(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 6 | View All Season 6 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: February 15, 2013
Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room Address: 608-610 S Myrtle Ave Monrovia, CA 91016
Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room, or Sam’s Kabob Room for short, was a Monrovia, California restaurant featured on season 6 of Kitchen Nightmares. The episode was filmed in July 2012 but didn’t air until February 2015. It was episode 8 of season 6.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room, owned by Sam Najarr and his family, in Monrovia, California.
Sam, a former busboy of the restaurant, purchased the business in 1997.
At first, business was booming, but slowly over time it came to a halt, resulting in Sam having to let his entire staff go.
Now the only employees of the restaurant are family members and Sam’s children who are resentful and reluctant to work there due to having to work 12 hour shifts and receiving no compensation for their work. This video recaps what was happening with Sam’s children including his daughters and sons. This video recaps the meeting:
Gordon quickly learns that the restaurant’s environment is hostile, as Sam and his family, including his children, argue with each other in front of customers trying to dine.
Gordon sits down and talks to Sam about paying his family and children for working there and Sam rejects Gordon’s suggestion, stating that he pays them by giving them a place to live.
Gordon then sits down and orders the Vegetable Combo, Lamb Shank, Gyro, and Top Sirloin Steak and Shrimp cooked medium rare.
To Gordon’s disgust and dismay the vegetable combo contains canned eggplant and both the falafel and hummus lack flavor due to not being seasoned.
The Gyro then arrives frozen and dry; the lamb shank looks anemic and tastes like bland boiled lamb; the steak is overcooked, solid, and dry; and the shrimp scampi is drowning in too much butter and is rubbery and overcooked.
Gordon shares his negative feedback to the Sam’s Kebob Room staff, to which the chef agrees and admits that his heart is no longer in the restaurant.
Gordon arrives the next night to observe the dinner rush and finds moldy food in the kitchen, and rotten produce in the walk-in.
A huge family argument breaks out in the dining area in front of customers after the kitchen tried to serve raw chicken, stating that because it was cooked on the outside, meant it was cooked on the inside.
The next day Gordon gives the kitchen staff cooking lessons and has the kitchen cook kabobs on the skewer, only allowing one person to work the grill so they aren’t reaching over each other all night.
Gordon’s team gives the Sam’s Kebob Room restaurant one of the biggest and most expensive transformations in the show’s history.
Gordon’s team modernized the restaurant by adding new carpets, fresh paint, new chairs and tables, and completely revamping the menu with new contemporary Mediterranean dishes and recipes.
On the night of relaunch all the customers rave about the new décor and compliment the flavor of the new menu items.
The family works well together in the kitchen. Gordon then leaves, giving the family a framed family photo as a memento.
Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room Update - What Happened Next?
After the Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room Kitchen Nightmares episode aired, things seemed to be good for the business.
The Yelp reviews were a bit hit and miss still. The business only had an overall three star review, but there were plenty of five star reviews sprinkled in there (along with one star reviews, of course).
The TripAdvisor reviews were also much better.
Sam’s Kebob Room continued to stay open for about a year after the episode aired.
However, it eventually closed in January 2014.
Why did Sam’s Mediterranean Kabob Room close?
Sam told the media that appearing on Kitchen Nightmares actually wasn’t a good thing for the restaurant.
He seemed that the show initially brought a bunch of business for around two weeks after the Sam’s Kebob Room Kitchen Nightmares episode aired.
However, the restaurant didn’t gain any significant amount of long-term business from that burst.
Beyond that, Sam also said that there was a lot of competition from other restaurants in the area, including some new Mediterranean restaurants opening nearby.
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Last updated: 2021-11-27 06:05