The Distinguished Gourmand: Gwen
We awoke early Saturday morning following Otium, This Will Destroy You, and Brother/Sister Beer Time. After showering and preparing ourselves for what was to be a long day, we fortified ourselves with Dunkin Donuts and headed to Beverly Hills to pick up the Ned Nederlander to our Dusty Bottoms / Lucky Day ¡Three Amigos! sandwich. That’s a weird way of putting things, but whatever… go with it.
Saturday was Zwanze Day. As you might recall, for the past two years I’ve celebrated Zwanze by attending tastings at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. In 2015 I wrote about my first experience, so definitely read that if you’re new to the world of Brasserie Cantillon and lambic. That year’s special Zwanze release was a spontaneously fermented stout. In 2016 I again scored tickets to the Seal Beach event, which I wrote about here. Last year’s special Zwanze release was a raspberry lambic. This year I was lucky enough to score two tickets and my sister scored a ticket, hence her flight from New Jersey to LA for just three days.
This year’s special release was a 2-year-old lambic brewed with Oolong. The other Cantillon tasters the bar/restaurant provided this year were Classic Gueuze, St. Gilloise, Vigneronne, St. Lamvinus, and Nath. As much as I liked the ones I haven’t had before, Vigneronne and St. Lam are so damned good. Otherworldly, really. Even young they taste fantastic. All in all this Zwanze experience might have been the best one yet. The food was better than in years past, the selection of beers (and the Beachwood cellar list) were outstanding, and the event ran like clockwork. As long as I can keep getting lucky and scoring tickets I’m going to try to go every year. It’s so much fun.
On the way back to LA from Seal Beach we stopped for beers at Monkish and Smog City. Shockingly my sister had never visited either tasting room. Of all our SoCal beer tours, we typically snake our way down to San Diego rather than hang around the city. I think she was happy to finally cross them off her list.
So after all that, she and I had reservations at Gwen for dinner. I’d been told it was one of the best restaurants in LA by a few people who have dined there, but I was not at all prepared for just how incredible our meal would be. I would not hesitate to call it the best meal I’ve had in my ten years as an Angelino. Granted I’d been drinking all day so maybe I was feeling especially invigorated, but the meal hit every note perfectly, and I don’t think I can remember anything at all that detracted from the experience. Check it out:
I can’t wait to return to Gwen. I’m already jonesing for it. Now all I need is a $500 windfall and I’ll actually be able to afford another meal there.
Children Of Alice – Invocation Of A Midsummer Reverie [MP3]
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