Taking a Page From Cookbook

Echo Park's Cortez

Echo Park's shop Cookbook makes it possible to stock your fridge as if you had just visited each of Los Angeles' best farmers' markets.

Now, at its owners' new restaurant, Cortez, Cookbook's commendable culinary aesthetic can be experienced as a fully formed dinner rather than fodder for a future meal.

Last Sunday, we watched Cookbook and Cortez owners Marta Teegan and Robert Stelzner poke around the Sea Fever stall at the Hollywood Farmers' Market. The next night, at Cortez during a meal cooked by its chef, Alex Westphal, we ate the sardines ($10) Teegan and Stelzner purchased, the fish dusted with cumin, grilled, and finished with a slick of olive oil and a spray of lemon.

The wine list, which includes bottles from natural-tending producers like Olivier Lemasson, matches the food philosophy. Lemasson's R11 ($40 for 750 ml), a red blend, is like the obscure Loire grape variety equivalent of a mixtape comprising great songs by unfamiliar bands. Served chilled, its light body and funky fruit play well with many dishes, including the vinegary rabbit escabeche salad ($12) and steamed clams with chorizo ($14).

Cortez, 1356 Allison Ave., Echo Park; 213-481-8015 or restaurantcortez.com