LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Pearl Wok To Go, a Chinese takeout restaurant on Charleston and Durango, is working to recover from near-closure--a 39-demerit C grade on its Jan. 9 inspection.
"Can you give us your perspective on everything that happened with this downgrade?" Darcy Spears asked Manager Peter Chen. "Why were the conditions the way they were?"
"Uh, just like, not really knowing, understanding the rules and stuff," Chen responded.
Darcy Spears: How long have you been in operation?
Peter Chen: 15 years.
Darcy: 15 years and they still didn't understand the health code?
Darcy: That's potentially dangerous for the public, don't you think?
Peter: Yeah, that's understandable. Yeah.
Pearl Wok was so dirty that the Health District called it an environment ripe for pests due to excessive clutter under the front cashier counter, lots of old food under the wok line and fryers, and debris and dead bugs in the restroom hallway.
Meat in the freezer was stored in direct contact with grocery store plastic bags and handwritten labels.
All refrigeration units, door handles, the make table lid and shelves in the kitchen were dirty.
Shelves inside coolers were rusty and soiled with seepage.
The ceiling and vents were filthy and stained black.
Walls were dirty, severely water damaged and full of holes.
And there was excessive grease dripping down the side of the fryer.
Darcy: The Health District's website shows you had an A back in July but then the recent pictures the Health District took showed pretty dirty conditions in the kitchen. Was July the last time you guys did a deep cleaning?
Peter: That I don't know.
Other dirty items in the kitchen included the egg roll dipping bowl, grater, hand-held slicer, meat slicer, wok line prep bowls and colander.
Pans, lids and other wares in clean storage were also not clean.
Darcy: Everything was kind of a mess. So what's the plan for keeping a clean kitchen?
Peter: Cleaning more frequently.
Pearl Wok also needs a refresher course on food handling.
An employee touched utensils, vegetables and a customer to-go container after handling raw shrimp.
Cooked cabbage for egg rolls, noodles, cooked chicken and raw marinated chicken all had to be thrown out due to improper cooling.
An employee's partially eaten sweet potato was on the front prep table.
And a cell phone sat on a cutting board.
Darcy: Food temperatures and hand-washing and all the really basic things that are required to protect public health just weren't being done.
Peter: It was. I believed it was, but yeah.
Darcy: But clearly the inspector showed you that it wasn't?
Peter: Well... that's true.
Pearl Wok got its A grade back on Jan. 28.
At 808 Sushi on Durango and Warm Springs, both the sushi bar and restaurant were shut down Jan. 10 due to no hot water.
Owner Dean Okada called it bad luck and bad timing as his plumber was already on the way to fix the problem.
But water temperature wasn't the only issue.
Inspectors also found crab salad, cut lettuce and cabbage in the temperature danger zone.
A blender in use to prepare food was on the floor.
Cooking equipment, shelves, floors, walls and cutting boards were dirty.
And a food handler did not use soap when washing hands.
808 Sushi was back to zero-demerit A grades on Jan. 14.
The main kitchen at Medici restaurant at Hilton Lake Las Vegas was briefly shut down Jan. 10 due to the imminent health hazard of inadequate hot water.
The kitchen, which also supplies room service, was the subject of an employee complaint. The employee told the Health District that the restaurant had been operating for days without hot water, calling the place "completely unsanitary."
Inspectors investigating the complaint substantiated it but allowed the Medici kitchen to re-open within hours with an 8-demerit A grade after the problem was fixed during the inspection.
General Manager Bob Jensch said the employee who complained is likely "disgruntled" and that the claims are untrue.
Jensch said a control board associated with the hot water went out and as soon as they found out, they replaced it.
Click here to see the health report for Pearl Wok.
Click here to see the health report for Hilton Lake Las Vegas Medici Main Kitchen.
Click here to see the health report for 808 Sushi Restaurant.
Click here to see the health report for 808 Sushi - Sushi Bar.