Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 1 Episode 8 – Lela’s, Pomona, California

Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 1 Episode 8 - Lela’s, Pomona, California - CLOSED

UPDATED : 26 December 2019

In this edition of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay visits Lela’s, in downtown Pomona, California. The restaurant is run by Lela and within 8 months of opening, this restaurant is on the brink of closure. In introduction part of the episode, Lela reveals the issues with the restaurant, she also reveals that she has taken 60,000 USD debt from her sister and 64,000 USD down from the line of credit. Waitress Tabitha blames Chef Ricky for the state of the restaurant while Chef Ricky blames Tabitha. Other staff members also point finger at Chef Ricky and continuous fighting between him & Tabitha for driving customers away. Many staff members including Chef Ricky and Buzzard have a very casual attitude when it comes to working.

<h2>Episode Related Info:</h2>
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 1 Episode 8
<strong>Restaurant Name:</strong> Lela’s, Pomona, California
<strong>Filming:</strong> February 2007
<strong>Air Date:</strong> 21 November 2007
<strong>Restaurant Close Date:</strong> August 2007
<strong>Current Status: <span style="color: #ff0000;">CLOSED</span></strong>

Is Lela’s, Pomona, California closed?

Yes, despite all efforts, it closed down after 5 months after the relaunch. Chef Ricky and Manager Tabitha continued to improve but debts were too high and finally, after 5 short months after the relaunch, it got closed down.

Food Tasting:

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and orders food for menu sampling. To his surprise, half of the ordered items are not there, he finally orders ‘Soup of the day’ tomato and basil soup, chicken nachos, and rack of lamb with mint and chocolate sauce. The soup tastes canned, nachos are not fresh and rack of lamb does not have meat in it. Gordon asks waitress Tabitha to skip anything else if it is not fresh and asks if desserts are fresh. Tabitha tells him that brownie is fresh, but, when she checks in freezer brownie is not there which irritates even Tabitha. Huge fight brews between chef Ricky and Tabitha because she is sure that she saw brownie a few days ago and it should not be missing. After sampling food Gordon meets chef Ricky and tells him that food is horrible and Ricky should not call himself a chef. Ricky is not happy with the remark and makes a snappy retort.

Lelas Pomona

Kitchen Inspection:

Gordon arrives at the restaurant early the next day and goes into the kitchen for inspection. The freezer does not cool and it is turning everything bad. There is cooked food along with raw food. Gordon asks everyone to clean the restaurant thoroughly. While others are cleaning restaurant Gordon roams around the neighborhood to get intel on locality. He discovers that most of the people he speaks to are students and working class and cannot afford fine dining.

At dinner service restaurant runs out of ordered dishes and Chef Ricky is proudly serving powdered mashed potatoes. Staff member Buzzard and one chef start leaving the dinner service, but, Gordon catches them and recovers a huge bag of food and wine bottles in Buzzard’s take away. He brings the bag along with Buzzard to the restaurant. Buzzard is not happy and he shuns away from any talk and leaves the restaurant.

The next day, Buzzard arrives at the restaurant and faces Lela about the goody bag, Lela has no other option other than to fire him. Gordon blindfolds Chef Ricky and Chef Lex for a taste test. Chef Lex identifies between chicken, beef, and pork, while chef Ricky fails to identify any correctly. At that point, Gordon appoints chef Lex as head chef and asks Ricky to assist Lex at service. He then asks both chefs to make Pamona salad that captures the vibe of the locality, staff members are impressed with salad.

Lelas Pamona staff and Gordon Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon sends Lela off for a pampering day away from the restaurant, he also unveils new menu to staff members. He added that good burger is what is missing from the neighborhood and shows chef Lex and Ricky how to make a juicy burger. For making the burger a hit, Gordon takes the team out into the city for a promotional tour where team hands over free burgers to locals. Locals seem pleased with juicy burgers. At the same time, Gordon’s design team gives the restaurant a makeover. Next day Gordon welcomes renewed Lela and renewed restaurant to the team. Staff is thrilled with both changes, waitress Tabitha bursts into tears.


For relaunch night, Gordon asks Tabitha to manage the restaurant and chef Lex is driving kitchen with the assistance of chef Ricky. Gordon has invited loads of locals and Mayor arrives as the special guest. The place is fully packed, the front house does a good job in taking orders but Lex in kitchen panics. Serving staff starts picking up whatever dish is ready which creates confusion in the kitchen and customers start complaining about missing dishes. Lex goes out of the kitchen for fresh air but gets into an argument with Lela which drives him off and leaves the restaurant. Ricky sees it as opening and takes over the kitchen and rapidly starts pushing orders out of the kitchen. After the break, chef Lex returns to the kitchen but as an assistant to Ricky and both of them coordinate well and close the queue. Relaunch is successful and Gordon explains in the end that he is surprised by Ricky and appreciates how Ricky handled kitchen when it mattered.

What Happened Next?

During his stay at Lela (Lela's Yelp), Gordon saw a huge improvement in Ricky. He and Tabitha both excelled at their roles. Due to high debts, Lela closed within next 5 months (after relaunch). Online reviews were mostly negative. In its place a Mediterranean restaurant is running named as Aladdin Jr Restaurant (Link in the resources) & Cafe, it had good reviews online. However, yelpers claim that Aladdin Jr Restaurant & Cafe, 296 W 2nd St Pomona, California is closed now. Same-restaurant have another branch in Pamona.

After working at Lela, Ricky worked as executive chef at Corner Butcher Shop in La Verne, Silver Spoon Catering and later worked at Hollywood Park Casino.

Is Lela’s, Pomona, California closed?

Yes, despite all efforts, it closed down after 5 months after the relaunch. Chef Ricky and Manager Tabitha continued to improve but debts were too high and finally, after 5 short months after the relaunch, it got closed down.


  1. Episode Information on IMDB
  2. Lela's on Yelp
  3. Aladdin Jr. Restaurant & Cafe on Yelp


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Episode Related Info:

Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 1 Episode 8
Restaurant Name: Lela’s, Pomona, California
Filming: February 2007
Air Date: 21 November 2007
Restaurant Close Date: August 2007
Current Status: CLOSED

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