LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At Carlitos Cuban Food & Cafeteria, a 33-demerit C grade on the Jan. 22 inspection left the restaurant's namesake seeing red.
"The inspectors they have at the Health Department, they're no good. They're really dirty. They're nasty people."
Carlito Rodriguez is not pulling any punches, vowing to fight back against what he calls a corrupt inspection process.
"My violations--they're not real."
Carlitos is a Dirty Dining repeat offender, but Carlito says, "I didn't deserve to have a C this time."
The restaurant on Maryland Parkway and Karen was written up for improper handwashing and multiple foods in the temperature danger zone including raw beef, cooked onion, fish, breaded meat cutlets and cream desserts.
Raw eggs and raw pork were stored over produce and butter.
Food was subject to contamination in the freezer.
And old food dirtied the vegetable slicer.
"She (health inspector) didn't find anyhing bad in this place. She found stupid things! I do not deserve to have a C. And we're gonna fight! I have a million dollars saved and I'm gonna fight with the (Health District.) I've had it with them and that's enough! I already kicked her (inspector) out of here one time. She cannot come here any more. I'm tired of the Health Department! I work too hard in this business to keep it going! I'm a nice person. I have a nice team. My restaurant is nice and clean. My food is fresh every day."
Carlitos customers gave him high fives and cheered him on as he promised more restaurants and jobs in the Las Vegas area despite the Health District's downgrades.
"They're not gonna stop me. Because I'm gonna fight for it."
Carlitos still has a C grade and must go through intervention training before it can get its A back.
The second 33-demerit C grade came at repeat offender Kusina Ni Lorraine.
The Filipino buffet restaurant and market on Serene and Spencer is their third location to be on Dirty Dining.
On Jan. 24, inspectors found expired steak in the fridge.
Barbecued meat, stew, sausage and meat sauce had to be thrown out because they were improperly cooled.
They were using dry wiping cloths with no sanitizer, a dirty scoop sat in a bulk container and there was no person in charge.
"From the time that it happened, we're already polishing things so that people won't be disappointed with our services and we want to stay in a grade A," said Wilma Aliento, whose family runs all the Kusina Ni Lorraine locations in the valley.
Kusina Ni Lorraine still has a C grade and must undergo intervention training with the Health District.
"Sorry about the things that happened and we promise to our customers that it won't happen again," Aliento said.
Del Taco on Martin Luther King Blvd. and Lake Mead Blvd. got a 33-demerit C grade on Jan. 21.
Improper handwashing is a critical violation as it's one of the quickest and easiest ways to spread germs. At Del Taco, the cook told inspectors "She was too busy to take time to wash properly."
Other violations included old food on the slicer even though the person in charge said it was clean and a repeat violation for leaving the drive through window open--which could allow pests inside.
Raw hamburgers were in the temperature danger zone and raw fish was stored over cooked bacon, sausages and pre-cooked quesadillas.
The manager did not want to go on camera and tore up Darcy Spears' business card when she tried to leave it in case anyone else wanted to offer comment.
Del Taco still has a C grade.
A1 Mobile Catering is another multiple-time Dirty Dining repeat offender.
This time, A1's truck #17 was taken off the road at Bermuda and Starr on Jan. 21 for no water.
Inspectors found them preparing food with no water available for handwashing or dishwashing.
There was also no sanitizer on the truck.
The owner told us inspectors showed up at the end of the work day as the truck was preparing to come back to the commissary. She said the trucks can only carry so much water and they had run out, but were no longer serving customers.
A1 was back to an A grade on Jan. 22.
Aware Coffee and Tea Lounge on Painted Mirage near Ann and US-95 was shut down Jan. 24 for no hot water.
Inspectors found it had been operating with the imminent health hazard for three days.
There was also a violation for a dirty, stained cutting board.
Aware was back to a zero-demerit A grade on Jan. 27.
The owner did not return our call for comment.
El Buen Taco just can't seem to get enough Dirty Dining.
The five-time repeat offender had its #1 truck taken off the road Jan. 24 after inspectors validated a complaint.
The truck was open and foodhandlers were spraying down the inside with a garden hose from a home on Sequoia Ave. near Owens and Sandhill.
Excessive greasy, soapy, dirty water was draining into the driveway and street.
The truck was found to be using the residence as a commissary.
Also, they were supposed to have contracted with a food safety consultant due to their history of non-compliance, but they didn't.
Other violations included mozzarella cheese at an unsafe temperature in a turned off fridge and hot rice and beans left out at room temperature.
El Buen Taco was required to attend a managerial conference with the Health District.
It was back to a zero-demerit A grade on Jan. 29.
We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
Click here to see the health report for Del Taco.
Click here to see the health report for Carlitos Cuban Food & Cafeteria.
Click here to see the health report for Kusina Ni Lorraine.
Click here to see the health report for A-1 Mobile Catering.
Click here to see the health report for Aware Coffee & Tea Lounge.
Click here to see the health report for El Buen Taco #1.