Kitchen Nightmares - La Frite - CLOSED

La Frite Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits La Frite restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California.

La Frite Cafe is a French restaurant that opened in 1972.

It had been a big success under the ownership of Andre.

After years of success and with his wish to retire, Andre’s son Alex was brought into the restaurant.

Then about two years ago, his sister Celine joined the business to support him.

The pair often comes to blows as they compete to be the one to take control of the restaurant from their father.

Celine believes nobody listens to her as she’s constantly being argued with or told a flat out no.

Gayle believes Alex doesn’t show any enthusiasm to work as he feels shunned with the presence of Celine in the restaurant.

Alex doesn’t believe there is a need to change things since la Frite has been working for years.

He is resistant to change even though the customers numbers have reduced to a third of what they had before.

La Frite is losing money and if Alex and Celine can’t work together, then it would have to close down.

Andre visits Chef Ramsay at his restaurant to give him a quick briefing into the problems before he visits the restaurant.

He explains he has been in the restaurant business for 38 years and wants to pass it on to his children.

Alex and Celine are the biggest problems that the restaurant have as they lack communication.

Celine walked away from the restaurant to start her own business.

The business failed so she came back to La Frite but Alex didn’t want that because he wants to own the place.

Gordon walks into La Frite and is greeted by Gayle, who has been the manager for 20 years.

He is distracted by an ugly dessert cabinet filled with old desserts, which looks like it has been there for as long as Gayle has.

Gordon notices the dessert cabinet makes an annoying noise and nobody would want to sit next to it.

Gordon orders Celine’s recommendation, the quiche Lorraine and orders a La Frite salad and a seafood crepe.

The salad is large and bland with acidic dressing, the Seafood Crepe is soggy, hot in the middle and cold at the sides and the Quiche is microwaved.

Chef Martin lied at first about the food being microwaved but later admits to him that the food was first microwaved before it was grilled in the oven.

Gordon asks Martin why he doesn’t care and doesn’t listen to Celine.

Martin says he doesn’t listen because Celine attacks him and tells him it’s time for him to go.

Gordon agrees with Celine and Martin walks out angrily.

Gordon meets with martin and he talks about how stressed out he is working with Celine.

At dinner service, Gordon asks for Andre and he is told he has gone to an hockey game.

Gordon meets with Alex and asks why he and Celine don’t work together.

Alex says the conflict is about who will inherit the restaurant and has no interest in working with Celine and he would prefer it if she wasn’t there.

Gordon asks if there is anything wrong with the restaurant but Alex says there isn’t anything wrong with it.

The dinner service is busy and Chef Martin sends out unseasoned and overcooked food to the customers, who send the food back.

Celine tries to talk to Martin but he ignores her so Gordon tries but he is ignored too.

Gordon tries to talk with Alex too but he was also ignored by him.

More dishes are being sent back by the customers and as Gordon tries to speak with Alex about it, he keeps getting ignored.

The resentment from Alex gets to Celine. She walks out crying and Gayle goes to comfort her.

Gordon tells Celine to call her dad to come to the restaurant otherwise he is going to leave.

Andre arrives and Gordon tells Andre that his children cannot work together as Alex hates his sister.

The next day, Gordon sits Andre in front of a monitor to watch a meeting between the children.

Gordon wants Alex and Celine to talk about what really caused the problems between them.

Celine feels like Alex thinks their dad loves her more.

Alex feels resentment towards her for leaving and returning to the restaurant as if nothing happened.

Alex felt like Andre was going to give Celine his restaurant and he doesn’t believe he belongs there.

He also admits that he has lost the passion he once had for the restaurant.

Celine confesses she cannot do it alone and they both exchange teary moments.

Andre joins them and they decide that they need to work together, communicate more and make decisions jointly.

Gordon introduces a new crepe station to replace the dessert case.

For the evening's service, Alex teaches them how to make a fresh light traditional crepe instead of the soggy crepes that he was served.

Alex supervises the new crepe station with some assistance from Gayle, while Celine expedites and works alongside chef martin.

Chef Martin struggles during the service, as he cannot cook the menu and once again foods are being returned.

The crepes made by Alex were delicious and the customers love them.

After the evening service, Gordon meets with the owners and tells them to be ready for some major changes.

Overnight Gordon gives the restaurant a makeover and the owners were amazed by it as they love it.

Gordon introduces a new menu and brings in a new chef.

Chuy will be there to teach the kitchen staff the new menu as they are not strong enough for relaunch night.

On relaunch night, the food begins at a good pace with the appetizers getting to the customers quickly.

Celine asks Martin to communicate and he ignores her and the service slows down.

The kitchen grinds almost to a halt with food taking over 90 minutes to leave the kitchen.

The customers begin to complain and one table walks out before they get their food.

Gordon asks Celine to delegate and she asks Chuy to take control of the kitchen.

The food begins flying out of the kitchen and the customers are delighted with their meals.

The relaunch night was a success.

Gordon meets with the owners after the relaunch and he tells them that they have to work together.

They all agree and everyone shared a happy hug.



What Happened Next at La Frite?

In the days that followed, Chuy was hired as full time Executive Chef and Alex and Celine are still working together.

When Gordon revisits Celine is front of house and she reports they are doing well.

Gordon also chats to Alex, who says they are getting along much better.

Gordon orders a mushroom crepe and Andre sits down to join them, he says the crepe and quiche are both delicious.

Yelp reviews following the filming of the episode were mixed, the Sunday brunch seems to have the most negative reviews.

Trip Advisor reviews were most positive with fewer negative reviews.

You see the menu they were serving prior to closure here.

In July 2016 the restaurant was bought by George Zaoui, he kept the restaurant as La Frite for a year.

La Frite closed in September 2017 when the owner changed the restaurant to an Italian eatery Modo Mio.

La Frite aired on May 20 2011, the episode was filmed in January 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 4 episode 9.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Kingston Cafe

Next episode - Capri


This post was last updated in February 2021.

14 comments:

  1. Solid episode. Crazy what a little sit down and talk accomplished for the family. Cook was single handling anchoring the restaurant. Nice to see them excelling.

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  2. He always says it's delicious when he comes back... One time he said it is delicious and later discovered that he was given "Unchicken"... That shows how fake he is when he tastes for the first time the foods.

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  3. I ate there this place blows, I would rather eat at Burger King.

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    Replies
    1. Back up your statement with specifics please.

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    2. The Sunday brunch is still wonderful - Gordon Ramsay didn't change the menu and screw it up.

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    3. I ate there too right before it closed. It’s honestly terrible. I had the duck and it was overcooked and flavorless. Cost something like $40. I’m happy it got sold. Before it went under, the main clientele was primarily old people.

      Btw I live right by there in sherman Oaks. I need to try out the new rebrand though.

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  4. I used to love La Frite, but after Ramsay took 90% of the items of the dinner menu and added some new ones that are not good, I was appalled. I only eat there for brunch on weekends - same fabulous brunch menu as always - great food, great price.

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    Replies
    1. Say whatever you want, the fact that this restaurant kept open says something.

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    2. Yes, Chef Martin, we know you're angry.

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    3. You sound like you lack tastebuds.

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  5. People saying the microwaved junk they served before was better... Crazy!

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    Replies
    1. Well, tells you a lot about these people. They'd rather eat dog food than good quality food. People don't care what they eat these days.

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  6. Say what you want about Ramsay changing the menu, but they stayed in business for years after the changes and they were able to sell it rather than being put out of business due to debt.

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  7. I enjoyed La Frite but I primarily went there for happy hour for drinks and appetizers. The interior was charming but definitely in need of freshening up. Celine was always pleasant to speak with. Very charming!

    What annoys me is that this neighborhood doesn't need yet another Italian restaurant. Ventura Blvd. is lousy with them. La Frite was unique. Accessible French cuisine in a relaxed environment. I miss the yellow and black vintage signage.

    But it seems like they did better than most of the KN alums.

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