Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Santé La Brea - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Santé La Brea

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Sante La Brea, Los Angeles, CA, a healthy Vegan restaurant run by owner Dean Hamoui and his sons Arthur and Sammy. They opened the restaurant 10 years ago along popular La Brea Avene in LA. They have a prime location but business is almost at nothing and they are in $200,000 of debt. Dean cooks and cleans whereas new manager Mark only does the interior decorating. As Gordon is about to arrive they discover that Chef Aurelio has not arrived and is not answering his phone. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and meets Dean, Dean shows him the grass that is growing on top of the counter and shows Gordon that it is edible. Gordon discovers that it isn't just vegan food that they serve but that they also serve chicken and fish. Dean reveals to Gordon that he believes the main problem with the restaurant is lack of money and that he had to borrow $10,000 from Mark. Gordon sits down on the patio to sample the food, he orders the Turkey Patty Melt, Mogadoofu and Blackened Salmon. He finds the patty melt dry and disgusting and feeds it to the dog Tubs who is sat on the patio. He brands the mogadoofu a joke, meaning s@*t in Chinese with the rice having been cooked to hell and overall he bands it shocking. Finally, the salmon is dry and tastes way too fishy. Gordon asks to inspect the fridge and discovers frozen salmon and turkey defrosting together and rotten vegetables. Dean says the responsibility is the Chefs and not his. Chef Aurelio arrives late with some lame excuse and Sammy and Arthur are angry at both him but Dean goes easy on him and this makes them angry at him too.

Gordon returns to witness a dinner service. Aurelio says he is just a Chef and that he does what he wants. Dean enters the kitchen and cleans up after the Chefs putting the food away. As food makes it out to the tables the customers aren't happy with what they have been served. Gordon discovers that they serve Unduck and Unfish, imitation duck and fish products. After the dinner service Gordon sits the staff down and talks about how no one is responsible for what they are doing and Dean says that no one listens to him. Gordon says the main problem is the food and the gimmick imitation food is not working. He also says the place is filthy and that they need to clean it, he covers their A Rating health inspection with an F rating poster. Overnight, they deep clean the restaurant and Gordon removes the poster when it is clean. Gordon takes Dean out to help him release the pressure from the restaurant, he gets him to shout out his frustrations at his staff. As soon as he gets back he shouts at Sammy when he does something he wasn't supposed to.

Gordon introduces two new specials for the evenings service, a halibut dish and a Shrimp salad. A policeman arrives and handcuffs Dean so he can't do everyone elses jobs for them. Mark once again tries to take orders when he isn't meant to. Mark puts menus under his sweaty armpit and is sent home to change, Gordon pops out and buys him some womens deodorant. As the customers are lining up, Aurelio dismisses Dean in the kitchen and at one point ignores him. The customers once again aren't happy. Gordon calls a meeting and tells them that it is the most bizarre restaurant and that the food is bland.The next day, they arrive to the restaurant after it has had an overnight makeover. They have a new sign and the entrance is decluttered. Gordon introduces the new menu featuring new items such as chilled tomato soup, new salads, egg white fritatta and Deans favorite Grilled Tofu.

On relaunch night, Mark once again doesn't listen to Dean and took orders for wine so Dean marches him out the back by his collar and shouts at him. Everyone is feeling the pressure, especially Dean and the Chefs. Aurelio threatens to leave mid service and Dean shouts at him and he leaves. He returns and says he will stay if he is paid the money he is owed, Gordon pays him the money out of his own pocket and Aurelio returns. The kitchen is backed up and the customers are waiting for food but they work together and successfully push all the food out and the customers are happy with the food and the relaunch is a success.

What Happened Next? 

Gordon revisits the restaurant to find that Dean has retired and gone overseas, passing the restaurant to his sons. He also discovers that Aurelio and Mark are gone too. He inspects the fridge and they discuss the restaurant saying takings are up 10% and that Sammys girlfriend Dawn is the new manager. Gordon tries the food and says it is delicious and then discovers that it is the Unchicken. After going back to the restaurant he meets with Mark who tells him that they had lost respect for him and he is now working in raw food. He asks Gordon for a job. After Gordon had been to the restaurant they returned some customer favourites to the menu and the reviews were mostly positive. They closed in June 2011 posting this on their Facebook page,

In Santes place now is a german restaurant called Wirsthaus. Reviews are good.

Extra Reading

Sante Le Brea FB Page

Sante Le Brea Yelp

Eating at Sante La Brea Blog Review - Bouman Blog

A Kitchen Nightmare That Was: Gordon Ramsay Fixes Sante La Brea

Reader Report: Did Chef Gordan Ramsay Ruin Sante Cuisine?

Sante Cuisine's 'Kitchen Nightmare'

Getting Ramsayed: Sante La Brea on Kitchen Nightmares This Week

Wirthaus Webpage

Wirthaus Yelp

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

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  1. this is the new restaurant!

  2. Uhh, thats a german restaurant... With beer and meat... Definitely not the same owners or restaurant. But maybe same location?

  3. It's closed and it's now Wirsthaus. German brats, beer, schnitzel and such...went once and it was damn tasty.

    1. It still is! We either go there or get takeout from there every other month or so.

  4. If you look at the comments on their FB page, they indicate that they were selling during booming business but just wanted out. I think the business was less of a failure than the owners were just tired

    1. Which is smart, always know when to stop. However, what was that madness with telling the public they were staying open while trying to sell? I would never go to a restaurant that was open about closing soon. No one will be giving full effort and that sounds like a great way to get food poisoning. Over sharing on Facebook shouldn't be a business's flaw, leave that to the tweens.

  5. It's good to know that the two sons took Gordon's advice and changes to heart and ran with it. From what I understand, Sante did quite well until they decided to sell the place. Well, my question is about that yellow awning they had out front until Gordon put up the new sign: what is "Tastlthy" even supposed to mean anyway? Something that former manager Mark came up with, perhaps?

  6. MisterAl, I believe that word is a mash up of Tasty + Healthy = Tastlthy

  7. They should have got Mark to replace the departing Dean instead of his two sons. No wonder they had to close.

    1. They were in booming buisness when they sold. They just wanted out. Know your facts and like gordom would say, get your head from up your arse

  8. it's fatter than you! lol #classic