PRICE RANGE: $$$$
LOCATION: 6600 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028
RESERVATIONS: Book here
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Lobster Roll ($12), Reed Anderson Lamb ($70), Duck Fat Potatoes ($14)
If you’re a fan on Bravo, then you’ll probably recognize the Curtis Stone as the host of Top Chef Masters. But this dazzling Australian celebrity chef is also the head of Gwen, one of Hollywood’s most captivating fine-dining restaurants. Oh yeah, he’s also the chef of Maude, the high-end, critically acclaimed New American restaurant located in Beverly Hills. Gwen is Curtis Stone’s first restaurant that he opened with his brother, Luke, and the opening of its doors in 2016 was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year.
Drawing upon inspiration from European-style butcher shops, Curtis Stone aimed to create the similar atmosphere of an everyday butchery. Gwen has an in-house butcher shop that both supplies the kitchen and also sells to the public every day of the week, where you can buy ethically raised, hormone-free, locally sourced meats. What more could you ask for?! You can also buy the infamous Australian Blackmore Wagyu beef, where only the highest marbled cuts are reserved for Gwen’s butcher shop.
Gwen: The Restaurant
Now onto the actual restaurant… I would definitely reserve this place for a fancy (and very pricey) night out. When you first walk in, you’re greeted by the in-house butcher shop. Walk a little further, and you’ll come across the glassed-in meat locker holding various hanging carcasses, aging meats, and other curing animal parts. Vegetarians, take heed – this is a meat-lover’s paradise.
Once you’ve finally peeled your eyes away from the glassed-in counter of the butcher shop and the glass-in meat locker, you’ll immediately be stunned by the Art Deco-style main dining room. You start off your dinner by getting to choose your very own steak knife (a similar restaurant that comes to mind is Aburiya Raku, where you can choose your own sake cup, or “ochoko”). If you’re still a meat-novice, I would recommend opting for the 5-course tasting menu ($85). Or try your hand at the dining menu, which is what we did!
House Made Charcuterie (8.5/10)
Selection of cured salami, whole muscles, and spreads
While the charcuterie board is not as big as those that you’ll find at restaurants like Chi Spacca, it was on-par with the deliciousness. A few slices of dry sausage, pickled vegetables, and fatty duck speck, each had unique and fresh tastes. My main complaint is that there are no cheese accompaniments, something that I felt could’ve really heightened the deliciousness of this dish.
Market salad with radish, carrots, fennel, and pistachio vinaigrette (8/10)
The market salad is pretty damn big, and there was more than enough to go around for my party of 5. A pretty good palate cleanser from all the meat you consume. Fresh and light, it is about as good as any market salad you’ll come across, but nothing more.
Lobster roll with Brioche bun, Lebni, and pink peppercorns (10/10)
Did Gwen order these bad boys from the East coast? Holy shit these were amazing. The house-made brioche is so buttery, toasted to perfection and perfectly complemented by the fresh lobster. The roll practically melts in your mouth! While small, it’s definitely one of my favorites on the menu and I would highly recommend ordering.
Grilled lamb ribs with leek ash yogurt (10/10)
The grilled lamb is so tender that it falls off the bone, but still has a very nice crust on them. Cooked to perfection, I hardly found the leek ash yogurt necessary as each bite of the lamb was packed with delicious, juicy flavor. Definitely another favorite of the night.
Hand cut pappardelle with lamb ragu, ricotta, and gremolata (7.5/10)
I know what you’re thinking — ordering pasta at a steakhouse?! While the dish has some merits, for instance the perfect amount of lamb ragu such that it didn’t overwhelm the dish, I found the pappardelle to be a little overcooked and rather soft. But of course, you come to Gwen for the meat, so I can’t say I was all that surprised that the pappardelle didn’t exactly wow my tastebuds.
Reed Anderson Lamb aged 14 days (10/10)
Dry aged lamb? Never heard of it, that is until my night at Gwen! So why age meat in general?
Dry Aging Meat
Aging meat is a process of highly controlled decomposition (in other words don’t try this in your fridge at home and then tell everyone this blog told you to do so) where the enzymes break down some of the fibers in the meat over time, giving it the tenderness found in a good steak. Bacteria, enzymatic activity, and oxidation combine to shift the meat’s flavor in dry aging.
Dry Aged Lamb
So lamb? Yea. But not as long as the typical red meat from the cow. Several farmers have recently started dry-aging their lamb for 7 to 14 days to not only increase the tenderness but also change the flavor. And it did not disappoint. This is the best lamb I have ever had. If you go, I’d actually pass up the steaks for the lamb if you have to choose!
80 Day Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye (Creekstone, 36oz) (9/10)
The large cut of the night was a 36 oz. Ribeye from Creekstone Farms, dry-aged for 80 days. 80 days! At 45 days, the meat starts to get white striations, a mixture of mold and salt. By 80 days, the white crust develops even more. It’s basically protecting the meat the same way a rind would do with cheese. This exterior crust is shaved off the meat before it’s sold.
The dry-aged steak flavor is definitely different than the a regular ol’ steak. Dry-aged steaks, done properly, are more tender with a flavor mixture of buttered popcorn and rare roast beef. You’re going to fork over some extra cash for this type of prep too, but in my opinion it’s definitely worth it.
Duck fat potatoes with thyme, rosemary, and Tarragon vinegar (9.5/10)
What’s the one thing that makes good steak better? FRENCH FRIES. Incredibly crispy and perfectly golden, the duck fat potatoes are the perfect side to the many meat dishes we ordered. I don’t think I tried the potatoes with the side of Tarragon vinegar myself, but from what I’ve heard they add an awesome tangy hit. Definitely order this as a side to your steak!
Complimentary Desserts (7/10)
To be honest, we didn’t really eat much of the desserts. Maybe that’s because we were all in a savory, not sweet mood for the night, which is why we went to Gwen! The flourless chocolate cake was good, nothing spectacular, and I personally wasn’t a fan of the raspberry tarts. But then again, who really goes to Gwen for anything but the meat?
Gwen definitely lives up to its hype as one of Hollywood’s best meat-centric restaurants. The atmosphere is a meat-lover’s heaven, guaranteed to have you drooling the second you walk in. Unfortunately, you’ll have to save your new pair of Yeezys for another day though, as the price tag on this meal is definitely hefty.Loading Likes...