Kitchen Nightmares: Sebastian’s

Gordon Ramsey
Kitchen Nightmares finally heads to California, and lands at Sebastian’s. This restaurant is having problems. The owner has fired 49 people in the last year, has 23 combinations on the menu, and an estimated 6 months before it shuts down.

When Gordon first gets into the restaurant, he spent quite a bit of time with the menu. Between the 23 different combinations and the menu pictures, it didn’t go over very well. Gordon ordered calamari which Sebastian said was fresh, but the waitress confirmed it was frozen. The Popeye pizza didn’t go over very well (watery), and either did the New York strip steak (looked like dog food).

After the initial food, Gordon talked to Sebastian about the frozen calamari, and the flash frozen pizza dough. Even thought Sebastian’s is a pizzeria, the owner said it was famous for the menu. As usual the owner doesn’t really like what Gordon had to say.

Dinner service didn’t go well either. A customer found a hair in her food, nearly all of the food was frozen and reheated, and about $300 of food was “comp-ed”. Still, the owner maintained that the restaurant was something that could be turned into a franchise, and would be the launching pad for his name.

Gordon finally decided to change the menu and go with fresh pizzas for the menu, and brought in some folks to help teach the staff how to throw pizza dough.

The restaurant transformation was pretty big too, and it really looked great. They even brought in a new mixer to make the new dough.

After this, Ramsey brought out the new menu: pizza, steak, and wooden oven cooked chicken. Sebastian (the owner) thought the “strength” of the restaurant was the old menu, and really didn’t like to see that the menu was gone. I don’t mean a little upset, I mean REALLY mad.

The restaurant’s dinner service started really well, the customer’s loved the new menu, the staff ran the kitchen well…. but Sebastian was still unhappy about the menu change. In fact, he changed to the old menu during service.

At this point, Gordon pulled Sebastian aside and told him that he didn’t believe in him and that he thought he was going to go back to his old ways. Sebastian was very mad, and confronted Ramsey calling him all kinds of names.

Meanwhile, the kitchen ground to a halt, but Ramsey came back and got things started. Sebastian talked to the camera about trying to accept the fact that he was failing, and trying to comes to term with the change. Sebastian came back ready to go. The service got back going, and the customers were happy.

Overall the change went well, but Gordon wondered whether things would continue that way after he left.

I think the changes were good, and that place could do very well if they stick to that new menu. They sure seemed to have a lot of customers.

They flashed “Kitchen Nightmares Now Casting – Call 866-226-2226” on the screen at the end of the show. Anyone have any idea what that means? There’s no cast on the show! It’s just restaurant owners, their staff and Gordon. …Well, and the announcer. Was that supposed to be a call for new restaurants?

Again, they did something that they’ve done for the last couple of shows: It ended abruptly, and they didn’t a “this is how they’re doing now” segment. It would be great it they did that.

UPDATE I was able to recover this posting after losing it the other day (thanks to Google’s cache), but unable to get back the comment section. Sorry about that folks.