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LA'S OWN KITCHEN NIGHTMARE

d
db963 Sep 25, 2011 10:46 AM

Full disclosure: I TIVO Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. I am a true Gordon Ramsay fan and not just because he is handsome, but because I admire the passion for service he demonstrates on these shows. Sadly, it appears it is truly just for show. As a GR devotee, my husband thought it would be fun to take me here last night for our 23rd anniversary dinner. The night began in the bar. The bar with only 4 barstools, which is an oddity, but we eventually managed to get 2. We were ignored by the 2 female bartenders who were entangled in an ongoing and obvious argument. Neither wanted to be there and neither smiled the entire hour we were sitting 2 feet in front of them. We were forced to almost plead for drinks and appetizers. Once we got to our table, I did mention our sad and frustrating experience at the bar to the restaurant manager who seemed to speak very little English and really offered nothing more than a meek "so sorry." The dinner was fair but forgettable, nothing special in taste but beautifully presented, and extremely overpriced. The distracted staff felt like actors (which they all most likely were) pretending to understand fine dining and food, but no one managed to pull it off. We left completely disappointed, feeling robbed and still hungry due to the teeny tiny portions. I went to GR's website, but interestingly enough, there is no where to contact him or his staff re complaints but plenty of ways to contact him regarding press events, private dining and speaking engagements. Apparently, he is more interested in good TV than good doses of customer feedback.

  1. a
    AAQjr Sep 26, 2011 03:42 PM

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but didn't GR sell the restaurant to the hotel operator in '09? I wonder how much he is still involved in this venture.

    4 Replies
    1. re: AAQjr
      g
      granadafan Sep 26, 2011 09:41 PM

      You'd think that if Ramsay is going to sell his restaurant, he'd either change the name of the restaurant with HIS name on it or make darned sure the new owner won't ruin his reputation.

      1. re: granadafan
        a
        AAQjr Sep 26, 2011 10:04 PM

        Thing is, that's what they are paying for. Otherwise, would you have gone there?

      2. re: AAQjr
        Peripatetic Sep 27, 2011 01:17 AM

        Their website does say he's "overseeing all dining" at The London:

        http://www.thelondonwesthollywood.com...

        Of course that could mean almost anything. However, "overseeing" implies a significant responsibility, whether or not it's being exercised.

        1. re: Peripatetic
          w
          wisconbrat Sep 28, 2011 12:42 PM

          I recall in all of the press materials when this restaurant first opened that GR's role was to help plan the restaurant and the menu for the opening but that he wouldn't actually be working there himself at any point past opening. I also believe the point of the first season of his chef competition show was that the winner would serve as the head chef at this restaurant but for whatever reason that never happened either.

      3. Servorg Sep 25, 2011 11:41 AM

        I guess you were at the London in WeHo? Is that right? You ate something I take it? What might have that of been? What was it about the food you didn't find "memorable" in terms of taste?

        -----
        Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood
        1020 N. San Vicente Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

        5 Replies
        1. re: Servorg
          t
          TracyO Sep 25, 2011 12:58 PM

          Taking people out for dinner is part of my job. I understand that you'd like to hear about the food. But, frankly, if the service is truly like this, I can't bring anyone here - regardless of what the food is like - I don't know this member of chowhound, but I respect her reviews and comments. In the US expense accounts make up a good deal of dining out, and if clients aren't treated well there's nothing more to talk about. I'll tolerate being treated badly (unlike most), but I'll never tolerate having a client treated badly. So, again, if this is the deal I can't afford the risk, no matter how much I enjoy your programs.

          1. re: TracyO
            j
            Jwsel Sep 25, 2011 03:37 PM

            I don't know how to assess db963's comments. Looking at past reviews, it seems service and decor is a major issue for him/her in many reviews -- Osteria Mozza, Eva, some places in Pasadena -- and he/she provides very little discussion of food.

            1. re: Jwsel
              Servorg Sep 25, 2011 04:02 PM

              "and he/she provides very little discussion of food"

              If we were all gathered here to slice and dice Gordon Ramsay's FOH on "ServiceHound" I would say...forget the food and lets just talk about how the wait staff disappointed you. But seeing as how it's CHOWhound then I have to ask "What did you eat anyway?"

              And just to make it abundantly clear Jwsel, I was agreeing with your post...

            2. re: TracyO
              j
              Jase Sep 25, 2011 04:49 PM

              I'd agree that different people have different levels of priority on where to rank the service. But on this site, I think mentioning the food in a review is critical even if most of the review is about non-food items. But some mention of the food would be good.

              1. re: Jase
                johnnyshungry Sep 26, 2011 12:15 PM

                IN regard to the food the OP did say "teeny tiny portions"
                Just being a smart a** here.
                Los Angeles notoriously known for weak service.
                I will say w/4 bar stools those bartenders should have made them feel special.

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