ECHO PARK – The owners of Cortez, which was praised for its cuisine but criticized for its pricey small portions, have sold the restaurant that opened only 18 months ago.
Co-owners Marta Teegan and Robert Stelzner did not explain why they sold the restaurant when they announced the sale in an email to customers and supporters:
We write to let you know that we recently accepted an offer to purchase Cortez. We look forward to cooking for you over the next few weeks – please join us for dinner or a glass of wine soon! We will now have an opportunity to pursue the long list of projects that we’ve been eager to work on – please stay tuned. With many thanks to all of you for your kindness & support over the years.
The restaurant won many fans, but, only a few months after opening, influential L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold took the restaurant to task for the small size of the portions, saying the restaurant may have taken the small plates concept to a pricy extreme. Said Gold:
Tiny portions are great in principle and on tasting menus, but there may be a reason so many of the regulars at Cortez fit nicely into skinny jeans. And by the time you finish ordering, you are going to have spent a shocking amount of money.
Rumors of the sale have been floating around for weeks, with some people saying Cortez would become a Japanese restaurant. Teegan and Stelzner, who also own the gourmet grocery store Cookbook on Echo Park Avenue, have not responded to emails seeking comment.