I don’t watch much reality TV, but I am sorta compelled to stop and stare whenever I hear chef Gordon Ramsay screaming at some hapless restaurant owner on his Kitchen Nightmares show. The makeover program aims to rehabilitate failing restaurants and usually lingers on some gory shots of rotten food or a filthy kitchen before Ramsay jumps down the owner’s throat and we cut to commercial. When we come back, everybody has made up, there’s a new menu, the place is sparkling and the crowds come pouring in. Except sometimes they don’t. This month Sante La Brea, which Ramsay made over in Season one, is closing. Ramsay’s success rate in Los Angeles is about 60% with 3 out of 7 revitalized restaurants going out of business. Secret Garden, Kingston Café, La Frite and Lido’s di Manhattan Beach survived, Sebastian’s, Lela’s and Sante didn’t make it. I might not have the guts to tune in this week, when the quirky Capri restaurant in Eagle Rock goes under the knife. I don’t know if I can watch Ramsay berate those wacky twins and you know he’s not gonna leave that 1960s wood paneled interior alone. Guess I’d better clear my schedule for Friday night.
Photograph by Patrick Ecclesine/FOX