Kitchen Nightmares - Zayna Flaming Grill - OPEN

Zayna Flaming Grill Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Zayna Flaming Grill in Redondo Beach, California.

Zayna Flaming Grill is owned by Fay and her niece Brenda who opened it in 2009 with a common dream to own a business.

Fay had over 15 years’ experience in running a successful food truck and always wanted to own her own restaurant.

They bicker and quarrel a lot so the staff and customers are affected by it.

Fay is controlling and scares her staff often wearing down Brenda who has almost given up.

Brenda has put in $60,000 that she borrowed from her parents into the business.

The duo meets with Gordon separately before going to the restaurant.

Brenda says they are 50/50 partners and she works as a server.

She also helps Fay on the line but she is not allowed to do much by herself.

Brenda doesn't feel like she is being treated as an equal partner.

She says when Fay is away the restaurant runs smoothly without chaos.

Fay says she has to do everything as Brenda doesn't pull her weight but Brenda thinks that Fay won't give up control.

She says Brenda is too focused on being young to have time to work properly.

They both say they would fire each other If they were not family and that the other should be no longer be a part of the restaurant.

Family members Mark, Amel and Vanessa also work in the restaurant and the family constantly argues, driving away the customers.

Gordon visits the restaurant and meets Fay’s son Mark who works there but focuses more on looking around.

Gordon notices the chairs are way too soft and high backed for a restaurant and it feels like being in a grandma’s house.

Server Amel lets him know Fay is in the restaurant more than Brenda.

Brenda is more interested in interacting with the customers than helping.

Fay is the scary boss that controls the staff while her son is lazy at work.

Gordon notices some typos on the menu before ordering.

Gordon orders a mezze sampler, fava beans, Kibbi rolls and a Zayna combo plate.

The Mezze Sampler has oily dips and the server says that all their appetizers are drizzled with olive oil.

As Gordon is eating his food Mark is staring at him and he has to ask a server to tell him to stop.

Gordon has an extra dish to scoop the oil out.

The hummus is too thin and is inconsistent and he sends it back.

Gordon notices dirty plates are kept under a table of utensils in the middle of the restaurant.

The fava beans come with a huge Z on the top in cream, like someone has puked on his plate.

Brenda and Fay say food is never returned.

The kibbi rolls taste frozen and the Zayna combo platter looks the worst and it is dry with no flavour.

Gordon has him read the sign outside that says fresh food everyday to point out they are doing the opposite.

He gives them feedback that the atmosphere is flat, the d├ęcor is drab and he points out the dirty plates in the front.

Fay says that this is the first time that it has happened.

Amel disagrees with this and says that it is done everyday and buckets are put there.

Brenda and Fay are defensive on the issue.

Mark laughs about a comment Gordon makes on the olive oil.

Fay says they buy the meat fresh, marinate, freeze and then cook.

She cries saying she needs help, not being able to do it all herself while still thinking that her food is just fine.

They bicker about Brenda not being taught things but Fay says she does not ask.

It is revealed Brenda has never been trained on the recipes.

The staff say they offer to help but Fay does not accept their help.

Fay has excuses for everything blaming her staff instead for the issues.

Mark is brought up as being lazy and Brenda is accused of not being at work enough.

Mark walks out and the bickering continues until Gordon decides to leave to get ready for the dinner service.

Mark comes back in but Amel leaves.

All three family members bicker about Amel and how Fay does not compliment her as she works really hard.

Gordon returns in the evening for a dinner service and customers seem excited to try the food.

The hummus is a safe choice for most of the customers.

Sadly, the runny hummus disappoints the customers and are sent back to the kitchen.

Gordon takes drastic measures and goes to a grocery store and buys hummus.

He serves the hummus to customers and they love it.

Customers give feedback that the store bought hummus is much better.

When a customer doesn't like a dry chicken dish, she is questioned by Fay.

She is asked why she doesn't like it as she refuses to believe there is a problem with the dish.

Brenda talks to customers about feedback and she is dismissive of their comments.

Gordon listens to the aunt and niece bicker.

Amel tries to tell Fay that the beef isn't properly cooked but she refuses to listen to him.

Fay complains the food is how it has always been and it is how it should be.

Gordon has heard enough and decides it is time to check out the freezer

He immediately sees lots of containers with around a month of prepared frozen food.

There are left overs, nothing has dates, freezer burned food, meats stewing in their blood and generally lots of frozen food.

Gordon brings Fay from the open kitchen to the back area to show her the food defrosting incorrectly.

Gordon shows her the store-bought hummus which even she admits tastes better.

He tells her all she does is wrong and the problems are all inside her space.

She tells him of her pain running the place and she tearfully says she is done.



Zayna Flaming Grill - Part 2

Gordon returns the next day and Fay still claims she has to do everything as no one will help her.

Fay continues telling of her pain and says that she is burnt out but she loves what she does and wants it to work.

He tells her she needs to change her attitude.

Gordon leaves to talk with Brenda about the problems of the restaurant.

She is defensive on the food and he admits what he did with the hummus.

Brenda says she still wants to stay in the business.

Brenda and Fay hug and reconcile that night.

The next day a staff meeting is called and Gordon confronts them with what he found in the freezer.

All the fresh ingredients are in front and the older ones are at the back.

Fay still believes she is the only person doing all the work.

She feels Brenda is the one that has given up over her son.

Amel speaks up but Fay says she is too fragile and complains a lot.

She says she trusts her but does not trust her, which confuses everyone.

Fay also says that Brenda complains alot.

Brenda and Amel both say it has only happened a few times and it is taken out of context.

Fay says that the staff including Brenda do not want to be at work.

It becomes apparent to Gordon Fay controls her staff so much that she stresses them before her day off.

There is another argument and Amel gets so frustrated she curses and Fay is having none of it.

Gordon says that the restaurant will be opening for lunch and Fay is going to go home for the day.

Brenda and Mark will work in the kitchen, Amel and Victoria the front of house; and Gordon will give Fay feedback afterwards.

The staff are excited especially Amel and Brenda.

Gordon reveals to Fay that she will be watching from a surveillance van.

She thinks it is going to be a disaster.

Before lunch begins Marks struggles to work the rice cooker and has to ask Amel and Vanessa.

Customers come in and orders start going through to the kitchen.

Things start well with Brenda and Mark communicating.

A shawarma is served to a customer but it is too oily.

Fay called it as she sees it and the customers complain and send it back.

The pressure in the kitchen is mounting with orders pilling up and Mark and Amel start getting argumentative.

The customers can hear the bickering as Mark dismissive towards Amel.

Brenda tries to broker peace between the two and brings the argument to an end.

Food goes out on time and Gordon points out that despite a few hiccups it went well.

He also praises Brenda’s leadership skills.

Fay is brought back in and it is revealed that she was watching.

She tells Brenda she was amazing during the lunch service and that she is proud of all the staff.

Gordon says they passed the test and showed Fay they can do their jobs without her.

Fay has changed her mind about this and wants them to work towards working as a team.

Gordon's next task is to cook a fresh meal in the kitchen and they show how unfamiliar they are with fresh fish.

They are happy learning the new recipes and love the taste of the new dishes.

Gordon goes into town and discovers that no one has heard of the restaurant, in fact 3 out of 4 people he speaks to have never heard of it.

Gordon has organised a prime advertising spot for them at the popular Redondo Beach pier to meet customers and market the restaurant.

All the staff head out in matching t shirts and they take a grill ono the pier.

They talk to potential customers and give samples of the grilled food away.

They love the samples and some promise to stop by.

Gordon’s team take 24 hours to give the restaurant a facelift and the staff are gathered with blindfolds.

The new looks is revealed with a fun beachy atmosphere.

There bright whites and pops of colour with the logo graffitied on a wall and artistic pop art on other walls.

The booths have been removed making space for 12 more seats.

They also have new dinnerware and pewter chairs.

They all love the changes with Fay so happy that she hugs Gordon.

Gordon introduces the new menu with a number of new and updated dishes.

The staff taste the dishes and love all of the new food.

They quickly set up and relaunch for the dinner service and they are fully booked.

On relaunch night, the orders come in and Brenda and Fay are working together.

As the orders pile up Fay becomes overwhelmed and stops communicating.

The customers are loving the new food but they soon have longer wait times for food.

Fay is silently manning the grill and doing things her way, which is disrupting the flow of service.

Brenda has to cover for her and encourages her to being more vocal.

They soon work through the orders, sending out good food to the customers on time.

The night ends very well, despite a few hiccups.

The customers have many compliments for the food and not a single dish was sent back,

Gordon commends Brenda for stepping up when she needed to.



What Happened Next at Zayna Flaming Grill?

After Gordon's visit, Fay went back to her old ways and was controlling and overbearing.

Unable to deal with the behaviour, Vanessa and Amel left the restaurant.

Brenda however was still asserting some level of leadership in the restaurant.

Yelp reviews are mostly very positive, negative reviews seemed to complain of poor service or the occasional bad menu item.

Trip Advisor reviews are mostly good after Gordon left and it appears that many locals are now frequenting the restaurant.

Zayna Flaming Grill has a new owner Ray Younis, who took over the restaurant as of September 2015.

Reviews are mostly excellent since he has owned the restaurant.

Their Facebook page is also full of positive reviews.

They have added a catering service that was announced on their website.

Zayna Flaming Grill was aired on 02 May 2014, the episode was filmed in August 2013 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 7 episode 7 and 8.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Mangia Mangia

Next episode - Bella Luna

This post was last updated in August 2021.

11 comments:

  1. Yelp reviews look sockpuppeted. Reviewer 'Molecular G.' has 57 total reviews, 10 for Zayna's alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the "sockpuppeted" MolecularG.
      In SoCal we primarily eat and enjoy 5 or 6 middle eastern inspired places. If something new or a new experience has happened I just report it.
      Regards

      Delete
  2. Personally, I wouldnt touch the "Before" food from a single restaurant that Gordon has been to since his show started. And the food after Gordon, I will take a look and still not touch it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fayza just might be the most detestable owner in the history of KN. At the end of the show, she should have been sent to a retirement home stranded somewhere on a lonely island. A poisonous, evil old hag who seemed to derive perverse pleasure from abusing and bullying her staff and her own niece. It does not surprise me one bit that she has gone back to her old ways.

    Brenda seemed keenly aware of what was wrong with the restaurant from the start, but she was never allowed to fix anything. It's not hard to see why she would have lost motivation and passion when having to work alongside that monster of a co-owner for many years. Brenda appeared truly competent and her heart was in the right place, so at the very least, I hope that she can stand up against the evil hag from hell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously...As Molecular G.. I have posted favorable reviews for many eateries multiple times because we eat there many times. Most are middle eastern in flavor profile.

      People of faith is what I would call each of the people who work at Zayna Flaming Grill.
      Objective is ok, harsh is passable, but your descriptions defy criticism.

      Delete
    2. Watching this episode, I don't think what Fay was doing was evil, but just rooted in a lack of trust. I have been such a person with problems about letting other people help. When I got called out on it a few times by different people, I realized that it was a real problem I had with myself and did some thinking about why I behaved in this way.

      It all stems from a lack of trust.

      I had (and still do have) problems trusting other people to do a task the way I want it to be done. I have problems explaining how to do things for other people. Between those two, any collaborative effort I've attempted with people, more often than not, resulted in a lot of screaming and arguing, and the project, if it finishes at all, ends up a disjointed mess. And I realized that it's because I unintentionally expected them to do things perfectly on their first try. Another thing, which I seemed to have inherited from my father, is taking pride in something that I do all by myself. He drilled into me from an early age that getting help means you're weak. (He applied this to everything he did. He refused to obtain medical help except as a last resort, he ran a one-man business by himself, and he felt offended if someone did so much as hold a door open for him.) I realized it wasn't true later in life when I'd see people freely and frequently helping out other people, but old habits die hard.

      Fay seems to be a person who is so passionate about her work (despite the food being sub-par, but I blame that on her being completely burned out), she does not trust anybody else to work competently with her food. Notice, on Part 2, how as Gordon walks Fay to the car to watch her family try to run the restaurant without her, she is so worried sick about her restaurant that she constantly grumbles about their perceived incompetence, and how it takes a long while for her to be happy when they run the place for a few hours without a hitch. She also refused to teach any of her recipes to her other family members. She is so convinced they cannot do it that she doesn't even try to teach them, or she is so worried they will do it wrong that she figures they're better off not knowing.

      That being said, if she had problems trusting people before Gordon arrived, she's going to have problems trusting people after Gorden leaves. Especially if this is also an issue with pride, it's not something that can go away easily.

      I may be wrong about all this though: After all, by bringing Gordon in, she is accepting help.

      Delete
    3. Lack of trust is one thing, but are you a deluded, self-absorbed, manipulative liar? I'm guessing not.

      Having empathy is admirable, but don't be so quick to lump yourself in with the likes of her. Empathy is wasted on narcissistic sociopaths (which she absolutely is). She withholds vital information, not out of worry for others or the business, but to hold power over them by making herself indispensable, and so she can play martyr when criticized.

      Did you cry about not getting any help and fighting by yourself when rejecting the help of others? Again, I'm guessing no. I'm sure Gordon was called over her strong opposition. And she only 'accepted' Gordon's help after he laid-bare the truth, denying her the go-to manipulations she employed regularly. Once he left, she was right back to her old ways.

      The OP had it 100% correct--the woman is utterly detestable.

      Delete
  4. I think this is another case of get the restaurant fixed up and sell. But it could also be the two owners couldn't just work together any longer.

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  5. Why do people continue to work for people like Fay? Just about every time she spoke she's insulting and demeaning, especially toward Amel. She treats these ladies as if they're helpless, weak little girls that can't be an adult without her holding their hand every step of the way. The way she talks about Amel is the sort of talk I'd expect to hear from a 70 year old "traditional" man, as if the girl is completely unable to make it through the day on her own.
    No surprise they left soon after filming, because I'd have left during.

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  6. It sounds like the new ownership really turned things around! Happy to see Zayna is still open =)

    ReplyDelete

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