LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Health District shut down Praya Thai on Sunset Road and Decatur Boulevard on March 10 for excessive demerits--52 in total--and "uncontrolled food-borne illness risk factors."
A manager, who identified herself only as Kate, said, "I think for the shutdown... Now it's better than before."
Before, inspectors found cooked chicken stored in a reused cardboard box.
Curry was cooling in the same sink as dirty equipment.
Washed cucumbers and eggplants were stored on dirty shelves.
Expired sticky rice in the fridge dated back to March 2.
And there was a repeat violation for raw chicken, pork and shrimp being stored in the same container.
Kate said it was a surprise when the Health District came in and wrote up all the violations because the Praya Thai management did not think there was that much wrong in the kitchen.
Other violations included cooked chicken stored at room temperature that had to be thrown out, employee cell phones on prep surfaces, lettuce that was not washed before being cut and a person in charge who was not knowledgeable in basic food safety.
Kate attributed some of Praya's problems to a slowdown in business, saying things got neglected in the kitchen in part because they had so few customers. She said the restaurant completely shut down for a while due to COVID restrictions, so finances were a factor too.
"If they don't have money, they cannot do much."
Praya Thai re-opened March 12 with a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Across town, a restaurant in a commercial center on Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkway that's simply named "Nigerian Food" was shut down on March 10 for two imminent health hazards: no hot water and a rat infestation.
Inspectors went to Nigerian Food to follow up on a complaint about "dirty floors in the kitchen, flies resting on cooked food, a manager not wearing a mask, staff seen spitting on the floor and no hand soap in the bathroom or kitchen."
But they found even more than that.
The evidence of rats was everywhere: rodents had chewed up and urinated on multiple food packages in the dry storage area; inspectors noted excessive rodent droppings on food contact surfaces, containers of dried foods, dishes, food supplies, food shelves, and the corners of cooking and holding equipment.
There was also excessive old food, dirty build-up and standing water throughout the kitchen, as well as excessively moldy basil in the fridge.
Owner Angela Ifeoma Ojako said Nigerian Food:
“...is still closed because we're working on the rodent issue. We are staying closed until everything is fully fixed and doing everything possible to take care of the rodents and violations. I was traveling for several days and the guy I hired to clean was drunk or high. When I came back, I saw we had a lot of issues and was discussing that with him when the Health District walked in. I had to fire him and hire someone else. The whole building is old and has rodents. We are a new restaurant and we opened shortly before COVID hit. The Health District’s pictures make it look worse than it is. I'm a single mom trying to help myself and my children. This whole experience has been expensive and frustrating.”
Inspectors shut down Vanilla Rice's Hibachi House, a food truck near Flamingo and Sandhill roads, after a verified complaint on March 10.
The person complaining said the truck was "Sending noxious fumes and generator noise into the nearby neighborhood."
It also noted, "Food was being transported to the truck using personal vehicles."
Inspectors found the food truck owner was indeed "Transporting multiple pans of raw chicken, raw shrimp, and other potentially hazardous foods" on the floor of an unrefrigerated van.
They also documented an imminent health hazard of no potable water as the truck was getting its water from a garden hose.
Owner Zach Tolen sent the following statement on behalf of the Hibachi House team:
"On 3/10/2021 our truck had broken down and we had to get the food from our commercial kitchen that we prepared earlier in the day to the truck. The food was transported in our van within 20 min. On this same day, the health inspector shows up. The inspector checked the van by doing a temperature check and didn’t make us discard any food because it was at the correct temperature. This method of transportation was due to an emergency (truck breaking down). Regarding the comment about our water supply, at that time we had potable water, we were just using the wrong hose. Because of this, we made the decision to close down for 12 hours. We opened back up the next day with an A grade and no issues. Our team prides ourselves in making sure we have a wonderful and trusted connection with our customers, and our chef has been featured before on various trusted networks. Thank you all again, and we look forward to continue serving the citizens of Las Vegas, Nevada."
Hibachi House re-opened on March 11 with a zero-demerit "A" grade.
The main kitchen dishwashing area at the Mirage hotel-casino on the Strip was shut down on March 12 for a multi-generational cockroach infestation.
In addition to the bugs, inspectors found heavy food debris accumulated below dish machines and in floor drains.
MGM Resorts sent the following statement:
“Our operations are held to the highest standards and the importance of maintaining those standards cannot be understated. We took immediate steps to resolve this isolated issue and the area is operating once again with an A-rating from the Health District.”
Mirage's main kitchen dishwashing area was re-inspected on March 16 and got a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Country Roads Kettle Corn was shut down in a dirt lot at Lone Mountain Road and Tenaya Way on March 11 for no hot water.
It also got 22 demerits.
We received no response to our voicemail an email seeking comment.
The Health District's website shows Country Roads mobile unit is still closed.
Click here to see the health report for Praya Thai.
Click here to see the health report for Country Roads Kettle Corn.
Click here to see the health report for Nigerian Food.
Click here to see the complaint for Nigerian Food.
Click here to see the health report for Vanilla Rice's Hibachi House.
Click here to see the complaint for Vanilla Rice's Hibachi House.
Click here to see the health report for Mirage Main Warewash.