12
Pacific Clams with Chorizo 15
Roasted Culiflower with Pimenton, Cumin, and Pinenuts 8
Braised Greens with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Lemon 8
Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs and Olive Oil 8
Roasted Delicata Squash with Sage Brown Butter and Pecorino 8
Grilled Polenta with Marinated Radicchio and Taleggio 12
Bundaberg Ginger Beer 4
Mountain Valley Sparkling Water 1L 5
Cortez, 1356 Allison Ave. Echo Park; 213-481-8015.