(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 14, 2011
Luigi's D'Italia Address: 801 S State College Blvd Anaheim, CA 92806
Luigi’s D’Italia was an Anaheim, California restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Luigi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in October 2011, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in July 2011.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 5 Episode 4.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares Gordon Ramsay takes us to Luigi’s D’Italia in Anaheim, California.
The Luigi’s D’Italia restaurant is owned by Luigi Catizone and his family.
With Luigi’s father helping with the financing of Luigi’s D’Italia, the restaurant was successful for many years after they opened.
But in 1999, Luigi’s father retired and Luigi’s brother, Tony, stepped in to take his position.
Ever since then, the two dueling brothers have been a problem for the restaurant.
Beyond the issues with human capital, the Luigi’s D’Italia Anaheim location is also dealing with financial issues.
More specifically, the restaurant is dealing with over $1.5 million in debt.
Because of that debt, the restaurant can only stay open for one more month if things don’t drastically change for the better, and soon.
That’s a lot of debt to get out from under, so Gordon Ramsay definitely has his work cut out for him in the Luigi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Upon his arrival, it is pretty evident to Gordon Ramsay that Luigi’s family does not get along with Tony’s family.
Hoping the food leaves a better impression than the owners, Gordon orders lunch and finds that the menu is huge with 126 items to pick from.
Gordon orders the ravioli dish, linguini, and the mahi mahi.
The ravioli dish arrives first and Gordon notes that it is stuffed with 5 different cheeses and is obviously pre-made and from a box.
Gordon states that the ravioli is horrible and doesn’t taste like cheese.
Next to arrive is the mahi mahi which Gordon finds to be too greasy and bland – it’s not going well so far!
But maybe it will get better? Nah – you know what’s going to happen…
Gordon Ramsay also describes the calamari has “having more tentacles than Sea World”, which got a laugh from me.
Last to arrive is the linguini which Gordon finds weird, grainy, and just generally gross.
After giving his negative feedback to the defensive owners, Gordon Ramsay comes back to observe how the restaurant operates during a dinner rush.
To Gordon’s shock, the food is coming out fast, but the food is also being sent back at the same rate.
The next day Gordon has a staff meeting while the owners watch via surveillance cameras.
With the Luigi’s D’Italia owners watching, Gordon asks the staff members to reveal what they think the problem with the restaurant is.
The staff all agree it is the fact that they feel like they can’t talk to the owners, and if they attempt to, the owners start arguing.
The staff also states that the owners need to taste the food before it exits the kitchen.
To make matters worse, Grace, Luigi’s wife, scares them and is rude and disruptive.
Afterwards, Gordon finds a way to help mend the broken relationship between Luigi and Tony and their wives.
That night Gordon’s team works hard to transform the restaurant by removing the outdated décor and making the restaurant look like an Italian getaway.
Everyone loves the changes and Luigi is reminded of his father, Dominic.
Gordon’s team also revamped the complicated menu by simplifying it and featuring new seasonal dishes.
After introducing Gordon’s changes, the Luigi’s owners and the staff all love the new changes.
On the night of the relaunch there is positivity radiating through the air while Luigi is in charge of the kitchen and Tony is in charge of expediting.
The food is leaving the kitchen on time only this time it isn’t being sent back as the customers love what they are served.
Despite a minor hiccup of Tony disappearing, causing the food to stack up in the window, the night was a total success.
So was the Luigi’s D’Italia Kitchen Nightmares episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if Luigi’s D’Italia is still open in 2023.
Luigi's D'Italia Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Luigi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about how the restaurant is faring since Gordon Ramsay’s visit.
Things seemed to start off well.
Luigi’s D’Italia received a 40% increase in sales after the show aired on TV, which will obviously help a lot with paying down that $1.5 million in debt.
The Luigi’s D’Italia reviews also seem pretty positive – I’ll share some real examples below.
But first, let’s talk about the most important question on your minds…
Is Luigi’s D’Italia still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
As of 2023, Luigi’s D’Italia is still open and serving customers under the same ownership that you saw on the episode.
However, it’s doing so at a new location, as they closed the Luigi’s D’Italia Anaheim CA location that you saw on TV and reopened in Fullerton, CA in September 2017.
Reviews are excellent with a 4.5 star rating on Yelp.
However, because the ownership and name are the same, I’m still leaving this marked as open.
But just to make clear – the Luigi’s Anaheim CA location that you saw on the Kitchen Nightmares episode is closed.
Here’s what the old Luigi’s Anaheim location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
As of 2023, the Luigi’s D’Italia Anaheim CA property is listed for sale on Loopnet.
The asking price is $3.6 million, though, so it ain’t gonna be cheap if you want to own a piece of Kitchen Nightmares history.
Here’s what the new Luigi’s D’Italia Fullerton CA location looks like – it’s now located in a strip mall:
Luigi’s D’Italia Reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
As I mentioned above, the Luigi’s D’Italia reviews after Gordon Ramsay are very good.
In fact, Luigi’s D’Italia is one of the best-reviewed restaurants that was featured on Kitchen Nightmares.
As of 2023, it has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp on over 447 reviews.
Here’s a sampling of a few reviews that were written after the visit from Gordon Ramsay…
5 star Yelp review from November 2019:
I initially came after watching Kitchen Nightmares.
I saw Luigi and Grace,they were actually very sweet people.
The server that I see there all the time is beyond great.
He is friendly, welcoming, and always takes great care of me and my company.
The food is always amazing.
The fried calamari is a must, the marinara sauce is AMAZING.
The calamari insalada?(not sure of the spelling), bolognese gnocchi, and fettuccine de la casa are my absolute favorite.
The only bad part is that I tend to over eat whenever I come here
4 star Yelp review from May 2018:
I’ve always wanted to go to Luigi’s mainly because of their appearance on ‘kitchen nightmares’ with Gordon Ramsey.
I tried out their new location & I can honestly say, I love their pasta!
One of the best I’ve tried!
Soooo creamy & filling!
Definitely check it out!
5 star Yelp review from August 2020:
Saw the episode of kitchen nightmares that featured Luigi’s and decided to try it.
Had the Luigi special pizza and fried raviolis and everything was delicious.
Luigi came out and said hi to me and my group and the whole experience was great.
The food was awesome and they give you some great garlic bread to munch on before your food comes out.
The service is fast, the server was efficient and was able to give refills as needed.
Would highly recommend, anyone who says anything negative is probably liar.
Update: service is still 10/10 great, the spicy Italian and the Luigi special and they’re great.
Pizza was ready in a reasonable amount of time.
Even with covid19 around, Luigi and his crew are still able to produce great tasting food at a pace to keep up with demand.
Overall, all of the Luigi’s customers seem to uniformly be happy with their experiences, which is great to see!
What happened to Luigi’s from Kitchen Nightmares?
After the Luigi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired, the restaurant had increased its business by more than 40% and everything was going great.
They closed their original Anaheim location because the building was sold due to a family dispute, but they reopened soon-after in Fullerton California in September 2017 and the Luigi’s D’Italia restaurant is still doing great.
The new restaurant is located at 1032 E Bastanchury Rd Fullerton, CA 92835.
You can learn more at the official Luigi’s D’Italia website.
Fun fact, in an interview with the OC Register, Luigi said that Kobe Bryant was a frequent guest at Luigi’s D’Italia before Kobe’s unfortunate passing.
Why did Luigi’s D’Italia close the Anaheim location?
The original Luigi’s D’Italia location in Anaheim was in a building owned by the family.
However, according to Luigi, there was a family dispute that caused that building to be sold, which meant that they needed to move the restaurant.
That’s why they moved to the Fullerton location.
Final thoughts on the Luigi’s Kitchen Nightmares episode
Overall, Luigi’s D’Italia seems to be a real Kitchen Nightmares success story.
While the Luigi’s Anaheim location that you saw on the episode had to close because of a family dispute, they reopened in Fullerton CA and have been going strong.
The reviews are excellent – it’s one of the highest-rated restaurants that you’ll see featured on Kitchen Nightmares.
All around, it’s great to see them have so much success.
If you want to see some other nearby California Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you also might want to check out my updates for Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Long Beach, Charlie’s Italian Bistro in La Verne, and Lela’s in Pomona.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the episode, you can do so in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Luigi's D'Italia 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: 2023-03-11 05:32