Sunday, 29 May 2011
Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Casa Roma, Lancaster, CA. a Californian restaurant and the oldest restaurant in the village, run by Nylah and her son Jeremy both of whom have no restaurant experience. They thought it was a restaurant with a bar attached when really the bar is keeping the restaurant afloat. They are making less than $100 a night and have had over 20 chefs in 2 years. Their current Chef Eric is on the edge and the staff describe the food as bland, he and Sous Chef Drew don't get along.
Gordon arrives at the restaurant and meets Nylah and Jeremy and discovers that neither have had any restaurant experience. Gordon sits down to sample the food and enters the empty restaurant. He finds disgusting bits of food and tissue down the back of the booth. The booth he sits in is broken, the blinds are dirty and the menu misspells dining. He orders stuffed mushrooms, Monte Cristo and a medium Casa Roma deluxe pizza. Gordon is made to wait for his food for an hour while Eric goes outside for a cigarette break. The stuffed mushrooms are soggy, tasteless and full of water. Gordon suspects they are frozen. The Monte Cristo sandwich has powdered sugar on it and is dripping with fat. The pizza base is doughy and raw and he declares only drunk bar patrons could eat the food. Eric blames the bad food on him having a bad day and is defensive of his food.
Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, they struggle to spell Sicilian. Son Jimmy is floating around the kitchen with a vodka and cranberry juice in his hand. He doesn't work there just stands in the kitchen after working at his construction job. Eric ignores Drew and they don't work together. The food takes a long time to come out and when it does it is sent back as the food has no flavour, the sausage isn't cooked properly and the calamari tastes frozen. Gordon tells them it is an embarrassment and tells them to close the restaurant and ask the customers to leave. Gordon tells Nylah that Eric isn't interested in the restaurant and is only there for the pay check and to get rid of him. Nylah gets rid of Eric and promotes Drew to Head Chef. Gordon arrives the next day to inspect the walk-in and finds moldy food, unidentifiable defrosting meat and 3 month old ribs. Gordon tells them to throw it all away. Gordon takes a blue UV light to the bathrooms and finds they are in a truly disgusting state covered in bodily fluids, they have not been cleaned in a very long time! Gordon questions their commitment to the restaurant with what he has seen so far. Nylah is disgusted when she is shown the state of the bathroom. Gordon sets Drew a challenge of cooking a fresh pizza and Gordon is also going to serve them a frozen pizza to see if they can tell the difference.
They love both Drew and Gordon's pizza. A whole day is spent giving the restaurant a massive makeover both inside and out. Gordon organizes a pizza eating contest to spread the word about the new pizza.
For relaunch night, the local fire crew stop in for dinner. A dish is sent back to the kitchen and they send it out again only for it to be undercooked again. Jimmy is in the kitchen making calzones and they are HUGE. Gordon tells him to cut down the size, slow down and focus on the details. Drew struggles at first as Head Chef but steps up and the food leaves the kitchen quickly and the customers are impressed with the new food.
What Happened Next? Gordon revisits, Drew is gone and Nylah bought out her son from the business. The fridge was clean and the restaurant was clean. The biggest surprise is Q from Sebastian's is the Head Chef. It appears at some point that everything went back to like it was before Gordon, visitors to the restaurant say Gordon's menu is mostly, if not totally gone. There are online whisperings and rumours that the owners have been writing a number of reviews themselves. Not many interesting links for this one, just some bad reviews. Casa Roma has since been renamed as The AV Roadhouse Restaurant Bar & GRILL, offering a slim lined menu and Nylah is still owner.