LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — La Casona chef Jose Marquez is no ordinary cook.
"I went to the Cordon Bleu school. I have two culinary degrees," he said.
Classically trained and a stickler for keeping things clean, Marquez was shocked when faced with a health inspection on his first day back to work after a five-week absence.
"I feel very bad. I feel very disappointed because I don't think I deserve the C," Marquez said.
La Casona, which means The Big House, is on Flamingo Road between Eastern and McLeod.
The restaurant was nearly shut down on Nov. 5 after getting a 39-demerit "C" grade.
"I was very upset when they told me it's going to be 39," Marquez said, recalling inspection day.
He and La Casona's owners felt the health inspectors made a big deal out of small things.
"I think it's overreaching because I was in the kitchen with these people and they didn't find anything bad," said Marquez.
They did find one moldy bell pepper, which Marquez points out was just one in a whole case.
"There were a couple of containers of expired cream that were almost a month past their use-by dates," Darcy Spears pointed out.
"Like I said, I stayed out for a month," Marquez reiterated. "(The cream is) only for my desserts. I'm the only one to make my desserts, so that is why they didn't use it."
But he admits they didn't throw it out until the inspectors found it.
La Casona's owners explained they've had staffing issues--which we've heard from many restaurants during the pandemic.
Chef Marquez says the staff they had while he was out weren't fully trained, which is why things like soup and tea were stored uncovered, and dirty knives were stored as clean.
Inspectors also wrote up dirty ceiling tiles and dirty floors under the cook line.
Chef Marquez vows those are all things of the past and he looks forward to getting his "A" grade back soon.
"Please come to La Casona Mexican Grill because everything is very choice. I don't have anything dirty, I don't have anything to hide."
Our two imminent health hazard closures are both food trucks.
Sammy's #6 truck was shut down Nov. 2 for inadequate refrigeration.
Multiple foods were stored in the temperature danger zone including shredded cheese, eggs, sliced ham and turkey, all of which had to be thrown out.
And employee medications, hand sanitizer and personal food were stored above food for customers inside a self-serve bin.
13 Action News was unable to reach anyone at Sammy's for comment.
The #6 truck was back to a zero-demerit "A" grade Nov. 3.
D'Angel BBQ, a food truck on Fremont and Bruce, was shut down Nov. 5 for two imminent health hazards: no hot water and inadequate refrigeration.
Inspectors found moldy bell peppers in the make table, carrots that were not washed before being prepped, and a person in charge who was not knowledgeable in basic food safety.
There was also lots of food that wound up in the trash due to unsafe temperatures, including egg noodles, raw beef ribs, raw calamari, and raw eggs.
The owner's voicemail was full 13 Action News sent a text, but no immediate response was given.
As of Wednesday, the health district's website says D'Angel BBQ was still closed.
Click here to see the health report for La Casona Bar & Grill.
Click here to see the health report for Sammy's Food Service.
Click here to see the health report for D'Angel BBQ.