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Cafe Sanuki and Tacos La Carreta food truck tie for most demerits on Dirty Dining

Plus, Shake Shack and Pho 90 temporarily shut down
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Posted at 11:28 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 11:19:39-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The last month of the year begins with a heaping helping of Dirty Dining.

Café Sanuki on Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard narrowly escaped closure with a 39-demerit C grade on its Nov. 18 inspection.

A food handler with a finger splint was unable to properly wash her hands and had to be reassigned to tasks that didn’t involve handling food.

Food at unsafe temperatures included raw shrimp, crab meat, rice, and eggs, which was noted as a repeat violation from a previous inspection.

A big pot of fish soup, udon noodles, flour, and cooked eggs were all uncovered and subject to potential contamination.

There was excessive black mold in the ice machine.

Equipment was propped up on dirty old bricks.

They had to be reminded of three food safety practices: food during cooling should not be stored on the floor, no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods and scoop handles should not be touching foods.

Owner Henry Fan sent the following statement:

“Thank you Channel 13 for allowing me to respond to this report. As the owner, I am responsible to uphold our brand promise of great local comfort food, value and freshness. But not only that, to ensure that our brand follows all safety guidelines set by SNHD.

"SNHD has their job to keep public safety in mind and during a recent inspection had pointed out and reminded us (my team and I) of some of the issues that needed to be addressed. I take full responsibility and have immediately acted on maintenance work on the equipment that was in question during the inspection. All issues have been addressed to my team and fixes to equipment are complete.

"Since our opening back in 2017, we have consistently received A grade during inspections and we will continue to strive to maintain the public's trust in our brand. I sincerely hope that our customers, friends, fans, and neighbors will find it in their hearts to forgive me and my team for some of the oversight and mistakes. However, I would like to stress that the issues addressed by SNHD was not that of grossness, foulness, pests, spoiled or rotten food, or any of these problems.

"Cafe Sanuki's brand reputation is about freshness and value in our food and we will continue our best effort to uphold that promise. I believe a more fitting title for this report should be “Maintenance Required” rather than “Dirty Dining”. Thank you, Las Vegas, for continued support of our local business!"

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Inspectors visited the Tacos La Carreta food truck on Spring Mountain and Wynn roads on Nov. 18 to investigate the following complaint: “Staff do not wear masks. The salsa bar is uncovered, and the radishes and cactus (nopales) have gone bad. I bought pastor tacos and they had a foul odor. They do not give receipts for purchases.”

Inspectors validated the complaint after finding the 1-door prep cooler condiment station did not have an adequate sneeze guard.

A full inspection resulted in the food truck being shut down for “imminently dangerous cross-connection of water source and no documented access to restroom while operating in location longer than 30 minutes.”

It also got 39 demerits.

Cooked beef had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

Raw hot dogs, cooked pork and raw pork were also in the temperature danger zone.

They were washing dishes and preparing food in the same sink, and there was no knowledgeable person in charge.

Our call to Owner Juan Carlos Lopez requesting comment was not returned.

********************

Inspectors went to Pho 90 on Spring Mountain Road and Arville Street on Nov. 16 to follow up on a complaint.

The customer wrote: “There was a roach in my pho. The restaurant has received numerous roach complaints on Yelp. Shut this place down.”

Inspectors didn’t find any pests so they couldn’t substantiate the complaint, but they did conduct a full inspection, which resulted in closure for the imminent health hazard of no hot water.

Some food carts were lined with greasy cardboard and there was old food, trash and grease under some coolers and the cook line.

Pho 90 was reinspected on Nov. 17 and received a zero demerit "A" grade.

Owner Tuyet Mary Flynt said, "I agreed with and was okay with the inspection. Our water tank went out and we were preparing to shut down. We replaced the tank and reopened next day.”

********************

Shake Shack at the New York New York hotel-casino on the strip was also the subject of a cockroach complaint.

On Nov. 19, a customer told the Health District they saw a roach run out from the kitchen area onto a cash register, where an employee just swatted it away.

Inspectors didn’t see any roaches or evidence of roach activity, but there were flies.

Also, Shake Shack’s pest control records from Oct. 19 noted cockroaches in the small pockets of panels in the custard machine. Those machines are now on a two-week deep cleaning rotation.

The person in charge told inspectors that roaches “seem to be entering through dining room entrances.”

Though the cockroach complaint could not be validated, the restaurant was shut down for the imminent health hazard of no hot water.

It was reinspected and reopened later the same day with a 6 demerit "A" grade.

Shake Shack Area Director Lissa Hamilton sent the following statement: “Our Shack was closed briefly when it was discovered that our hot water temporarily went out. We immediately addressed the issue and re-opened five hours later. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and are constantly working with our team and independent partners to ensure our Shacks are in great shape for our guests.”

********************

The final entry in this week's report proves you don't even have to be open to the public to get inspected and "shut down."

The restaurant, bar, kitchen and buffet at Rita Suites on Desert Inn Rd. just east of Las Vegas Blvd. closed in March 2020 and have yet to re-open. But inspectors discovered there was still food there and it hadn't been kept clean.

Nonetheless, all were shut down by the Health District on Nov. 19.

The restaurant had two imminent health hazards: no hot water and inadequate refrigeration.

It also got 21 demerits.

Inspectors found whipped cream and BBQ sauce that had expired in 2020.

Granola bars, peanut butter and jelly in dry storage had expired in Feb.

Food at unsafe temperatures included two containers of cooked baked beans and five boxes of cooked ham. All of that went into the garbage.

The ice machine was dirty, as were pans and plates in clean storage.

There was old food on the pizza dough press.

The ware washing machine wasn’t working at all. It was red-tagged, as was the walk-in refrigerator.

Cutting boards were grooved, stained and no longer easily cleanable.

The reach-in refrigerator and the make table were dirty with old food.

There were holes in walls and ceilings, and dirty floors and equipment.

The breakfast buffet was also closed due to no hot water.

Syrups in the server station were best by 2019.

Shelves, drawers and the juice machine were dirty with old food.

In the bar, which was also shut down, inspectors found moldy parmesan cheese on the counter from March 2020, pina colada syrup dated July 2019, pickle juice dated Feb. 2020 and flies in liquor bottles.

Shelves and liquor wells were dirty, there was old food soiling reach-in coolers and a shelf corner was wrapped in dirty, disintegrating tape.

Inspectors did note that the bar, kitchen and buffet were not operating at the time of inspection due to COVID and won’t re-open until Dec. 2022, but it must be reinspected by Dec. 15.

General Manager Bruce London says the property isn't open to the public at this time. It's operating as a hotel for the homeless under contract with Clark County’s HELP of Southern Nevada.

Click here to see the complaint for Tacos La Carreta.

Click here to see the health report for Tacos La Carreta.

Click here to see the health report for Cafe Sanuki.

Click here to see the health report for Rita Suites - Restaurant.

Click here to see the health report for Rita Suites - Breakfast Buffet.

Click here to see the health report for Rita Suites - Bar.

Click here to see the complaint for Pho 90.

Click here to see the complaint for Pho 90.

Click here to see the complaint for Shake Shack @ NY NY.

Click here to see the health report for Shake Shack @ NY NY.