Dirty Dining: Esmeralda's Cafe on East Charleston
UPDATE: Esmeralda's Cafe was re-inspected on 6/1/12. They are open and operating with a 7 demerit, A grade.
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A lack of hot water recently led to the closure of a Salvadorian and Mexican restaurant on East Charleston Boulevard.
According to the Southern Nevada Health District, none of three sinks in the restaurant provided sufficient hot water. That's just one of the problems found during a recent visit to Esmeralda's Cafe on East Charleston, near Maryland Parkway
Inspectors slapped the restaurant with 54 demerits, forcing it to close its doors. Anything more than 40 demerits means an automatic closure.
The other violations: food not properly labeled; spoiled onions and cabbage; chicken and chicken stock at the wrong temperature; raw chicken improperly stored over raw fish; and a mold-like substance inside the ice machine.
In addition, there were no records of pest control.
Contact 13's Tricia Kean paid a visit to Esmeralda's Cafe but it was still closed. So Contact 13 called a number posted in the restaurant's window and spoke with owner Daisy Vega, who issued this statement:
"The Health District marked us down for a lot of little things. But we also had run out of hot water and I was told they had to shut us down. The Health District is giving us a hard time and I don't think it's fair. We were very busy when they came by for the inspection. I've been doing this for 17 years and I've never had a problem with someone getting sick at my restaurant. I am making the required changes and getting a new water heater, which requires new pipes. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. But my restaurant is always clean and my food is safe. I don't know when I will reopen and 15 people are now out of work."
The Health District tells us Esmeralda's Cafe has not scheduled a re-inspection and is still closed with 54 demerits.