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Chickpeas Mediterranean Cafe, Bambu tie for most demerits on Dirty Dining

Plus Round 1, McDonald's, Citizens Kitchen, Prisma
Posted: 12:20 AM, Dec 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-19 08:09:23-05
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At Chickpeas Mediterranean Cafe near Flamingo Road and Jones Bouelvard, we got an unexpectedly jovial reception.

"Hi Darcy Spears!" called Manager Alex Moreno as we walked in the door. "We were expecting you!"

Chickpeas got a 27-demerit C grade on its Dec. 5 inspection.

"Everything was just cluttered. Basically wrong timing," Moreno said. "We were really busy. We were short a dish washer."

Being short a dish washer doesn't explain spoiled food like peppers inspectors found in the fridge and flour in dry storage that was speckled with brown and black debris.

"It is what it is," said Moreno. "We have to fix our problems."

Moreno blames the cafe's issues on bad management and says they're using this experience as an opportunity to do better.

Other violations included improperly cooled rice, chicken and hummus, and pizza dough, cannoli and chicken breast that were uncovered in the freezer and had to be thrown out.

There were also bags of frozen chicken thawing in standing water, dirty cutting boards and pots stored on the freezer floor.

"We managed to fix it and we're doing well now. We want to thank the health department for coming in of course, doing their job, and we did ours," Moreno said.

Chickpeas was back to an A grade on Dec. 9.

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We got a similarly warm welcome at Bambu on Spring Mountain Road and Wynn.

"For me personally, I don't have a problem even having you guys in here today," said Owner Santy Luang.

Bambu got its 27-demerit C grade on Dec. 2.

"It was just little stuff here and there. But I don't think it was like to where somebody would've gotten sick," said Luang.

Heath inspectors did find expired gelatins in the walk-in cooler dating back to November.

"It was two days past the expiration date," said Luang.

The green jello was two days expired, but the white was nearly a week past its expiration date.

"I just think it was overlooked. Of course, it was overlooked by my staff and I take responsibility for that, but at the same time, I mean, nobody's perfect. It wasn't like it was a month old. You know what I mean?"

Inspectors also found mung beans at an unsafe temperature, employee food and drinks stored above green noodles for customers and a person in charge who didn't have basic food safety knowledge.

"The old owner was running it remotely so I just came in assuming that everyone on staff should know what you are supposed to be doing," said Luang, who took over ownership of the restaurant one month ago.

Bambu is awaiting re-inspection so it still has a C grade.

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McDonald's in the Meadows Mall food court was shut down Dec. 2 after inspectors validated a complaint.

A customer who ordered oatmeal, which comes with bagged apples, noticed the fruit was nearly three weeks expired. Health inspectors who went to McDonald's three days after that complaint still found expired diced apples in the fridge.

A routine inspection that same day resulted in an imminent health hazard closure due to no handwashing. The handsink was broken and backed up with dirty water.

McDonald's reopened later the same day with a 3-demerit A grade.

Franchise Owner Brent Bohn sent this statement:

Our goal is always clean and safe restaurants. Our maintenance team was already in route to the restaurant before the inspector arrived, and the problems were corrected before the inspector left.

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Citizens Kitchen and Bar at Mandalay Bay had an imminent health hazard closure in its back prep area on Dec. 4.

The culprit? Cockroaches.

Inspectors found a multi-generational roach infestation behind the dish washing machine.

There were also multiple fruit flies on walls in the same area.

Water on the floor and food debris and residue under the machine was all the invitation the bugs needed.

Inspectors noted that "The wall behind the ware washing machine is not sealed and can be pushed in with (one's) hand."

The roaches had infested the inside of the wall.

That area at Citizens Kitchen was back to a zero-demerit A grade on Dec. 6.

Food Safety and Compliance Manager Eric Smith said food service was not affected. He said inspectors only saw a few roaches and although one is too many, he didn't believe it qualified as an infestation. He said they reconstructed the wall and have not seen any roach activity since then.

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Round 1 Bowling and Amusement at Meadows Mall saw its snack bar shut down Dec. 2 for no hot water.

The general manager said they didn't know there was an issue with the hot water until the inspector arrived.

He said she was the first to realize it when she went to wash her hands prior to conducting the inspection.

Round 1 was back to a 3-demerit A grade on Dec. 4.

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Prisma, a food truck, was shut down Dec. 8 at an event at Craig Ranch Regional Park. It had no hot water.

The Health District's website shows Prisma is still closed.

Our call for comment was not returned.

Click here to see the health report for Chickpeas Mediterranean Cafe.

Click here to see the health report for Bambu.