(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: November 4, 2011
Burger Kitchen Address: 8048 W 3rd St Los Angeles, California 90048
The Burger Kitchen was a Los Angeles, California restaurant featured on Season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Burger Kitchen Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in November 2011, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened a few months earlier in August.
It was a two-part episode that spanned Kitchen Nightmares Season 5 Episode 6 and Episode 7.
In my opinion, this episode is one of the most fun, drama-packed episodes of Kitchen Nightmares.
In the episode, Gordon Ramsay heads to The Burger Kitchen, located in Los Angeles, California.
The Burger Kitchen restaurant touted itself as a house of gourmet burgers.
However, it was facing some very serious issues since its inception almost a year before the Gordon Ramsay visit.
The Burger Kitchen owner was Alan Saffron, an Australian who immigrated to the USA.
In a very contentious decision, Alan used the inheritance money of Daniel Saffron, his son, to open the restaurant (without consulting Daniel about the decision).
You can already see the drama brewing, right? It’s pretty crazy to just take your son’s inheritance money without consulting him.
Also, that inheritance money comes from a kind of seedy place, as I’ll discuss later in the post.
Further, Daniel Saffron was not given a proper partnership in the restaurant.
To make matters even worse, he was not being properly briefed about Burger Kitchen’s financial matters.
Basically, things are already pretty bad from a personal relationship standpoint.
This is Kitchen Nightmares, though – so the food and operations are also not up to standards.
The one good thing about the restaurant was the interior, which Gordon Ramsay seemed to actually like.
However, there’s not much else to be positive about. Alan (the owner) claims to be suffering a loss of $6,000 per month, which is definitely not a good spot to be in as a restaurant.
When Gordon Ramsay arrived at the The Burger Kitchen, he soon-after sat down to test out the food.
Gordon ordered a meat pie and some burgers but found them to be totally bland and under-cooked.
All of the blame for the poor food quality was put on Chef David.
However, David didn’t want to accept responsibility because the owners weren’t letting David cook the food how he wanted to.
Basically, David had to follow instructions…and those instructions led to low-quality food.
He also claimed of not getting his wages on time, which doesn’t exactly make him motivated to change things.
David actually does seem like a good chef, as Gordon Ramsay liked David’s burger when David was allowed to cook it his way.
Overall, the Burger Kitchen had around 10 different chefs in its 16 months of opening, which shows that the chef isn’t the problem.
That’s like a constant revolving door of chefs going in and out of The Burger Kitchen.
There aren’t just disputes with the chef – Daniel was angry with his father for using his inheritance money without his permission.
He was also unhappy about being dragged forcibly in this family business.
Such a mess of affairs. Nothing seemed right.
Want to know what happened next? Shocking truths kept piling up one after the other.
Apart from swindling his son’s inheritance money, Alan was also accused of using pre-made and dry patties, not allowing the cooks to use salt in the burgers and unfair financial transactions.
The head chef, Alan’s wife and Daniel all joined the screaming match.
If all that was not enough, endless shots of half-cooked burgers slashed the plates brought the remaining carnage.
After things cool down a bit, they all were invited by the Gordon to a theater.
He tried to lead a talk between Alan and a website owner whose negative reviews Alan believed had ruined the business.
As a next step, Gordon tried to strike reconciliation between Daniel and his father.
Things seemed to go in the right direction and attention finally shifted on food again.
For the dinner Daniel took the lead and came out decently despite few glitches.
The restaurant was also given a makeover overnight by Gordon and the menu was also updated.
Not only this, but a surprise was also planned by him and food critics and bloggers were also invited on the re-opening.
Daniel was put in charge of managing things at The Burger Kitchen, but Alan still struggled to give up control at the restaurant.
Eventually, Gordon Ramsay got Alan to promis to let Daniel deal with the things in his own way.
This is where the show ended.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Burger Kitchen restaurant visit a long-term success?
Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Los Angeles restaurant is still open in 2024.
Burger Kitchen Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped what happened in the Burger Kitchen Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Los Angeles, CA.
I’ll talk about the status of the restaurant in a second.
But first, let’s look at a few Burger Kitchen reviews that were written after the visit from Gordon Ramsay.
The Burger Kitchen Los Angeles Reviews
Overall, The Burger Kitchen had a 3 star rating on Yelp, which includes reviews both before and after the Kitchen Nightmares visit.
Unfortunately, though, the reviews didn’t seem to get any better even after Gordon visited.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after Gordon’s visit…
2 star Yelp review from January 2012:
Went in after seeing this place on Kitchen Nightmares, thought we’d see if Gordon made a real change.
For a burger place ……….
All 4 burgers (ordered medium, medium well, and medium rare (x2)) came out well.
After just opening for the day there were no sweet potato fries – their “specialty.”. Ice tea, yes. Lemons, no.
Staff was friendly enough but not super attentive or efficient. overall, not terribly impressed.
Next time I’ll go to Five Guys or In-n-Out.
1 star Yelp review from January 2012:
1 star Yelp review from January 2012:
It’s just burgers and fries.
Burgers come with literally nothing.
Bacon, cheese, mushrooms, etc all cost additional.
Fries are also additional.
A cheeseburger and fries cost me $17 + tax and tip.
The burger and fries themselves were nothing special.
Sadly, Wendy’s has a better burger for almost a 1/4 of the price.
The review above is pretty brutal, claiming that Wendy’s serves a better burger!
3 star Yelp review from January 2012:
The burgers here are good and it is reasonable to eat here if you’re in the area.
It isn’t a destination burger joint and there isn’t anything exceptional about it.
But it is reasonably priced and tasty enough.
Overall, given the negative nature of most of the reviews, it’s no surprise what happened next…
Is The Burger Kitchen still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
The Burger Kitchen closed for good in February 2012, which is just a few months after the episode aired on TV.
Before its closure, the Saffrons seem to have already sold the Burger Kitchen to new owners shortly after the Gordon Ramsay Burger Kitchen visit.
In October 2011, new management, new chef and new menu were introduced.
The restaurant also gained sudden popularity after Gordon’s show.
A lot of people went there out of curiosity, yet the reviews continued to be negative.
For those reasons, it’s no surprise that The Burger Kitchen closed so shortly after the episode aired on TV.
After Burger Kitchen from Kitchen Nightmares closed its doors, the location was occupied for a time by a Tokyo cuisine eatery.
However, that restaurant also ended up failing at some point.
As of 2023, the former Burger Kitchen location is occupied by a Greek restaurant and cocktail bar called Theía.
The restaurant has good-but-not-great reviews, with a 4-star average on Yelp.
You can learn more about the new restaurant at its Yelp page.
You can also see the old The Burger Kitchen Los Angeles CA location in this shot from Google Maps street view:
No matter what, it appears that Alan’s dream of amazing burgers is gone for good.
Thankfully, people in Los Angeles still have plenty of other options to grab a good burger.
The Saffron Family Has an Interesting History
If you want to learn more about the Alan Saffron and Daniel Saffron inheritance situation, there’s also a good read in The Sydney Morning Herald about where the money came from.
It seems like Alan’s father, Abe Saffron, was known as “Mr. Sin” and made millions in the vice trade in Australia.
It’s definitely an interesting read given the context of Burger Kitchen’s episode.
Alan Saffron also wrote a book about his experiences growing up with his dad.
It’s called “Gentle Satan: Growing up with Australia’s Most Notorious Crime Boss“, though the reviews are mixed.
Here’s the cover of Alan’s book:
What happened to Alan Saffron from Kitchen Nightmares?
Unfortunately, Alan Saffron passed away at age 71 from a heart attack on April 19, 2020.
Rest in peace, Alan.
You can read Alan’s obituary here, which includes his work in Hollywood.
What happened to Daniel Saffron from Kitchen Nightmares?
I’m not sure what happened to Daniel Saffron, but there are some reports that he’s moved to Michigan.
Wherever he is, I hope that he’s doing well.
David, Another Saffron Family Member, Convicted of Forex Trading Fraud
Here’s another interesting tidbit:
David Saffron, another member of the Saffron family and Daniel’s brother, was hit with a $32 million default judgement from the US for a “cryptocurrency fraud and misappropriation scheme”.
The regulator alleged that from December 2017 through the present, Mr. Saffron fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $15,815,967 worth of Bitcoin and U.S. dollars from at least 179 individuals to trade off-exchange binary options on foreign currencies (forex) and cryptocurrency pairs, among other things.
Again, this is about David, not Daniel Saffron (who you saw on the show).
But I still thought it was interesting, especially because of the family’s connection to Abe Saffron (Mr. Sin in Australia).
Thanks to the reader below who shared this link.
If you want to learn more, The Daily Beast has a very detailed article that references the Kitchen Nightmares connection.
Final Thoughts on The Burger Kitchen
Overall, the Burger Kitchen episode was not one of Gordon Ramsay’s succesful visit.
The restaurant was sold very shortly after and then closed less than a year after the Gordon Ramsay Burger Kitchen visit.
As of 2023, the old The Burger Kitchen LA location is occupied by a new restaurant named Theía.
Sadly, Alan Saffron from Burger Kitchen died in 2020 of a heart attack.
I’m not sure what happened to Daniel Saffron from Burger Kitchen, but I hope he’s doing well.
Daniel’s brother, David, ran into some issues with an alleged cryptocurrency scheme.
Overall, the Saffron family has an interesting history, because a lot of the money came from Abe Saffron, who was “Mr Sin” in Australia.
That wraps up my post-Kitchen Nightmares update on the restaurant.
If you want to see some other nearby Los Angeles Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can check out my updates for Sante La Brea in central LA, Sebastian’s in Toluca Lake, La Frite in Sherman Oaks, and The Capri in Eagle Rock.
And if you want to join a lot of other people in sharing your thoughts about the episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
As always – thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Burger Kitchen episode of Kitchen Nightmares? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
You can also click the buttons below to share this post!
And don't forget to check out all of the other Kitchen Nightmares updates.
Watch Kitchen Nightmares Episodes at Amazon
Last updated: 2023-12-21 08:24