LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's cock-roach-tober at D'Pinoy Joint, Amlee Gourmet and Stewart Supermarket.
The only place in this week's Dirty Dining that didn't have roaches was Wendy's. But it had its own issues.
We begin at D'Pinoy Joint. The Filipino restaurant on Flamingo Road and Rainbow Boulevard was shut down Oct. 14 for a multi-generational cockroach infestation.
"Obviously, this is a real tough time to be getting shut down by the health district," said 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears. "What was your reaction when they came in and found enough cockroaches to close the facility?"
"At first, we were shocked," said Ralph Tong, a partner and owner at D'Pinoy Joint. "But we take full responsibility for what happened. Because at the beginning of COVID, our monthly revenue went down and we had to cut some kitchen staff, but we shouldn't have done that."
Health inspectors found cockroaches throughout the kitchen. While looking at how and why the roaches got there, inspectors noted holes in kitchen walls, a loose-fitting back door, a base cover that's coming away from the walls and a floor sink backed up to the rim with stagnant black wastewater.
"We should have seen everything. That's our fault, so, things like that happen," said Tong.
Inspectors also wrote up excessively dirty kitchen equipment, floors and walls.
"Were your employees letting you know that conditions in the kitchen were slipping? That things weren't as clean as they needed to be and that there were bugs?" asked Spears.
"Yes, they were. They were. They were telling me that," Tong replied. "It's hard to maintain your cleanliness when you only have like three people in the kitchen. So, yeah, that was our fault with staffing."
Tong also says they had to replace their pest control company after discovering they were paying for a job that wasn't being done.
"We never failed to pay them monthly to get the job done, but, you know, when the health inspector comes in, they will look at it thoroughly, which is another mistake for us because we didn't do it that way," Tong said.
D'Pinoy Joint stayed closed for five days to fumigate and deep clean.
Other violations included dirty cutting boards and multiple containers of uncovered food in the fridge.
"They came in at 3:30 in the afternoon and that was after our lunch rush, so, the kitchen... it's impossible to make it perfect after a rush," said Tong.
But they did make it perfect, earning their "A" grade back with zero demerits when they reopened on Oct. 20.
"This is a lesson for us," said Tong. "And we're on top of it. I just want to say to our loyal customers, we're on top of it and it's never going to happen again."
Our second cockroach infestation was at Amlee Gourmet Chinese restaurant on Sunset and Sandhill roads.
It was shut down Oct. 12 after inspectors saw roaches under the make table, under the fryer and on the floor in dry storage.
There was also old food build-up under equipment throughout the facility.
Amlee's last pest control record dated June 29 documented a "... new infestation in the laundry hamper and under refrigeration unit on cook line."
So, roaches have clearly been a problem there for at least four months.
Amlee's voicemail says they're currently closed for renovation but expect to re-open soon.
13 Action News was unable to reach anyone for comment.
The third and final infestation was at the restaurant inside Stewart Supermarket on Stewart Avenue and Bruce Street.
It also tied for the highest demerits with a 22-demerit "C" grade, but it was shut down Oct. 15 for that imminent health hazard - a multi-generational cockroach infestation - which is a repeat violation.
Other violations included food handlers who were not washing their hands after entering the kitchen from outside, the food at unsafe temperatures, an excessively dirty wiping cloth in use and lots of old food and standing water on the floor.
Employees were also using an old and stained cardboard box to hold ready-to-eat tortilla chips.
And the person in charge couldn't provide pest control records for the past year, despite a history of pest activity.
Stewart Supermarket's restaurant was back to a zero-demerit "A" grade on Oct. 21.
13 Action News call for comment was not returned.
The other high-demerit place was Wendy's in Boca Park on Charleston and Rampart boulevards.
The fast-food restaurant's 22-demerit "C" grade on Oct. 13 was due to improper handwashing, unsafe food temperatures and unsafe food storage, like an open package of bacon stored over mixed greens.
There was also water from a fridge condenser dripping onto food and a scoop handle touching customer ice.
The Boca Park Wendy's location was the third Wendy's location in the valley to be on Dirty Dining.
It was back to a zero-demerit "A" grade on Oct. 28.
"We take food safety very seriously, and we were certainly disappointed with the findings on our previous inspection. Our team immediately began working with the managers and crew of the location to correct all issues noted and an A grade with zero demerits was received on our re-inspection. Serving safe food and protecting our customers and employees will remain a high priority in all of our Wendy’s restaurants," said Wendy's Director of Area Operations Gina Garcia, in a statement.
Click here to see the health report for D'Pinoy Joint.
Click here to see the health report for Wendy's.
Click here to see the health report for Stewart Supermarket Restaurant.
Click here to see the health report for Amlee Gourmet Restaurant.