Sunday, 29 May 2011

US Season 5 - Burger Kitchen Parts 1 & 2 - CLOSED

Open or closed? CLOSED
Website: http://www.burgerkitchenla.com/
(^ Currently only showing a .pdf menu?)
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Episode Summary: So much material and drama they split it into two shows, a Kitchen Nightmares first!

Part 1: Open for just 1 year this restaurant has serious issues. In order to maintain the restaurant Alan Saffron used his son Daniels inheritance money without permission (erm isn't that illegal?)  and doesn't treat him as a partner barring him from knowing about the restaurants finances. No one in the family is getting along or no one in the kitchen either which is mismanaged serving below par food. Gordon is impressed by the location and interior. But owners say they are losing $6000 per month and blame changing chefs, menus and a Yelp Conspiracy by deleting good reviews etc. Gordon samples the food, a range of burgers and a meat pie. He is not impressed, calling the food bland, flavorless and not even cooked properly. Chef David is the one said to be to blame for the flavorless food but he says he is not allowed to change anything and also says he has not been paid wages during an argument. Son Daniel is at a loss on what to do and does not trust his father.

David is challenged to cook a fresh burger, he comes up with the "Redemption Burger" (aptly named) whilst owner Alan cooks up a prepared burger. Gordon loves Davids burger but hates Alans, this leads to a walk out... For the evening service Daniel is sent out to work front of house. There is ticket confusion but food speeds out of the kitchen just to speed back in. Daniel and David argue and Daniel throws him out the kitchen. The guests start to leave. David comes back for the money he is owed, Gen writes a check and asks Daniel to put cash in to cover the cheque. Daniels partner Wendy tells Daniels parents he isn't putting in any more cash and another argument breaks out. Daniels breaks down and is taken off for a chat by Ramsay. And then it ends... And onto Part 2.

Part 2: After all the drama, Gordon invites them all out to a theatre and brings out the Yelpers to quash Alans conspiracy theories against the website. There is even a rep from the website and Alan still refuses to believe the reviews are real. Another argument breaks out between Daniel and Alan. Another owner talks on how to deal with Yelp and finally Ramsay gets through. The next issue Gordon needs to tackle is the relationships and Daniel reveals that the problems are mistrust due to them taking his money. They agree to try and move past it for the restaurant. All attention then goes to the food and creating a tasty burger.

Dinner service begins with Daniel expediting, there are small hitches but he deals with them successfully. Overnight Gordons team give the restaurant a makeover as well as the menu. For the relaunch Gordon has a surprise, the restaurant is going to be packed with bloggers from Yelp, Urban Spoon, Chow and other major reviewers. Daniel gets off to a good start but Alan just can't stay out of the kitchen, distracting Daniel in the process! This leads to some food for Chow being sent back and Gordon loses it urging Alan to let Daniel get on with it as he has proved he can. Alan and Gen promise to let Daniel run things without interference and the show ends.

What Happened Next: Around Late August-September the place is said to have changed ownership and by October 2011 there was a new menu, team of Chefs and management according to online chattering. Yelp reviews are still coming in low, the "yelp conspiracy" lives on!

Extra Reading




The Yelpers & More

 Yelp

The Bloggers

A Hamburger Today - Review  04/2010 


Love Hotel Hell? Visit my Hotel Hell blog here.

29 comments:

  1. Brand new info:
    Burger Kitchen closed at February 10th 2012
    http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/02/10/burger_kitchen_donzo_luigis_moves_in_next_week.php#reader_comments

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  2. I feel bad for the son his dad stole money from him to open that pice of crap and it's obvious that his parents have HORRIBLE pallets (his mom gagging on the redemption burger is proof of that)

    i hope he sued them as cold as that sounds

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    1. The son should have taken legal action. Then he could have been reimbursed with as much as was left (liquidated assets) and the debt would be the criminal father's problem.

      He put up with the felony theft of a lot of money. He got what comes when you put up with outrageous criminality like that.

      I know it's his father, but his father is criminal trash and treated him like trash. Being used and stolen from is not love, and neither is encouraging said behavior by putting up with it--or, worse yet, working for the criminal thief.

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  3. This episode makes a lot more sense once you read into the story of the grandfather and the fathers book tour.

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  4. ^^^ There is no way i would read the book. As an Australian i feel so ashamed at this man. He is retarded, i mean that literally. He is slow, the wife is the same. We are not all like him and i want everyone to know that.
    Also Australian pies are nothing like that, i have one every week and the only pie Ive ever had with vegetables in them are vegan pies or Shepards pie.
    The son seems slow too and his girlfriend is on something. How these people had a business is beyond me. I hope the chefs that were fired opened up their own burger joints.

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    1. I don't think she was on anything and the son didn't seem "slow" to me, just beaten down by his father, David Blaine was a dick and deserved to get fired.

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    2. I don't blame Chef Blaine I'd probably react the same way working at that place.

      Hope he got a good job elsewhere in a restaurant where he can cook with fresh ingredients.

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  5. That waitress Marilyn is BEAUTIFUL!

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering if anyone else was going to say that. She's pretty hot.

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    2. Hell no. She looks like Will Ferrell.

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  6. I saw the episode and I really felt for the son Daniel. His parents need to just leave him alone and let him run things. The Mother seems to care less as she falls asleep in Theater. Pretty RUDE!! Seems like they need a few better cooks if the food is coming back RAW... don't they know the difference between RAW and COOKED..Really? If the restaurant is really closed I am sorry to hear that I would have liked to come by sometime. If it's anything like Ramsey's BURG'R-- LasVegas..YUUUUUM... Good Luck Daniel! Hope your life turns for the best... if your parents could give you some space. \~_~/

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  7. I have not read the book but the description he told the Chef Ramsey sounded a little ironic to me.

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  8. Daniel needs to sue the crap out of his dead beat, back stabbing, lying, worthless parents! No decent person, let alone parent, would steal from their own child. Plus treat his girlfriend with such disrespect. So sorry it didn't work out. But, better to be rid of the nightmare of the people who he was saddled with called "parents".

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  9. I wish Daniel had pressed charges over the theft of his money. His father was a straight-up criminal.

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    Replies
    1. Runs in the Family. His Grandfather was apparently a notorious criminal.

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  10. Was everyone in this place completely psychotic? I couldn't figure out who was the craziest of the bunch!

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  11. I feel bad for the son as he basically got robbed by his father. I feel bad for the chef because he seems like a good chef who was pushed until breaking and said something he shouldn't have. I feel bad for the mother trying to hold it all together. I feel bad for the father, living his own self-fulfilling prophecy. I feel bad for the tiny, weak willed girlfriend trying to bring it all together.

    What I hate is what this show has turned into. On the UK versions, Gordon only turned into 'White Oprah' when he needed to. The UK version was all about how a restaurant worked and how to improve all types of establishments. He's even had to turn around a restaurant in which every chef had worked at Michelin Star level. Hell, the head chef cooked for the president of France! If you want to see Gordon doing what he does best, with all kinds of restaurants and their owners, watch the UK versions.

    Yet...the devilish part of me loves watching people break. I will openly admit to laughing as that crazy bitch girlfriend freaks out on that guy's crazy, probably drugged up parents over money. Maybe that's why this is one of my favorite eposodes, and yet a testament to why I hate the US version of KN

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  12. I don't care WHO in my family it was, you steal a quarter of a million dollars from me for YOUR nonsense...to jail you will go.

    I feel sorry for their son.

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  13. It was such bullshit the owners didn't get knocked down a peg by the chef. He knew how to cook and the owners kept playing the victim card.

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  14. What everyone should realize is that the mother, as spiteful and petty as she was obviously has a prescription drug problems. Take a close look at her eyes. That is the reason the chef David was so adamant about the hole Prozac thing and why she was defensive about it. You can also pay attention to the way she scopes out the remodel looking for what she could sell to make a quick buck. What really bothered me was the fact that the parents did not have any money but expected the son to pay for everything. Pay close attention to the argument in the restaurant about the finances. They knew that he had $160,000 in the bank. The parents are manipulating thieves that want the money that they believe they should have gotten from the inheritance. They are the worst kind of people. If the son reads this then I hope that will take the kind words of someone who knows what he is going through......... Get away from them and leave them to there own demise. You have your own life and a family of your own to start. Good luck.

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  15. I say Daniel needs to get away far from his parents who are both evil.

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  16. Daniel father is a criminal & should be in jail. WTF

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  17. David Blaine was a bit of a dick, no doubt..but I think he was a dick because he was fed up with the conditions. It was obvious he could do far better. He, well, did. When he made his own burger.

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  18. First of all there are so many discrepancies with the show it doesn't make sense.
    -how could his dad steal his inheritance money? Daniel is old enough (not like it happened when he was a kid and didn't know) and it would be illegal
    -the chef claims that he's treated poorly...why doesn't he just leave?! He demands a check, only $1,000 (how long did he work there?) even if as an executive chef he was only paid minimum wage, that means he only worked there for a few weeks. Why would anyone take a job and not get paid? Also, they wrote a check to him (do they not pay taxes...basically under the table money)
    -the chef also says he has no say in the menu or changing the items. What he does have a say in is letting those burgers go out all uncooked/raw. How do you run a kitchen like that? even if the burger tasted disgusting, it should be cooked properly.
    -Daniel acts as if he has no say in anything...poor me story. He can certainly do more (seek legal action, get another job that supports him better, etc)
    -Yelpers coming to speak about how the reviews are real and that the restaurant really sucks? it may suck but who has time for that? publicity
    -if you look up the family name, there's a whole criminal history with the grandfather...how come none of that was mentioned in the show?
    -the way they portray Alan's book... it seems almost like a publicity stunt to promote it.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent points! I hadn't thought about the whole paycheck/taxes thing. I did notice that they kind of used the show to promote Alan's book.

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    2. As for the inheritance, most or many trusts are held until the receiver is 25 or older. I didn't catch Daniel age, but I bet he was under the age when Alan took the money. The reason he doesn't leave is because he is now tied to the business with his money sunk into that mess. He has a stake in seeing it succeed and become profitable. Maybe he should have sued, but believe it or not to some people family still comes first. I do think the girlfriend was not helping by being so confrontational.

      Honestly, I was not surprised to see this place closed. I bet Alan sunk right back into his old ways. Nobody that old, stubborn and in denial can really change overnight.

      Pity though.

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    3. I did a little digging myself, and it would seem that Alan's father was actually an infamous crime lord in Australia named Abe Saffron, which is where presumably the "inheritance" that Daniel was talking about came from, Alan has an extensive criminal history as well, so i don't believe legal action was anywhere within the realm of possibility for anybody in the family!

      That explains all of the odd inconsistencies that many people noticed, such as simply writing a check for $1,000 dollars to the head chef. Maybe a little research should have gone into the background of these people before Gordon attempted to rescue these people.

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    4. or maybe he prefers walking without a limp lol

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  19. don't blame Chef Blaine I'd probably react the same way working at that place.

    Hope he got a good job elsewhere in a restaurant where he can cook with fresh ingredients.

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