SO . . . did you catch FOX's Kitchen Nightmares this past Friday, the one that highlighted Luigi's D'Italia? Did you catch the one second or so in which I appeared, near the absolute end of the show? How about when the brothers that run Luigi's read my rave review of them–off a Microsoft Word document? You didn't? Neither did I!
Kind of . . . had to do something Friday night, so I watched the show Saturday morning. It was cool enough to just meet host Gordon Ramsay and to enjoy what I thought was a truly great, improved meal from the loveable dreck Luigi's has served for decades, which Edwin had middling thoughts about. But seeing that episode showed a side of Luigi's I never expected–although, in retrospect, it all makes sense.
SO . . . with apologies to Orange County Register sports genius Randy Youngman, notes, quotes and observations from the taping of Kitchen Nightmares:
*You know how Luigi's D'Italia's old customers have been bitching about the new changes? Started from the very beginning–when my chica and I were waiting outside in a line with that night's diners. A middle-aged man appeared and tried to go in for dinner. It was closed to the general public, along with the parking lot. When someone explained what was going on, he got red in the face. “Well, where am I going to get my pasta, then?” he screamed. “I want my pasta!” He zoomed off.
*Looky-loos are HILARIOUS. The producers quickly told us to not tell anyone who asked what was going on, only to vaguely mention that a movie was being filmed. No less than 10 people in their cars, waiting for the light to turn, asked what was going on. Best response of the night: “We're filming Godfather 4.”
*For all the old-timers who were saying Luigi's shouldn't change what was not broken: How do you like the revelation the restaurant is $1.5 million in the hole?
*I had no idea Luigi's wife, Grace, was such a foul-mouthed bitch–at least that's how she came off on the episode. She was nothing but pleasant while we were there, although I must say she looked drained while we were there.
*From my brother-in-law: “What kind of staff meeting was that? They excluded the Mexicans!” He refers to a part in the show when Ramsay gets the “staff” to talk about what they perceived to be the restaurant's problems. Ramsay should've just said the wop staff–no wabs allowed.
*Big difference between the BBC and FOX versions of Kitchen Nightmares: In the former, Ramsay usually checks in on restaurants he reimagined some time after the events of the episode; he doesn't do the same in the American version. Ramsay, then, missed out on what we already know: that the Luigi's folks are slowly stripping away the improvements Ramsay made and going back to the tried-and-true that put them more than $1 million in debt. REAL smart there–we'll stick to Rufino's.
Gentle readers, what did YOU think?