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Before Gordon's Arrival


Lela, Owner

Tabitha, Head Waitress/Manager(promoted mid-episode)

Ricky, Head Chef(briefly demoted, but regains position)

Lex, Sous Chef(briefly becomes head chef)

Carolyn, Waitress

Jessica, Waitress

Buzzard, Prep Cook(fired mid-episode for stealing food)

Tonnie, Dishwasher, Prep Cook

Lela's is in massive debt even though it's only been open 8 months. The wait staff and the kitchen are constantly at odds.

First Impressions

Gordon is unimpressed by the town and how empty the streets are. Gordon is disappointed that many of the menu items are not available.

First Meal

Food Ordered

  • Tomato Basil Soup
  • Chicken Nachos
  • Lamb with chocolate mint sauce
  • Brownie a la mode

Impressions of the Food

The tomato basil soup is canned and tastes like it was not homemade, the tortilla chips in the nachos don't taste fresh, and Gordon is displeased with the fact that the lamb is smaller than his knife, and he can tell it's frozen. The brownie he orders has been eaten by Buzzard.

First Dinner Service

After Gordon's meal, Ricky and Tabitha yell at each other and blame each other. Gordon focuses on Ricky, who argues that the food has to be frozen to preserve it. Gordon inspects the walk-in, and starts by saying it isn't kept cold enough. He finds the smell overwhelming and sees the frozen, old food. He has the kitchen staff clean the kitchen, and the wait staff clean the dining room. As dinner service begins, Ricky and Tabitha start arguing again. Some staff members start leaving early. He catches Buzzard walking off with a lot of food and some bottles of wine. He brings him back to Lela's and tells Lela about it.


Gordon sits down the staff and again zeroes in on Ricky. Gordon declares Ricky unworthy of calling himself a chef.

Remainder of the Visit

Buzzard returns as if nothing's happened. Gordon says in his own restaurants that if anyone steals from him, he fires them. This influences Lela to fire him. Gordon gives Ricky and Lex a blind taste test to test their pallets. Lex handily defeats Ricky. Gordon decides Lex should be the head chef. Gordon sends Lela to a spa for a makeover.

Restaurant & Menu Remodel

Gordon challenges Lex and Ricky to design a "Pomona" salad. He then teaches them a recipe for a burger, citing Pomona's lack of a good burger. Lela returns from the spa day and they see the renovation of the restaurant. Everyone loves the changes. Gordon officially names Tabitha the Manager, and Lex the new head chef, demoting Ricky.

Final Service

Lex is ready to lead the kitchen, but is visibly nervous. The Mayor of Pomona comes in. Lex's anxiety only increases and he starts to freeze. Ricky is a little more prepared, but also struggles early. The wait staff is also overwhelmed. To try to catch up, they start grabbing whatever food is ready and try to find which table it corresponds to. This further confuses the kitchen. Gordon tries to calm Lex down, but Lex can't take it anymore and walks out. Lela goes looking for Lex and yells at him. Once again, Gordon tries to talk him down, but Lex gets into his car and drives away. Ricky is on his own with only Tonnie to help. Ricky takes the opportunity and steps up, and the kitchen rebounds. The customers are happy. Lex finally returns, and agrees that Ricky is the rightful head chef. Gordon commends Ricky on a job well done, and admits he was wrong about him.

After Gordon's Departure

Ricky continued to improve as a chef, and Tabitha took to the role of Manager well. However, Lela's still went out of business months after Gordon left, as their debt was too much to overcome.

Production Notes





  Kitchen Nightmares US - Restaurants
Season 1 Peter'sDillon'sThe Mixing BowlSeascapeThe Olde Stone MillSebastian'sFinn McCool'sLela'sCampaniaThe Secret Garden
Season 2 HandlebarGiuseppi'sTrobiano'sBlack PearlJ Willy'sHannah & Mason'sJack's WaterfrontSabatiello'sFiesta SunriseSante La BreaCafe 36
Season 3 Hot Potato CafeFlamangosBazziniMojitoLido di ManhattanLe BistroCasa RomaMama Rita'sAnna Vincenzo'sFlemingSushi-Ko
Season 4 Spanish PavilionClassic AmericanPJ's SteakhouseGrasshopper AlsoDavideDown CityTavoliniKingston CafeLa FriteCapriZeke'sOceana
Season 5 Blackberry'sLeone'sMike & Nellie'sLuigi's D'ItaliaBurger KitchenThe Greek at the HarborMichon'sEl GrecoPark's EdgeSpin-A-Yarn SteakhouseCharlie'sCafe HonChiarella'sZocalo
Season 6 La Galleria 33Mama Maria'sMs. Jean's Southern CuisineBarefoot Bob'sOlde Hitching Post Restaurant & TavernLevanti's Italian RestaurantSam's Mediterranean Kabob RoomNino's Italian RestaurantMill Street BistroYanni'sProhibition GrilleChappy'sAmy's Baking Company
Season 7 Pantaleone'sOld NeighborhoodKati AlloMangia MangiaZayna Flaming GrillBella Luna
Misc Revisited