Sante La Brea - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Kitchen Nightmares Santé La Brea

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Sante La Brea in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Sante La Brea is owned by Dean Hamoui and run with his sons Arthur and Sammy.

The restaurant is a healthy vegetarian and vegan restaurant.

The restaurant is located in a prime location in Hollywood but they are in $200,000 of debt and Dean is at risk of losing his house.

Dean does almost everything including cooking and cleaning, even though he has a manager.

Mark, the manager has no clear role and is more concerned with how the restaurant looks.

The business is in bad shape and they are close to closing for good.

Gordon is set to arrive and Dean’s head chef has not come into work.

Gordon arrives and meets Dean before he is given a tour of the space.

There is wheatgrass they grow in the ceiling, which Dean plucks and eats raw and makes Gordon laugh.

Dean says the restaurant has vegan options of all of their meals.

He admits that his chef did not come in for the day so he will be cooking.

Dean complains Mark spent $5000 on a liquor display.

Gordon meets Mark and he explains he is responsible for the design of the restaurant.

He then sits down to sample the menu and is confused by what the Mogadoofu is and Sammy explains what it is.

Gordon orders the Turkey Patty Melt, Mogadoofu and Blackened Salmon.

The first meal is a turkey melt and it is dry and disgusting.

He feeds it to the dog Tubs, who is sat on the patio with his owner.

Tubs doesn’t turn it down but is reluctant for seconds.

The Mogadoofu is a joke, with over cooked rice and Gordon brands it as inedible.

The blackened salmon is dry and tastes way too fishy.

Gordon gives feedback to Dean that the food is so awful.

Gordon asks to inspect the kitchen as he is suspicious over the fishy salmon.

There is fresh and cooked salmon side by side and turkey and salmon defrosting together.

Dean says that he does not look into the refrigerator as his chef is in charge of it.

Chef Aurelio arrives two hours late with some lame excuse and Sammy and Arthur are angry at him.

They cannot believe that Dean wants to give him another chance.

Dean goes easy on him, letting his lateness slide and this makes the pair angry at him too.

Gordon returns to observe a dinner service, Aurelio says he is just a Chef and that he does what he wants in the kitchen.

Dean is helping the chef, he makes excuses and cleans up after the Chef.

Food is sent back from the dining room as the dishes are bland and Gordon discovers some frozen fake meats.

Gordon talks to the staff after the service.

They say the manger is letting so many things slip.

Dean says that no one listens to him.

Gordon says their philosophy is not as healthy as they think but is gimmicky.

Gordon says the main problem is the food but also the place is filthy so he asks the staff to deep clean the restaurant.

Gordon puts up an F sign for their cleanliness on the door as they don’t deserve the A rating from their last inspection.

The staff clean all night and the next morning Gordon takes Dean to an outdoor hill to help him find his voice so he can lead staff.

Gordon gets him to shout out his frustrations at his staff into the sky.

Dean calls out Mark and the chef about their practices.

As soon as he gets back he shouts at Sammy when he does something he wasn't supposed to and Sammy thinks it is awesome that he is showing some backbone.

Gordon inspects the kitchen and it is in great working condition.

Gordon introduces two new specials for the evening service, a halibut dish and a Shrimp salad.

Before dinner service is started Dean is put in handcuffs by a police officer and told not to run around picking up after staff.

They will have to do their own jobs as he is unable to help them.

Mark is the host and he sweats profusely as he is doing his job greeting customers.

Dean struggles with not touching things but uses his voice and the specials are sold out very quickly.

Mark should not be taking orders and takes an order for a sold-out meal.

Dean scolds him and he apologises to the guests.

Mark is so sweaty he is dripping everywhere and he is sent home to change his shirt in the middle of service.

Customers are left lining up outside while Gordon buys Mark some deodorant.

Dean is released from his handcuffs and is made to promise to lead and not just pick up stuff.

Dean comes across some customers who have found a hair in their food and it is cold as well.

Dean takes the dish into the kitchen and bickers with the chef.

Aurelio dismisses Dean in the kitchen and at one point ignores him completely.

When the service ends Gordon praises Dean and points out the food is still the biggest problem.

Gordon’s team work all night to renovate the restaurant.

On the outside the signage has been changed and the entrance is decluttered.

Inside is fresher and brighter with healthy green colours and a mural.

The menu has been revamped as well and Dean is moved to tears.

The staff get to taste the new dishes on the new menu and they love the flavours.

They quickly set up and prepare for the dinner service.

On relaunch, Dean is on top of this staff but he catches Mark taking orders.

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.

The chef only comes back to apologise to Gordon and a fight starts between Dean and the chef.

He 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.

The customers are happy with the food and the relaunch is a success.

The night ends with complements from the guests and Gordon’s best wishes.

What Happened Next at Santé La Brea?

Gordon revisits the restaurant to find that Dean has retired and gone overseas.

He has passed the restaurant to his sons.

Aurelio and Mark are both no longer working at the restaurant.

He discovers takings are up 10% and Sammy's girlfriend Dawn is the new manager.

Gordon thinks the food he tries is delicious and then discovers that it is the Unchicken.

He meets with Mark, who tells him that they had lost respect for him.

With this he couldn't continue working there and he is now working in raw food.

After Gordon had been to the restaurant they returned some customer favourites to the menu and they changed chef in early 2009.

Yelp reviews were mostly positive with even meat eaters complimenting the food.

There are negative reviews on delivery and the odd dish here and there failing to impress.

Santé La Brea closed in June 2011, posting the below on the Sante Le Brea Facebook page,

"will be closing its doors in a few more weeks - so be sure to stop by & enjoy your Last Supper (or Last Lunch)!

We really appreciate (& we will dearly miss) all our loyal customers who have steadfastly supported us over the years..

Thanks to you, we can retire on a High Note =)"
"*UPDATE: The process of selling the restaurant is taking a bit longer than expected so - as of this moment - it looks like we'll probably remain open until around mid-May.

(We'll keep everyone posted, tho.) Again, THANK YOU soooo much to all our loyal customer who have continued to support us!!"

In the restaurant's place now is a German restaurant called Wirsthaus and reviews are good.

Santé La Brea aired on November 20 2008, the episode was filmed in March 2008 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 2 episode 10.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

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

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

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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

  7. The "chef" was stupid, lazy, and selfish.

  8. The manager got a bit too bossy.


Comments will be moderated prior to being published. Those with spam links, offensive language or of an offensive nature will not be published. All comments are the opinion of the commenter and do not represent the opinions of the website owner.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter