Dirty Dining: Yayo Taco for the second time
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's deja vu all over again on Dirty Dining tonight as Chief Investigator Darcy Spears returns to a small eatery near University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the second time in just four months.
Its a place where the owner has been critical of health inspectors.
"This Health Department is an atrocity."
That was Cho Yiu, chef and owner of Yayo Taco, when he was first on Dirty Dining in September.
This is Cho Yiu now.
Darcy: Hi. We're back. What happened?
Cho: Same story.
In September, health inspectors shut the restaurant on Maryland Parkway near UNLV down.
The January 15 inspection left them with a 33-demerit "C" grade.
Darcy: How much money have you had to cough up to the Health District in the last four months?
Cho: Including this it's $1200.
Cho believes the Health District is motivated by money. Looking for little things to write up enough demerits so they can generate cash for re-inspections.
"It's very insidious, of course."
Yayo Taco wasn't written up for spoiled food. There was nothing expired. No immediate health hazards.
They got dinged for stuff like a dented can of coconut milk.
"I think it's outrageously ridiculous that that cannot be used," Cho said. "If you have a blemish on your skin, I guess you're not qualified for a date."
There was a cork that had fallen into a bottle of tequila.
"So, I know that shouldn't be, yes. But I'm not gonna serve it that way."
Floating residue in two liquor bottles which Cho says was cinnamon, orange peel and chili mixed for a house specialty cocktail. And...
Darcy: They actually wrote you up for the direction your plastic silverware was facing--plastic utensils.
Cho: Three pieces of plastic utensils in a bucket with all the directions in one direction except three pieces.
Inspectors found spinach and tofu at 48-degrees when it should have been 41.
Darcy: You equate that to being pulled over for going 28 in a 25?
Cho: 26 in a 25-mile-an-hour zone.
And they say raw beef was being thawed at room temperature.
"And I was ready to cut it and start using it, and I explained it to them, and they just wanted to take three or five points or whatever they wanted."
There are a few things Cho doesn't argue with, like the dark build-up on a rack used to store clean dishes.
"That was maybe one of the items where I guess it justified a write-up."
That, and the strand of hair laying across a peeled banana.
"Well, I apologize for that, definitely. We have hair nets in the kitchen and I have my own, all the time, always ready to go."
There was also mold growing on the inside walls of the keg cooler, but Cho says they weren't even using it.
Yayo Taco is still operating under a "C" grade until Cho can come up with the $477 re-inspection fee.
"It's almost like what we consider over-regulation, and that's very burdensome on private enterprise and free spirit."
The Health District disputes Cho's opinions. They say the percentage of downgrades and closures is minimal and the fees generated only supply about 6% of their inspection program's operating cost.