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'Restaurant Redemption' recap: Serving up some good drama!

Season 2 | Episode 3 | “Chal Chilli” | Aired Oct 28, 2014

Episode 3 of Restaurant Redemption focuses on the Chal Chilli. Located in Murray Hill, New York City, it’s an Indian/Thai fusion restaurant owned and operated by a mother and daughter duo, Alia and Ayesha Kiani. We learn quickly that although the restaurant has only been open since 2013, Chal Chilli is already tanking financially. Thus, they bring in Ching. But she has her work cut out for her, because OMG! There’s so. Much. Drama!

Alia and Ayesha, immigrants from Pakistan, don’t agree about much for most of the episode. Alia frequently throws passive-aggressive looks at her daughter, Ayesha. When she actually uses words to complain about Ayesha, she only says them to Ching. Unlike her mother, though, Ayesha is somewhat caustic, straightforward, and biting. She aggressively blames all of the restaurant’s woes on her mother, who raised her and her two siblings for most of their youth as a single parent. The daughter frequently cuts her mother off when speaking, and answers for her, a trait Ayesha pretty much “blames” on Alisa. Ching offers up a few of these looks while watching them interact:

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.32.57 AM

Alisa and Ayesha are also super-defensive. Alia, who is understandably proud of her food, pushes back at Ching’s less-than-favorable review of Chal Chilli’s dishes, which to me look pretty uninviting: “The customers, they don’t care about the garnish.” To which Ching replies with this “You gotta be kidding me” look:

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.40.59 AM

Alia eventually tones it down. She realizes that Ching is a master in the kitchen. Ayesha, an attorney by training, not so much. She argues and challenges every suggestion up to the last few minutes of the show, takes ownership of none of her obvious mistakes, and glares a lot.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.47.51 AM

Ching keeps her composure and verbally swats down Alia quite a bit. I actually winced a few times; Ching’s words are frank, honest, and filled with zing. Alia pushes Ching a bit too much toward the end of the episode, though:

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.59.44 AM 

I related to this image of frustration. It’s how I feel when my kids don’t understand that what I’m telling them to do is actually in their best interest.

The drama, of course, disappears.  The resurrection of the restaurant eventually happens. Chal Chilli’s physical space receives a gorgeous renovation. The menu goes through an overhaul. The mother/daughter relationship finds peace. Some tears are shed. And you, as a viewer, walk away loving it.

That said, all I could think about at the end was how grating I found Alia. There’s nothing more annoying to me than individuals who are quick to blame others instead of self-reflecting/commenting on their own idiosyncrasies. Plus, until Ching brings out some stickers (you’ll have to watch the episode), Alisa doesn’t look pleased. But perhaps I shouldn’t be to quick to judge. Maybe I’m misreading her. Per Buzzfeed:


Restaurant Redemption airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on Cooking Channel.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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