The space formerly occupied by Cortez in Echo Park has a new tenant: Kush Sake Bar, an izakaya-type establishment serving yakitori, Japanese small plates and sake.
The tiny Allison Ave space has been empty since Cortez's owners (who also own Cookbook about a mile away) sold the spot back in April. Kush opened quietly at the end of June. The restaurant shares ownership with Silver Lake Ramen.
While the restaurant bills itself as a sake bar, early reports indicate that currently the sake selection is pretty small. Yakitori offerings include chicken with zucchini, bacon and scallop, and Japanese pumpkin with honey. Small plates include Japanese meatballs with a poached egg and mashed potatoes, and black cod.
It will be interesting to see if this place does well in this location. Echo Park has taken a couple of hits in recent months, losing two of its most promising restaurants when Cortez and then Allumette closed. Perhaps this more casual drinks-and-snacks format will succeed where Cortez's pricy small plates failed.