LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Playa Papagayos has been on Dirty Dining twice. So has Cafe Pan 2 in the Venetian. And Best Mobile Food Service is a three-peat offender.
Our Dirty Dining deja vu begins at the seafood restaurant on Sahara and Decatur: Playa Papagayos was first on in January and it's back with a 37-demerit C grade from its June 20 inspection.
"Can you tell me what happened with this inspection?" we asked Alberto Lopez, the restaurant's owner.
"Well, I can't say anything right now because sometimes it's unfair how the Health Department applies the codes. Depends how they come. If they come with a good attitude, they apply well. If they come mad or some kind of problem, they apply ... I don't think it's fair," Lopez answered.
Based on that theory, he must've thought inspectors had a pretty bad attitude.
They found moldy food in the fridge: three-week-old cut watermelon, two boxes of moldy jalapenos and a bag of moldy radishes. Also, expired cream in the fridge was two weeks past its use-by date. Spoiled food at Playa Papagayos is a repeat violation.
"I understand we have trouble," Lopez said. "Sometimes it's impossible to keep very, very well like they want."
In addition to expired food, there was also lots of stuff at unsafe temperatures including salsa left on top of the fridge and unattended ham on the deli slicer.
A large package of raw beef and one of raw pork were also in the temperature danger zone.
"We try to keep everything well," Lopez said, adding that he's been in the restaurant business 30 years and believes no matter what he does, inspectors will still find violations.
Darcy: "Do you think they're writing you up for violations that don't exist or you just think that it's too harsh?"
Alberto: "No. They can work different."
Then there's the matter of his C-grade … or apparent lack thereof. When we asked where it was, he pointed to a pile of papers stacked against the wall near the register and says the grade card is in the stack.
We remind him that the Health District requires grade cards to be conspicuously posted in public view, but he leaves it hidden. He couldn't hide a dirty kitchen from health inspectors.
They found excessive grease and food debris on cookline equipment, floors and shelves and dirty wares in the same sink where a food handler was washing lettuce. There was also lots of dirty stuff in clean storage--pans, a strainer and a waffle maker. Also a slicer, microwave and cutting board.
There were also a few flies in the kitchen.
Alberto: "Sometimes we offer to the customers a tour. If they want to come and check the kitchen, it's welcome."
Darcy: "Do you want to let us get any video of the kitchen?"
Alberto: "No, no. Not right now."
Playa Papagayos must have a supervisory conference with the Health District before scheduling re-inspection.
For the second week in a row, a restaurant in the Grand Canal shops at the Venetian is on Dirty Dining.
It's deja vu for Cafe Pan 2 -- first on last Fall after health inspectors verified a complaint and confirmed a cockroach infestation.
And, oops, they did it again on June 17.
A customer wrote: "Me and my family visited the Venetian casino... Went to eat at Cafe Pan... And as we entered and got in line to place the order, we saw about 5 cockroaches walking on the back of the wall... That is not sanitary to be serving food in that condition."
Inspectors following up on that complaint saw multi-generational roaches and the restaurant was shut down for an imminent health hazard.
It was back to a zero-demerit A the next day.
Cafe Pan owner Gabriel Romo said there were only a few roaches and he believes his pest control company fell down on the job. Although records from the pest control company show Cafe Pan 2 didn't do its part to seal gaps, fill holes and fix tiles.
Romo emphasized how quickly they made fixes and re-opened.
Best Mobile Food Service is a three-peat offender on Dirty Dining.
We had their number four truck on in May and now it's truck number 2's turn. It has earned the name 'roach coach.'
It was shut down June 19 for two imminent health hazards: cockroach infestation and improper disposal of wastewater.
Wastewater was leaking onto the ground and the inspector saw cockroaches crawling on the hand sink and prep counter.
The truck was servicing a Summerlin construction site called Crossbridge at the time it was taken out of service.
It was back to a zero-demerit A grade two days later on June 21. We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
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