LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Pho King in Beltway Plaza on Eastern and Serene avenues gets into some word play with its name.
No fun and games with the Health District, though as the restaurant was slapped with a 38-demerit "C" grade on its April 8 inspection.
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"There was a lot of confusion [in the kitchen] because that day we had our deliveries," said Manager Giang Tran, explaining that the small kitchen presents a big challenge on delivery day.
"So the entire kitchen was filled with stuff," and they had the fridge doors open for a while, which put lots of food in the temperature danger zone.
Tran says he tried to explain that to the inspector but it didn't erase the violation.
"It was pretty bad timing for us."
Cooked rice, cooked noodles and cooked egg had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Other violations highlighting the small kitchen space included a container of cooked egg rolls touching a garbage can, a box of produce stored on the floor under the sink, and dry rice noodles stored on top of an old detergent container.
"What was accepted before in the other two inspections wasn't accepted this time," said Tran, who complained that inconsistent enforcement makes it hard to keep up with the rules, citing the surprise violations for an employee cell phone, cigarettes and medications stored above a food prep table.
"It was right here for three years. I told them I don't have a lot of space. My employees need somewhere to put their stuff. So, this is what we were using, and it was fine for the last four, five inspections."
Inspectors wrote up employees for improper handwashing after cracking raw eggs, keeping a beverage on a prep table next to open customer foods and prepping food in a waste oil container.
They also found moldy garlic in the cooler.
"It was just one tiny little garlic clove. If I saw it, my employees saw it, they would've thrown it out right away. We're not going to risk getting sued over anything or getting customers sick. You can see my kitchen is really clean. That's why there are no demerits for grease build-up. No infestation."
Tran says he was expecting a "B" grade on inspection day for a few noted violations.
The 38-demerit "C" came as a shock, but he's owning up.
"I just want to apologize. I know it's my responsibility as the manager to take care of the kitchen even more. But I'll try my best."
And it's already showing. Re-inspection on Monday resulted in a zero-demerit "A" grade.
"In the near future, I'm just going to try harder to see if we can do anything more to improve," Tran promised.
Repeat offender Quality Food Service returns to Dirty Dining for the second time this month.
They've now had three trucks shut down at the Resorts World construction site on the Strip.
The latest on April 5 was for two imminent health hazards and 33 demerits.
Quality's #6 truck was operating without its generator on to properly power the refrigeration unit.
All the food in the make table was so deep in the temperature danger zone, inspectors measured it at more than 30 degrees warmer than the Health District says is safe.
They had to throw out french fries, sliced tomatoes, cooked rice, bags of shredded cheese, an open can of mushrooms and multiple flats of eggs.
A food handler used their bare hands on ready-to-eat lettuce and tomatoes.
There was no running water at the three-compartment sink.
Ready to eat corn dogs, ham and burritos were in the same container as raw pork, and raw beef was thawing in the sink next to dirty dishes.
They were washing dishes in a dirty old food container and the truck floor was littered with plates for customer food.
Quality has now been flagged for a history of non-compliance and must have a supervisory conference with the Health District.
Owner Jorge Morales didn't respond to our calls for comment.
La Botana at the Broadacres swap meet on Las Vegas Boulevard and Pecos Road was shut down for excessive demerits.
The little outdoor food booth got 32 demerits on April 10.
A food handler took cash, then put on gloves to prepare carnitas without handwashing.
Raw pork and other meats had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Raw pork and raw beef sat over cooked pork.
And a food handler was eating while preparing food for customers.
Owner Manuel Maldonado was unable to provide comment due to a language barrier.
Click here to see the health report for Pho King.
Click here to see the health report for La Botana at Broadacres.
Click here to see the health report for Quality Food Service #6.