LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The first Dirty Dining of 2021 brings the last words a restaurant wants to hear: "I'm Darcy Spears from channel 13."
That's what Casa Mariscos heard this week after the restaurant on Flamingo Road and Sandhill fell one demerit short of a shutdown with a 40-demerit "C" grade on its Dec. 22 inspection.
When we paid them a visit we found there was no person in charge, which is a health code violation; just one of many at Casa Mariscos that they're still working to fix.
Despite open doors and a table full of customers, Casa Mariscos staff told us "We're going to close because, you know, we need to clean up everything."
On inspection day, the Health District found food handlers did not wash their hands after re-entering the kitchen from outside.
There were moldy bins of carrots and strawberries.
Cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce all had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Raw beef was stored over cooked food.
And though inspectors only saw one live cockroach, those critters are never alone. Casa Mariscos' manager admitted to the Health District that they don't have a professional pest control company.
After our visit, the owner called to say he just bought the restaurant last week and knows the health violations are very serious.
He says they've fixed many problems but still have work to do and will likely stay closed until re-inspection on Jan. 16.
At El Rincon on Desert Inn Road and McLeod, instead of the "We're Open" banner hanging above the door, customers should be seeing a closure sign from the Southern Nevada Health District.
The sign should be posted in the window, but it's not, and that in and of itself is a violation.
El Rincon's Dec. 15 shutdown for a multi-generational cockroach infestation was extended after a failed re-inspection on Dec. 29.
Inspectors found live roaches crawling inside the oven, in the standing mixer, behind the cashier counter, and on floors.
There were dead roaches in the ice machine, the prep and drink coolers, inside refrigerators, on the paper towel dispenser, and inside light fixtures.
Cockroach egg sacks were seen in many of those areas as well.
Excessive grease and old food throughout the kitchen provided an all-you-can-eat roach buffet.
The owner told inspectors they'd had no commercial pest control since March 2020.
Other violations included black mold in the ice machine, a toilet flush handle that was replaced with a string, and expired food including nine-day-old cooked chicken, two-week-old chicharron yuccas, and soaked corn that dated back to mid-November.
We were unable to reach anyone at the restaurant for comment.
Dunkin' Donuts on Silverado Ranch and Bermuda Road was described by inspectors as an "Unkempt facility" when it was shut down Dec. 15 for two imminent health hazards: inadequate refrigeration and lack of employee handwashing facilities.
Restroom sinks had been removed as part of an unapproved remodel so "Staff was unable to wash their hands after using the toilet."
The handsink in the kitchen was blocked by trash cans.
Due to refrigeration issues, multiple foods in the temperature danger zone had to be thrown out and food in the fridge and freezer were uncovered and subject to contamination.
There was also excessive old food and dirt tracked in from the construction area.
It re-opened the next day, Dec. 16, with a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Our message requesting comment was not returned.
At another spot for sweets across town, inspectors shut down the bakery at Fresh and Less market on Owens and J street for a multi-generational cockroach infestation on Dec. 16.
Roaches were crawling on walls next to open containers of icing and clean cookie sheets.
They were also inside the in-use sanitizer bucket and when roaches are seeking solace in the sanitizer, you know things are bad.
Conditions inviting to pests in the bakery included excessive old food on containers, floors, and equipment, heavy grease, food and standing water in the floor drain, a missing ceiling tile, and holes in walls.
There were also 12 containers of expired milk and half & half in the cooler. Several dated back to March of 2020.
Cartons of eggs, boxes of beef feet, packaged bags of beef, and packages of fish had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
There was an open bucket of icing on the floor and uncovered cakes at risk of contamination.
Open bags of raw chicken, beef, fish, and imitation crab were sitting together in the same box. All had to be thrown out.
There was no soap at the only available hand sink and wiping cloths were black with dirt.
Fresh and Less's bakery was re-inspected Dec. 18 and got a zero-demerit "A" grade.
We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
Downtown on Fremont and Las Vegas Boulevard., Cous Cous Mediterranean Cafe got a 38-demerit "C" grade on its Dec. 11 inspection and the place has not recovered from that.
Inspectors found expired babaganoush, falafel, rice, bacon, and dolma, many of which dated back to late November.
There were two boxes of moldy tomatoes and a container of gray, slimy, foul-smelling raw hamburger patties in the fridge.
Cooked quinoa was in the temperature danger zone.
Gyro meat on a non-functional vertical broiler had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
The three-compartment sink was being used to prepare beef skewers, rinse dirty dishes, and thaw raw chicken and shrimp at the same time.
Raw beef was stored over french bread and pita bread.
Cooked vegetables were stored uncovered and subject to contamination.
In-use utensils sat in lukewarm standing water.
The scoop handle was buried in the salsa.
Old food-soiled the can opener and deli slicer blades.
Dirty plastic containers were stored as clean.
The manager told us Cous Cous is going out of business this week and she had no further comment.
Mariscos Las Islitas on Pecos and Washington Avenue got a 40-demerit "C" grade on its Dec. 15 inspection.
A food handler handled shrimp with unwashed, bare hands.
A metal coil was found inside a container of fish ceviche.
Raw shrimp sat in the temperature danger zone.
Food was uncovered, double-stacked and improperly stored.
The restaurant was re-inspected on Dec. 17 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Our call for comment was not returned.
Restaurant El Rey on Maryland Parkway near Flamingo Road was shut down on Dec. 7 for a multi-generational cockroach infestation.
Most of the roaches were around the floor drain but inspectors also found one in the oven.
There was a strong sewer odor in the restaurant and stove knobs were caked with old grease.
El Rey was required to do a deep clean, get rid of excess grease and old food throughout the facility, and get rid of standing water.
A broken drain line at the back door and lots of spiders and nests in a back hallway were in an area the restaurant says is the property manager's responsibility.
Re-inspection on Dec. 10 resulted in a zero demerit "A" grade.
We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
Click here to see the report for Casa Mariscos.
Click here to see the report for El Rincon Mexican Grill.
Click here to see the report for First Cup LLC - Dunkin Donuts.
Click here to see the report for Fresh and Less Bakery.
Click here to see the report for Mariscos Las Islitas.
Click here to see the report for Restaurant El Rey.
Click here to see the report for Fremont Mediterranean Cafe.