There’s a school of thought that says if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right. And that’s certainly the philosophy that chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone (he of Maude and general celebrity chef fame) and his brother, Luke Stone, put into their Hollywood restaurant, Gwen. Hell, they even became importers so they could get their hands on Blackmore Farms meat from Australia, which was previously unavailable in the US. That’s dedication.
And it pays off. Gwen is a glorious celebration of meaty goodness. When you walk in, you’ll see the impressive butcher counter – an array of marbled, impeccably-sourced, ethically-minded meats – that certainly puts one in a carnivorous frame of mind by the time you take your seat in the white, marble, and copper-bedecked dining room. It’s an elegant room, a gleaming backdrop against which the rustic rampage of dishes like slow-cooked and grilled short ribs and fire-roasted pork look suitably sensational.
The menu moves around, shifting with the seasons, and allowing the Stones to serve the very best cuts and crops. But regardless of the time of year, you’re likely to see charcuterie plates filled with fermented, cured and aged goods, as well as life-changing (and wallet-draining) Blackmore Wagyu beef and 80-day dry-aged Creekstone Farms bone-in ribeye.
While there is definitely an emphasis on meat at Gwen, that’s not to say that the rest of the menu isn’t fleshed out. Much like at Maude, Stone displays creativity and skill in his dishes, like ocean trout with pumpernickel and smoked roe, or melon with charred salsify, rocket and lavender.
But with great food, comes a great waiting list. Don’t lose heart though; if you’re not lucky enough to get a reservation, they can often accommodate walk-ins in the bar or patio areas. So, a night spent enjoying the full a la carte menu under the twinkle lights, in the early evening light, while sitting out on iconic Sunset Boulevard could soon be yours. A setting incidentally that’s nigh-on perfect for a sundowner – and Gwen once again provides, with impressively mixed cocktails, beers, ciders, and a list of wines that the sommelier will be more than happy to help you navigate. But for all that, it’s hard to resist the cocktail menu, with its old school soul and modern mentality, offering a mix of sours, Old Fashioneds, Negronis, and Manhattans.