24 Hours to Hell and Back - La Serenata - OPEN

La Serenata 24 Hours to Hell and Back

In the episode of 24 hours to Hell and Back, Chef Gordon Ramsey visits La Serenata in Los Angeles, California.

La Serenata is owned by Aurora who is 75 and her son Marco Snr is the manager and his son Marco Jnr is the chef,

The restaurant is surrounded by movie studios and celebrities so there is a lot of potential.

Aurora and her husband opened their first restaurant in 1984 and opened two more locations after success with the first.

Her husband passed away after prolonged heart problems.

Marco has tried to bring the restaurant to the modern times and take over its running but Aurora does not want to let go.

They bicker at work a lot and this is disruptive to the staff and the running of the restaurant.

They had to sell their two other restaurants to keep the one they have left but they are months away from closing.

Aurora had to sell her home and she is living with Marco and his family.

They spend too much time in each other’s company and it is affecting their relationship.

Gordon comes in disguised as a tourist and joins a busload of French tourists to go into the restaurant.

He sits in a group of four and they order typical Mexican dishes from the menu.

They notice that the interior of the restaurant is tired and could use repainting.

The salad they receive is very and the waiter is dripping sweat at their table while serving them.

The tortilla soup has had sweat from the waiter dripped into it.

Gordon’s meal tastes bad that he spits it out onto the plate.

The breakfast burrito looks unappetising and tastes disgusting.

The staff confuse some of their orders and leave them to figure out their meals.

Gordon has seen enough and goes to take off his disguise, calling all the staff to his table.

He calls the waiter out on his lack of personal hygiene.

Gordon also says that Marco was rude with serving the meals, Aurora is not happy and knows that they need help.

All the customers are told to stop eating and go to the Hell on Wheels truck to see behind the scenes footage of the restaurant.

They are shown footage of Marco and Aurora bickering and the kitchen salvaging bad food to cook and serve.

There is also footage of cross contamination of cooking surfaces and food and expired food.

Both the staff and the customers are all horrified at what they see on the screen.

The timer is started and they have 24 hours to turn the restaurant around.

The customers in the restaurant are asked to come back for the relaunch the next night.

The staff are gathered together and Gordon talks to them about what the issues are.

Marco says they have not given up and the staff are irresponsible.

The staff say that no one oversees them and they aren’t managed.

They also say both Aurora and Marco are the problem.

Marco Jnr says that he has no control of the kitchen as he is doing what his father wanted.

The renovation begins and the staff and team get to work removing all of the furniture from the restaurant.

Gordon takes the time to inspect the kitchen himself.

He finds rotten vegetables, frozen chicken and spoilt kale that smells rancid.

The kitchen staff are made to clean the kitchen and throw out all of the bad food.

Gordon has a one-on-one with Aurora and she tells of her grief of her husbands’ death and how Marco changed towards her.

She gets emotional and Gordon calls Marco to the conversation.

Marco Snr says he did not step up as much as he should have and he does not have the respect his father had.

Gordon then talks to Marco Jnr about the family and he wished he could have learned more from his grandfather.

Gordon promises to help him if he steps up in the kitchen.

He takes the kitchen staff to the truck and shows them a new menu designed for their small kitchen.

Gordon demonstrates a mussel dish and leaves them to be trained all night with his team.

Marco asks to speak with Gordon later in the night and says that he is uncomfortable with how their discussion went earlier.

He says he was not ready to take over and he is angry he has not done what he promised his father he would do.

Gordon is happy that he is owning up to his mistakes.

Gordon has one more video to show them and gathers the team together.

It is a video of the family in the restaurant from the beginning of the business.

Gordon wants to remind them of the father’s legacy and how they should do this for him.

Marco apologises to the staff and his mother about how the restaurant has been run.

Gordon calls for peace and Aurora and Marco reconcile and it ends with the three family members in a group hug.

At dawn the kitchen team are done cooking and the staff are invited to see the new dishes and sample them.

They are surprised the kitchen staff cooked all the meals and love the new tastes and flavours.

Gordon then shows the kitchen staff the new kitchen with new tools and equipment and leaves Marco Jnr to delegate and set up the kitchen.

Gordon takes the servers through a small lesson in customer service and greeting.

One server is very nervous and struggles with the customer service training.

The timer runs out and the restaurant is ready for the relaunch.

The customers are let in and are impressed with the new decor.

The restaurant has been modernised, brightened and freshened up with new colours and plants on the walls.

Gordon has invited a table of local food critics to the relaunch.

Marco Snr is nervous and while the kitchen is doing good, he is taking food to the wrong table.

Marco Jnr gets nervous and prepares some customers dishes twice.

Gordon talks to Marco Snr to pull it all together and for Marco Jnr to take charge.

The critics love their food and are happy with the changes at the restaurant.

Server Stone is relaxed and friendly with the customers and gets positive feedback.

The relaunch is a success with the diners loving the food and promising to return.



What Happened Next at La Serenata?

Three months later, Marco Snr is returning to his old ways.

The restaurant has reverted to their old menu.

Johnny has left the restaurant, leaving Marco Jnr alone in the kitchen.

He has had to take a second job in another kitchen as he isn't being paid.

La Serenata is open.

Yelp Reviews are mostly positive with the fresh food and vegetarian/vegan options being a big hit.

There are negative comments that focus on poor service, high prices and customers being ignored when they enter the restaurant.

Trip Advisor Reviews are also mostly positive.

There are a few negative comments that appear to suggest there is an inconsistency with the quality of the food served, overpriced dishes.

Planning a visit to the restaurant? Check out their website for more info including opening hours.

They had previously owned other locations of La Serenata restaurants including their original restaurant La Serenata de Garibaldi in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles and one in Santa Monica but these locations have closed.

The second Los Angeles location closed in 2017 after 32 years in business and the Santa Monica location closed in 2011.

Yelp Reviews for the Boyle Heights location are average with similar comments to the restaurant featured in the episode.

La Serenata was aired on July 18 2018, the episode was filmed in October 2017 and is 24 Hours to Hell and Back season 1 episode 5.


Click for 24 Hours to Hell and Back

Previous episode - Sherman's Restaurant

Next episode - Fetch Bistro

This post was last updated in April 2021.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe this Marco guy went back to his old ways. Damn. Even after he promised he would try to become a better man so there would be no more fighting with his family. It's truly disappointing. But there are two servers who will never be forgotten (at least by me), the guy who literally sweated from his nose into Gordon's food and the other guy who recommended Chinese food to Ramsay in a Mexican restaurant.

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