‘Calif. totally different from Vegas’ Nem Nuong Bistro PIC speaks his mind

Nem Nuong Bistro on Spring Mountain has only been open for five months.

Jonh Dang is the person in charge. 

Nem Nuong Bistro on Spring Mountain“When we open it, it’s 40 people. Now we have only 20 people. I fired a lot of people. They’re supposed to know what they doing. You know? I can’t be here babysit them all day.”

Dang wasn’t happy to see his restaurant shut down by the health district with 50 demerits, but he’s taking it in stride.

“It is, what it is, you know? I mean, when the health come in, they shut you down, whatever, two days. You know, we’re around but you can’t say much anything, you know?”

One of the biggest problems inspectors found was potentially hazardous foods including meat, noodles, rice and lettuce, in the temperature danger zone.

He blames a learning curve, saying they recently relocated to Las Vegas.

“Because we from California, and when the health down in California totally different than the health up here,” said John.

Inspectors did note things other than temperature, like utensils and dishes that were dirty, but stored as clean.’

Yama is back open with a zero-demerit A, and Ichiza reopened with a six-demerit A.

Dirty dining: King & I on Tropicana, Vegas

This week’s Dirty Dining takes us back to a place we’ve been before. The restaurant’s new owners hadn’t gotten rid of old problems.

kingithaiThe King & I Thai restaurant on East Tropicana near Maryland Parkway is a Dirty Dining repeat offender.

When inspectors came on June 10, co-owner Ontida Tanthmanatham said, “They brought the old report and said, ‘How could you have the repeated stuff?’ And what happened, that was a previous management. And this is no excuse that we still did something wrong.”

We first featured the King & I in February 2013. The owner at the time said they were just having a bad day.

But you might say this one is worse. Back then, they didn’t have roaches.

At the June 10 inspection, the kitchen was harboring a whole cockroach family.

The King & I was shut down with 50 demerits.

Inspectors found dirty, greasy surfaces throughout the kitchen. The bottom of the reach-in doesn’t look too good, but it’s nothing compared to the floors underneath equipment.

The King & I reopened with a zero-demerit “A” grade.

‘Your lips are swollen like a sausage?’ Dirty Dining in Chinatown Las Vegas

Darcy Spears of KNTV reports Dirty Dining is back in Chinatown once again. This time at a restaurant just one demerit shy of shutdown.

hot.feel.las.vegasIt’s only been open three months and was almost forced to close its doors.

The name sounds like a massage parlor, but it’s actually a restaurant. Hot Feel on Spring Mountain welcomes customers with the wiggly legs of a giant craw fish, and a 40-demerit “C” grade, which worries the owner.

“Yup, your reputation is definitely at stake if you have a C grade posted,” Darcy Spears said, talking on the phone to the owner, who had a unique reason for not appearing on camera.

“Your lips are swollen like a sausage? Why? Stress?” asked Darcy. “Your lips are swollen like sausages because of stress from the health inspection.”

During that health inspection, an employee handled dirty dishes then prepared food and drinks with no hand washing.

Food was being stored in a freezer that was unplugged. Prepared food on skewers was sitting directly on top of a cardboard box. They had raw chicken and raw beef thawing together in standing water.

The owner said his employees weren’t up to speed on health district regulations and the inspection was a wake-up call.

Inspectors found frozen crab legs thawing at room temperature, uncovered food, a dirty ice machine and Diet Coke syrup that had expired back in April.

Hand sinks were blocked and being used for storage. Dirty, greasy water was being used to wash dishes.

There were children and other unauthorized people in the kitchen. Employee drinks and a baby bottle were on prep surfaces next to food.

Hood filters were excessively dirty and greasy and so was the floor behind appliances.

As for their “C” grade, someone had covered it up behind things on the bar. The owner said all will be well by the time they’re re-inspected and he has this message: Customers’ health is the most important thing and he’ll make sure that stays safe.

Eva Longoria’s Vegas steakhouse closes following bad health reviews

After being temporarily closed by Nevada health types in early May, Eva Longoria’s female-focused Las Vegas Strip steakhouse has closed for good, less than two years after opening in a swanky shopping centre on the Las Vegas Strip.

eva.longoriaOfficials with parent company Landry’s say SHe by Morton’s shut down effective Sunday.

‘C? I haven’t seen no C’; Carlito’s Burritos in Vegas

Carlito’s Way should not be the theme for Carlito’s Burritos on Patrick and Pecos in Las Vegas, which came in with a 36-demerit “C.”

We got a warm welcome from customers, who said, “I love you, I love you, I love you but this is not the spot for Dirty Dining.”

carlitos-way-movie-image-1They were disappointed that their favorite hangout got a bad health inspection.

Milk that was almost two weeks expired. Eggs that were almost as old as the milk. They had to throw out tomatoes, cooked vegetables and green chile pork because all were at unsafe temperatures.

There was rust and mold in the ice machine. Soda nozzles were moldy too. Raw eggs, some of which were cracked and leaking, sat on top of shredded cheese.

“We’d like your side of the story to know what they found, why they found all the stuff that caused you to get so many demerits,” said Darcy Spears.

“That one, you need to speak to the owner, sweetheart, I have no comment. I came in and, I don’t know,” said the person in charge.

“You saw that C posted on the wall?” asked Darcy.

“I haven’t seen no C.”

That’s because it’s not posted, which in itself is a violation. Right above her, there’s an empty nail on the wall.

A bucket with a Styrofoam cup is not a handwashing station: dirty dining: Taqueria El Palenque

How can a restaurant operate with no running water? Not in a safe or sanitary way.

Darcy Spears of KTNV ABC Channel 13 writes that one restaurant in Las Vegas tried to do it anyway, and that landed them at the top of the health district’s demerit list in this week’s Dirty Dining report.

Taqueria El PalenqueThe health district shut the place down on April 30 and it is still closed. 

When inspectors were there, they found the restaurant had been operating for nearly a week with no running water. That got us to wondering what they did to keep things clean. How could employees wash their hands? How could they wash dishes? They couldn’t even flush a toilet.

The health district’s pictures show the bathroom sink was a bucket with a Styrofoam cup. There was another bucket next to the toilet. Employees were washing their hands with room temperature water in large pots and a trashcan.

Inspectors didn’t know where the water came from.

5 Vegas Chinatown restaurants shut

There’s an old saying that originated with the Los Angeles restaurant inspection disclosure system: C is for Chinese.

In Las Vegas, health inspectors have shut down Chinatown restaurants, most with more than 50 demerits, in five of the last six weeks.

ChinaGittesCloseUpDarcy Spears of KTNV ABC 13 reports that one, Sam Woo BBQ kicked the reporters out as soon as they walked in. But they couldn’t keep inspectors or their cameras out.

The health district’s pictures show heavy grease build-up at the wok station. Dirty appliances, shelving, racks, bulk bins and kitchen floor.

A hand sink was a murky mess. Inspectors found handwashing wasn’t happening as it should.

As for the food, the list of things at unsafe temperatures is long, starting with par-cooked pigs. Chicken, egg noodles, cooked rice, cooked Chinese broccoli and cut lettuce all had to be thrown away because they were in the temperature danger zone. Same for cooked ducks, some from the day before.

Preserved duck eggs that were supposed to be refrigerated, were not. Plastic bags from a clothing store were being re-used to store spices.

The person in charge couldn’t list any symptoms of foodborne illness.

Vegas Firefly still doesn’t get food safety

In June 2013, Las Vegas’ Firefly Tapas Kitchen and Bar was linked to over 250 cases of salmonellosis. Investigators fingered cross-contaminated chorizo as the likely source. At the time of the outbreak owner Tabitha Simmons was quoted as saying, “It’s just sad because we’ve been vilified and we did not want anyone to get hurt. We certainly weren’t managing our restaurants poorly.”

firefly-300x300-300x300Now, Firefly has closed its Anthem-area location, citing inconsistent business at the Henderson store and a desire to focus on operations at its other restaurants.


The closure comes weeks after a routine inspection by the Southern Nevada Health District resulted in 38 demerits and a C grade for the Eastern Avenue restaurant on March 31. Firefly fired three employees as a result of the inspection, and a re-inspection on April 4 yielded 8 demerits and brought the grade back up to an A.

While Simmons said the closure wasn’t a direct result of the inspection, he acknowledged the restaurant probably wouldn’t have survived another significant loss in business.

7 outbreaks of Norovirus in Vegas

The Southern Nevada Health District Office of Epidemiology has, since March 29, 2014, identified 7 clusters and outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis illness in the Las Vegas area. Venues associated with these clusters and outbreaks include a hotel conference, several private gatherings, and long–term and memory-care facilities. Seventeen persons reported seeking medical care and 2 persons were hospitalized in association with the hotel conference.

norovirus-2Testing by the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory (SNPHL) confirmed NoV in multiple stool specimens obtained from ill persons.

SNHD, SNPHL, and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (NDPBH), Office of Public Health Informatics and Epidemiology collaborated on the investigation and response to these outbreaks.

Strict hand hygiene is the most important method to prevent NoV infection and control transmission. Proper hand washing with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to reduce NoV contamination of the hands. Hand sanitizers might serve as an adjunct in between proper hand washings, but should not be considered a substitute for frequent soap and water hand washing.

The efficacy of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) has been widely documented to disinfect human NoV from environmental surfaces. When possible, chlorine bleach solution should be applied to hard, nonporous, environmental surfaces at a concentration of 1,000–5,000 ppm (5–25 table-spoons household bleach [5.25%] per gallon of wa-ter) and leave in place for at least 4 minutes. A list of EPA-approved commercial cleaning products that are effective against feline caliciviruses (which in-clude NoV) is available at http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/list_g_NoV.pdf. Personnel performing environmental services should adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application, and contact time.

Additional infection control measures for healthcare and LTCFs are included in the SNHD Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of NoV in Extended Care Facilities and Nursing Homes available online at http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/health-care-providers/norovirus-guidelines.php 

Las Vegas’ Firefly has food safety problems again

In June 2013 Las Vegas’ Firefly Tapas Kitchen and Bar was linked to over 250 cases of salmonellosis. Investigators fingered cross-contaminated chorizo as the likely source. At the time of the outbreak owner Tabitha Simmons was quoted as saying, “It’s just sad because we’ve been vilified and we did not want anyone to get hurt. We certainly weren’t managing our restaurants poorly.” firefly-300x300

Uh huh.

According to Fox 5, Las Vegas health inspectors gave another Firefly location 38 inspection demerit points resulting in a C grade in March.

The owners of Firefly Tapas Kitchen and Bar acknowledged on Tuesday it received a “C” rating when inspectors for the Southern Nevada Health District inspected the eatery at 11261 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson on March 31.

Of the 38 demerits it incurred, Firefly was flagged for violations including those for handwashing, improper refrigeration of food, food improperly cooked at the proper temperature and failure to properly store food from potential contamination, according to SNHD’s website.

In a statement from Firefly owners John and Tabitha Simmons, the March 31 inspection was random. The owners also said the eatery was cited for 1-day-old expired food in the refrigerator.

The owners went on to say they corrected the violations within hours of the inspection. A subsequent inspection the following Friday, April 4, brought the restaurant’s rating back up to an “A,” the owners said on Tuesday.

Sure looks like they are managing their restaurants poorly, food safety-wise.