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The 5 Things You Need To Know About Cortez in Echo Park

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Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 6:53 AM

click to enlarge A server prepares coffee at Cortez - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • A server prepares coffee at Cortez
This week's restaurant review is about Cortez in Echo Park. We hope you'll take the time to read the full review, but here's a quick rundown.

Food: Simple, pristine, seasonal, meticulously sourced ingredients, presented without a whole lot of fanfare. But very, very well executed. From the review: "A base ingredient, selected for its freshness and high quality, is paired with one or two other components for an outcome that's simple and often startlingly good."

Drinks: A small, eclectic wine list that's meant to pair well with food. Very good coffee as well.

Logistics: This is a tiny room, with two communal tables and some counter seating. There are 28 seats in all. So you will likely be sitting elbow to elbow with people you don't know, and because there are no reservations, you may have to wait. But the flow seems to be working for now, and at its best, the entire thing feels casual, friendly and fun.

Downsides: Will this be too expensive, precious, or simplistic for some? Yes. Does the 2-or-3 ingredient formula sometimes fail to add up? Yes. For the cost, would we sometimes like to see a better paced, less rushed meal, a more languid, comfortable affair? Yes. Does this stop us from kind of adoring this restaurant? No.

Takeaway: We likey. From the review: "... there's a real place for cooking like this, under very specific circumstances. It can't be too pompous. The produce must be immaculate. Great thought must be given to contrast and balance. At Cortez, all of these elements come together beautifully ..."

Read the full review here.


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