Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant—opened by Aussie brothers Curtis and Luke Stone—has become all the rage in L.A.
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Wonho Frank Lee, Ray Kachatorian and Clay Larsen
Seven days a week, Australian-born siblings Curtis and Luke Stone throw open the doors of their European-style butcher shop at 10 a.m. and begin offering a selection of premium meats from small, boutique farms in the U.S. and around the globe alongside house-made charcuterie, sandwiches, pastries, meat pies, sausage rolls and St. Ali coffee from Australia. When nighttime rolls around, the pair invites diners into Gwen LA’s dining room to enjoy a sumptuous tasting menu of butcher-shop selections, including charcuterie and dry-aged Australian Wagyu, house-cured meats and game— from rabbit to grouse— cooked over the kitchen’s Argentine-style fire pit. As another option, diners also can head to the patio or one of two bars to order everything from terrines to smoked lamb ribs via an a la carte menu.
“Gwen is the only restaurant and butcher counter in Los Angeles where you can get imported Wagyu beef from Australia,” says Luke Stone, who opened the 80-seat Hollywood eatery in July 2016 with his brother, L.A. chef and Bravo TV sensation Curtis Stone. “It’s quite special and absolutely delicious.”
Located at 6600 Sunset Blvd.—in a renovated 1920’s building—the 7,000-square-foot restaurant is Curtis’ second foray into the L.A. restaurant scene: He first opened the intimate, critically-acclaimed Maude in Beverly Hills in 2014, where patrons partake in a 10-course chef’s tasting menu that changes monthly.
Both eateries are odes to family members (Maude named for their paternal grandmother—and Curtis’ first culinary mentor—and Gwen LA named after their maternal grandmother, who lived on a family farm outside of Melbourne, where as boys the brothers were first exposed to livestock farming). Both went on to start their careers in a butcher shop, before Curtis started cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants and Luke helmed a flower shop.
Expect Art Deco-inspired environs designed by New York-based Home Studios, complete with soaring Guastavino tile ceilings, crystal chandeliers, a pink-topped marble bar sporting chinchilla barstools and velvet booths in a dusty olive palette. The heartbeat of Gwen is the butcher shop, offering chef-minded specialty items made in-house and used in dishes for the shop and restaurant. A shared tasting menu prepared by Executive Chef Gareth Evans (formerly of Maude) leads guests through an enchanting three-, five- or 10-course feast that is anchored by up to 20 large format grilled, roasted and fire-cooked meat dishes. (Think venison with artichokes and black trumpets, and Wagyu with pastrami, carrots and potatoes.) Seasonal salads, vegetable dishes, house-crafted courses—such as handmade pasta, rillettes and terrines—and desserts are orchestrated around the entrée. The cost? Expect $55 to $185 per person (with steak supplements available).
Then there’s the drinks. Customers can find a variety of creative cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Jerome Morris (like the Collins Family, with kiwi, pomegranate, aloe and rum); and global wines hand-picked by sommelier Fahara Zamorano.
Carnivores take notice: From day to night, butcher shop to dining room, Gwen LA is all about the meat… with a lot of complementary provisions thrown in for good measure.