Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Black Pearl - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Black Pearl


Episode Recap



Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Black Pearl, New York, NY, a seafood restaurant specialising in lobster, where he finds three owners, Brian, David and Greg, who don't get on and are unable to be in the restaurant at the same time. Gordon arrives and is greeted by David who is pretty frosting to Gordon. Gordon sits down to order food and orders clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese and all three of the lobster rolls. The chowder is watery, the mac and cheese is too rich and he's not impressed with the lobster rolls either comparing them to a diaper. Gordon meets the three owners and discovers that the restaurant was originally David and Greg's but Brian was bought in when they didn't want to spend any more money but they are $250,000 in debt.

Gordon returns to witness a dinner service and the staff are surprised when David is for the evening and even more surprised that he is expediting in the kitchen. He doesn't do a very good job and plenty of food is sent back to the kitchen. David is upset when a table sends back a dish for there being sand/grit in the mussels and enters the restaurant to argue with the customer. After the disastrous service, Gordon raises with David that they are advertising Maine Lobster but actually serving Canadian lobster which David tries to argue is acceptable as they are the same animal.

The next morning, Gordon calls a staff meeting as they haven't had one in months. He asks the staff to ask the owners questions but David is defensive and answers everyone with a question. With no owners willing to step up, Gordon asks the staff to vote for one of the three to be the general manager and they choose Greg who promises to step up to the role. For the dinner service, Brian is sent home as it seems like he doesn't do anything and Gordon alternates David and Greg between front and back to make his ultimate decision on who will manage the place. David is rude to the staff when he's in the back and rude to customers when he's out the front. Greg struggles in the kitchen but ultimately pulls it off. Overnight the restaurant is given a makeover but David hates the paint job. There is a new lobster claw game and Gordon has hired a man in a lobster suit to go into Times Square and hand out flyers with the staff. David stays behind as he doesn't believe it will bring in any business.

On relaunch night, Greg is in charge and Gordon asks Brian and David to come for dinner, they sit at the table constantly moaning about all of the new changes. Things aren't faring better in the kitchen as Greg has lost control in the kitchen and it has fallen apart. There are some delays in the food but when it reaches customers they are pleased with the new food despite the wait. After the service, Gordon tells Brian that he is lazy, Greg has a good heart and David doesn't care and that's he's only in it for his ego. David calls him "Gordy" and is really snarky. He tells them he isn't sure it can succeed with David a part of it and he challenges him to come back...

What Happened Next? 


The restaurant closed just 4 days after airing. David had a massive rant about Gordon on the internet blaming him for the 50% drop in sales. Gordon revisits in the next series but Black Pearl is closed and Hog Pit is open in it's place. Gordon tries the food and loves it. Below is the full text of David's rant:

"Hello Everyone... Well, after three years, we have fried our last clam and shucked our last oyster. On October First, we sold our lease and fixtures to someone who may be better equipped to handle the exceedingly high cost of doing business in New York City.

As you may know, in February, we filmed an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, at our restaurant, hoping for the best. We were naive, believing that the show was at least somewhat honest; we truly felt we could learn something from that jerk, and we anticipated a solid boost in sales from the publicity. The sad fact is, from the beginning, it was clear that the show was a joke. From the very first day they were initiated, the changes Gordy Ramsay made were ridiculed by the press, hated by our regular customers and were the direct cause of a 50% drop in revenues. And, we were never able to recover financially.

Our hope was that we would benefit from the publicity of participating in that horrid "reality tv" series, but the promised air-date of May 2008 turned out to be a lie, and we were not able to sustain ourselves until the end of September, when it was finally broadcast, especially with the damage inflicted upon us by the producers and star of KN. While the partners certainly weren't on the best of terms, I do admit that we exaggerated the issues we displayed on the show in order to convince the producers to feature our restaurant, but during the week of filming in February, it became clear that the show was a complete sham. KN is simply a series of set-ups staged to illustrate situations that fit their script, and, as you would expect, their expert editors tell only half the story--the part that makes their star shine brightest. All of my brilliant and pointed comebacks were left on the cutting-room floor! Darn the luck! In fact, Gordo's menu changes were horrible, and mirrored the buffet offerings of a cruise ship in the 1950s--lobster bearnaise? Shrimp Louis with green goddess dressing? His ideas were laughable, and proved to be utter failures; his "innovations" had nothing to do with our concept of a New England Lobster Shack--something he clearly knows nothing about. For God's sake, he thinks the Canadian and Maine lobster are two different species! Maybe he thinks Canadian lobsters have an accent--"butter, eh?"

Finally, his big design change, the lobster arcade game, was nothing short of asinine. After the filmed "grand re-opening dinner" (attended by actors, we learned, who responded to the producers' Craigslist ad and were instructed to order the new Gordy Ramsay special!), very few ever ordered the lobster bearnaise again. And who can blame them? Greasy potatoes, buckets of oil, egg and butter . . . nice one, Gordo; real good idea.

But what really sealed our fate was his bastardization of our award-winning lobster roll. To "improve" upon our recipe, he cut the amount of lobster in half, added lemon, lettuce, celery, salt and pepper and way too much mayo. Of course, it didn't work. It served us right for allowing a potty-mouthed teabag to mess with our New England cuisine. We should have taken a page out of history, revolted and sent him packing and bleeding back to King George.

Anyway, enough sour grapes. While I hope Gordo meets an untimely death so that I can dance on his grave, it is time to move on.

The point is, we would like to thank you all for your support during our brief time operating what we thought was the best seafood shack in New York. My partners and I really did care about everything we offered at Black Pearl. From the inception, we did our best to keep the concept pure. We made every effort to be fair to our customers, our staff and ourselves. We remember fondly those crazy nights with Sherry Vine, Sean Lynch's Rat Pack Revue, the Rasta Christmas parties, and the brilliant musings of pianist Tommy Mandel. We were lucky to have you all aboard. And, of course, we thank our loyal staff for all their hard work, especially Heru, Charles, Lana, Lisa and Steve.

Perhaps we'll do it again (sound of my partner's bullets whizzing by my head), I don't know. If we do, we'll be sure to spread the word. For now, we'll take advantage of the new-found holes in our schedules to relax with our families and friends.

Love and best fishes,

David, Greg and Brian"


David returned to his previous career in the music industry and released an album in 2010.

Extra Reading


Black Pearl Yelp Reviews

Off the Deep End: Black Pearl Still Hating on Ramsay

The Shutter: Even Ramsay Can't Save The Black Pearl

Black Pearl Bites the Big One


65 comments:

  1. Wow what a douchebag!

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    1. I agree. what a haircut!

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  2. It's now a barbecue joint called The Hog Pit. The new owner even gave Gordon some pulled pork sliders, witch he really likes.

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  3. Parents went there when they went to New York they said it was pretty good.

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  4. im sure david was the one who bailed out and the rest followed...

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  5. I fairly retch with joy. That David guy should never, never, never, never ... (did I say never?) ... ever be in any business involving customers of any sort. He is an egotistical imbecile of the first order.

    I'm sure that all his "snappy" comebacks were, indeed, left on the cutting room floor. What TV show has time to air 38 hours of solid, snappy comebacks?

    People like Dave are the reason why New Yorkers have a reputation for nastiness. They are the reason why the human race continues to have wars, famine, and disease. They are also the reason why little children cry, elderly dogs piss themselves, and why God created Hell.

    To be clear, I am not affiliated in any way with KN or Ramsay. That is unfortunate. Thankfully, however, I am also not affiliated with Dave and, for that, I am eternally grateful.

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  6. There's no way anyone other than David wrote that rant. Greg was the only owner who was even remotely appreciative of Ramsay's help, while Brian seems to be someone who doesn't have a mind of his own -- a total follower. I generally don't like to wish ill will on anyone, but David deserves every bit of misfortune he gets in life. His head is so far up his own ass he can see out his mouth, LOL. : P

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  7. canadian and main lobsters are not the same lobster...otherwise they wouldn't be called differently. its called false advertisement when you label something when its not accurate. secondly, ramsay has many many resturants under his belt over the globe so it would be in their best interest to take some advice. Greg had the passion to make it better. David was a pretender. Just wanted to look like he owned a business and look the part. And yes i went to the black pearl before the show thing and the food was horrible.

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  8. the rant would have more credibility if greg had written it instead of david. either way, shame that another business closes and leaves those unemployed

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  9. As to the lobsters ... a pug and a great dane are the same species. A wagyu and a charolais are the same species. For all his arrogance, this guy doesn't seem to know the basics of his business.

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  10. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned what a cookie-and-a-half Steve is. I hope he found a better job after this place closed. All of the waitstaff and cooks seemed really competent, giving, and sweet, not at all like we outsiders think of New Yorkers as being like!. But that David guy... yikes. Talk about being King Asshole. It's quite telling that his response to being shown on TV like that was to write an insulting, dismissive rant instead of taking responsibility. I hope he found something to do for money that doesn't involve customers in any way. I don't think every single thing Ramsay does is awesome, but I do think the man knows a thing or two about how to make a profitable restaurant. Anybody who treats him like David did clearly isn't interested in learning from the feet of a far more knowledgeable teacher.

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    1. Oh, I completely disagree. I hope that horrible man never ears another dime in his life and dies alone and penniless. Maybe then he'd have some humble pie shoved up his craw.

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  11. This guy is a complete idiot. I feel sorry that Greg couldn't keep the place. He had so much ambition to keep the restaurant going. The David guy, has to be the dumbest of all human beings. How can someone have their head so far up their ass? All in all David is an arrogant bastard who has no intelligence behind the restaurant business.

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  12. Here's classic; that crap-stain David wrote in specifically to lie and say that he didn't write this letter. I honestly didn't think people like him existed in the world. Wow.

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  13. I just watched the show and read the rants from the homepage first.
    In one of them he says that the customers loved the award winning 'maine' lobster roll and after the menu-changes the sales dropped.
    surprise....
    As Ramsey let the staff taste the new menu on the show... the lobster-roll was on it... but also grilled on the inside so the bread does not get soggy.

    So we have here a person who is hurt that he was caught lying (multiple times) and started a anti-ramsey campain because of it. shame

    Dont get me wrong. After a lot of ramsey rants I have seen I feel that it would not be easy to work with him. And we all know that it is a tv-show which shows a lot of emotions and fighting and is not totally real. And even if there are actors eating and complaining about food... how do you react? You take it professionally and do you best to take the publicity the show gives to your buisiness-gain. Because in the end... you wanted them to come!

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  14. Your opinions don't matter.

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    1. That may be your opinion, but most believe that everyone has a right to express their own subjective thoughts. However, if the opinions of others do not matter, then I will state facts instead of an opinion. Maine & Canadian lobster are the same species but are also different due to the colder waters that the Canadian lobsters inhabit. The colder water temperature means that the Canadian lobsters have a thicker shell &, therefore, can survive out of the water for a longer period of time. However, that is not the only difference. The Canadians & American have different laws pertaining to the catching, storage, & selling of lobsters. The US has a size limit in order to conserve the species, while the Canadians do not. Also, the caught Maine lobsters are not stored with the lobster bait like the Canadians do. Therefore, the Canadian Lobsters take on the taste of the rotting flesh of the bait. So, while the Maine & Canadian Lobsters are the same species, the Maine Lobsters have a thinner shell & a light, sweet taste. They are also more expensive due to the size limit the US government imposes in order to keep a healthy population of the species in the wild. This means that The Black Pearl was selling an inferior product to their costumers and was lying to their costumers, yet still charging their costumers for the better tasting Maine Lobster. The last thing I'd like to point out to David is that there is a reason that Maine lobster, & not Canadian lobster, is world famous!

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    2. you loser david.

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  15. So sad that he would go as low to wish death upon Gordon Ramsey.

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  16. I'm not surprised the restaurant failed. Of the three owners, it seemed that it was David who was really in charge. He apparently told his other two partners what to do and how to do it. It always seemed that it was "his way or the highway". During the relaunch, who was it that slammed everything and openly hoped that Greg would fail? Not Brian. As was previously mentioned above, Brian, seemed more of a follower, who did whatever he was told. Greg was more of a leader; at least he tried to make it work; although I'm sure David did what he could to hold him back. And after reading David's rant, well... he hasn't changed a bit! That said, I hope David never works with customers or clients ever again. If he treats his staff and business partners the way he did on the show, who knows how he may treat his family and friends!

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  17. I've seen a lot of episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and never, ever have I encountered anyone as repulsive as David. I need to shower after that episode.

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    1. Amy, Samy, Alan, and Joe are all just as repulsive as David. Or maybe David is less repulsive than Alan, because David's never stolen money from his son's trust fund. But, that's only because his ego's so big, no woman would be able to share a bed with him.

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  18. david's arrogance is unbelievable,he questions ramsay's knowledge of food? why cos he part owns/owned a dive like the black pearl.I own a shitty set of golf clubs but i dont think i'm a better golfer then tiger woods

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  19. Wait a minute...so they say they were doing fine before the show, and exaggerated their problems just for the publicity that participating would get them. So if Gordon's changes in food were the cause of their subsequent woes, why not immediately go back to the old way, as we know other restaurants featured on KN have? What other 'changes' were implemented (besides the decor) that couldn't just have been reversed after the camera crews left? They kept up a supposedly failing formula for 8 months, then conveniently were forced to close FOUR DAYS after the episode aired? Something smells fishy...

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    1. David went back to the original menu the day after Ramsey left. He didn't even give it a go. Pure arrogance.

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  20. rude, arrogant and useless individual

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  21. I have been watching Gordon Ramsey not only on tv for ages now but following him in the media equally as long. At first his loud screaming voice turned me off but after realizing his purpose and intent I understood exactly what he was doing and why. As a result, my wife and I now have a finer palette and appreciation for both presentation and flavor. I have a great respect for this guy and everything he does! He is not a royal who has a silver spoon but rather has worked his tail off to turn just about everything he touches into gold!

    As far as the Black Pearl goes I agree with the consensus that Greg should have taken over the entire business and I am sure he would have had addition advice given on how to better succeed. Greg had heart and a wonderful staff - he just was never given enough of an opportunity to succeed. It is hard to succeed when you have people like David sabotaging your every step and rubbing people (staff and customers ALWAYS the wrong way).

    This is a recipe for disaster and it proved so! What a shame. It is funny how the above statement blamed KN for their demise. Sounds like David needs to see a therapist to deflate his ego and discover reality! Greatest respect and condolences to Greg and the former staff.

    I too am not affiliated in anyway with the show or even know GR but I do know enough about restaurants to know one that is doomed from the start because of arrogance and stupidity.

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  22. Obviously David hasn't been laid in a loonnngggg time! Wait, he did get screwed, by a girl named KARMA!!!!

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  23. I don't get it - they closed 4 days after America saw the episode. We didn't know the place existed until 4 days before they closed (it takes more than 4 days to decide it's over). How could this possibly be related to Chef Ramsey's show?

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    1. It was probably filmed earlier than that. Most shows are filmed a long time before they air.

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  24. David is an arrogant idiot. Chef Gordon's tough love is just that, tough but honest, he is successful and trying to help other's be successful. If David would of taken his head out of his a$$ he would of realized that.

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  25. And David's music is even worse than his behavior on "Kitchen Nightmares"!

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  26. I have not run or worked in a restaurant, but my wife and son have. Assholes seem common. Assholes subsist, non-assholes succeed. Catch the message, David?'

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  27. Pull your head out of your a** David & start to live and enjoy life... you f****** pompous ass ass...

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  28. David, what a rude SOB. can't believe anyone would wish someone to be dead.

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  29. I like how David tells the customer that the food he ordered is supposed to have sand on it and "often does". What an ignorant asshole.

    What if I order the same thing and comes to my table without any sand? Do I ask the waiter to take it back and roll it around the parking lot for five minutes because its "supposed to have sand on it and often does"?

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  30. Wow David you really are a self absorbed and extremely arrogant prick. Whatever possessed the others to go into business with you is beyond me. You clearly know nothing about owning and running a restaurant and you certainly are clueless when it comes to good food. You are a selfish and ungrateful old fool and i hope you choke on a black pearl so we can all dance on your grave. Long live Gordon Ramsay you legend!

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  31. David blames the show not himself. David should just go live in cave personally I don't think even the animals would want his food

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  32. David! the biggest arrogant w***er ever. He couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery! Blaming everyone else for his incompetence. Gordon was there to help but David is that far up his own arse he couldn't see.. He should never ever work with customers.

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  33. I just watch an old run of Kitchen Nightmares one The Black Pearl. I couldn't believe there is a person out there with the audacity to be such an ass as that David guy. Mr. Gordon Ramsey had every right to ring him a new asshole! I felt so bad for Gordon, he try's so hard to help people with their businesses, and so many of them are so much nicer than this David dude.
    Gordon, don't waste your time... People like that have no reason in the world to be breathing the same air! On another note, I will miss Gordon when he stops doing the t.v. thing. I watch all his shows, old and new! One of Gordon Ramsey's biggest fans! Love you, and your kind heart.... You are so caring to your wife and kids, wonderful man!

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  34. David was so salty. All those awful attitude throughout the show was just douche-baggy. He said it's because of editing? If he didn't show all those ungrateful bastardization in the first place, then why the heck that the producer got all the clips that he was being a dick. Script? No man if you said script then David must have been an even worse investor. Why? Because he didn't realize that would hurt the business. All and all David is just a dumbass who has some money to throw into any business.

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  35. Clearly, the BIG hole at the Black Pearl was the A-hole David. What an ignorant fool. He has no business being involved in a restaurant. He behaved like a stupid prick,and anyone who watched KN knows he is better suited to work more aligned with his sadistic behavior. No self-monitoring, but great at blaming and bullying others. David was a complete fool at running a restaurant. What a boob.

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  36. David your an idiot! Next time I suggest you do your homework on the restaurant business. I was hoping Gordon Ramsey would have punched you in the face! Maybe that would have Increased your sales lol

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  37. Well, it looks like David Leonard went back into real estate sales:

    http://davidleonard.houlihanlawrence.com/agents_offices/

    It says on his page though that he has only sold (1) property at his employer. Was it the Black Pearl? LOL!

    He sure didn't come across on Kitchen Nightmares as anyone even remotely likeable. I've seen all of the episodes, and this guy has to be on (or near) the top of the detestable list!

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  38. I actually hoped for this resto to fail. David was a big douchebag. Hated him from the moment he entered the restaurant in his sunglasses and that big coat. When he entered I was like "This is not good."

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  39. David was one of those bluffers who quotes the odd fact to bolster his belief that he's smarter than everyone else, but actually doesn't know his backside from his elbow. Reminds me of Kevin Kline's character in "A Fish Called Wanda". what an asshole.

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  40. How were they going to know if they made higher sales if they closed only 4 days after filming completed? They did not give it half a chance. David should have been bought out and kicked to the curb.

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  41. Many words to describe david, knob seems to apt. Looked at the wiki link of him and it made me laugh he is reaping what he's sown.

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  42. Somehow it really appeared to me as if David wasn't incompetent but that there was something else going on with him. Not wanting to make false accusations, but I'm just wondering cause it kinda seemed like he wanted to bring down the Black Pearl seeing everything he did lead to it being ruined further and further. Or perhaps that's just my own view seeing things there aren't cause it certainly is a bit hard to believe that anyone can be so incompetent that he ruins a restaurant to such an extend and still thinks he's doing things right.

    I just feel bad for the staff. You could tell they were good people who were passionate about their work but went down due to David.

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  43. And he is definitely NOT the Grammy winning producer of the same name, that schmuck guy DL... But you can find him in real estate sales, I'm sure Canadian property sells exactly the same ways/means as American property, no diff, righto Dave?

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  44. People should not be so quick to judge. There are many reasons for David to have been going through a bad day (maybe he's dying) but as much of a disrespectful asshole he was, I wish he was. I'm sick of ungrateful people who take advantage of their positions and act like nothing is wrong. 'David, I hope life is as wonderful to you as you are to others'.
    You should thank Gordon for giving you those 15 minutes. It's too bad you wasted on yourself.
    Peace,

    Frantz Xantus

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  45. Just saw this for the first time last night. Holy crap what an ignorant asshole that David is. He clearly has no clue about how to run a restaurant. No wonder they closed after people saw that episode!

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  46. A frustrated musician? No wonder he hates himself and everyone else that much.

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  47. Greg, Steve and Phil were the highlight of the episode.

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