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Roaches at Orchids Garden and Pho Aimie as hot temps hit hard on Dirty Dining

Plus, five food trucks shut down for imminent health hazards
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Posted at 3:23 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 17:21:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s a week full of filth on Dirty Dining with three restaurants, five food trucks and hundreds of demerits.

Hot weather always brings out the bugs, and also makes it hard to keep stuff cold as refrigerators are working overtime.

This week is no exception.

We begin at Orchids Garden Chinese restaurant on Sahara Avenue and Lindell Road. It was shut down June 29.

Inspectors were following up on a complaint from a customer who saw a cockroach on their table, and found a multi-generational cockroach infestation.

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Orchids Garden Chinese 6/29

Orchids Garden also got 37 demerits.

  • Inspectors saw live and dead roaches throughout the kitchen: in ware-washing and prep areas and near the fridge. They were crawling above shelves, among clean dishware, and on floors.
  • Dead roaches littered areas around standing mixers, inside prep sinks and in corners.
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Orchids Garden Chinese Dimsum - Prep - Storage 6/29

  • A food handler was wearing a large, dirty arm sleeve over his hands while working with open food.
  • Bean sprouts and cut cabbage had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
  • A food handler only washed hands for five seconds. Another employee did not wash hands at all after mopping the floor and before handling clean dishes.
  • Fish and pork in refrigerators, and raw chicken and cooked BBQ pork in freezers were not covered.
  • There was pink and orange mold in two ice machines.
  • Areas under equipment were heavily dirty with old food, debris and grease.
  • Cut asparagus was stored in a sanitizer bucket in the fridge.
  • Containers used to hold cooked duck were continually reused for multiple batches past the seven-day shelf-life.
  • Green onions were cut without being washed.
  • The wooden base under the large mixer was heavily dirty, and metal shelves in the cooler were excessively rusted.
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Orchids Garden Chinese 6/29

Inspectors were called back to the restaurant for a re-inspection on July 1, but Orchids Garden failed with excessive demerits and repeat violations, so it had to remain closed.

At that re-inspection, employees were seen preparing food even though they had been shut down by the Health District for an imminent health hazard and told to cease and desist all food handling operations.

They were told to throw all that food out, but inspectors discovered employees had instead put it all into the fridge with false date labels, relabeling the food to appear as though it was prepared prior to the closure.

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Orchid Garden Chinese Restaurant 7/1

An employee was washing equipment outside and wastewater was running down the street.

Pink slime from the ice machine was in direct contact with customer ice.

And there were still cockroaches — dead and alive — as well as standing water on floors and excessive grease and old food on equipment.

We left a message for owner Ken Wong requesting comment, but our call was not returned.

Orchids Garden was able to re-open with a zero-demerit “A” grade on July 5 after a second re-inspection.

Pho Aimie

Pho Aimie on Rainbow Boulevard and Wigwam Avenue was shut down June 28 after inspectors validated a complaint about cockroaches.

A customer wrote: “There was a live roach crawling on the booth I was in, and then we moved, and then there was a dead roach on the lettuce. Inspect this place, please!”

Inspectors did, found a multi-generational cockroach infestation in the kitchen, and shut the place down for that imminent health hazard.

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Pho Aimie

There were live roaches crawling around and lots of dead ones — along with egg casings — inside a non-operational oven on the cook line.

But Pho Aimie wasn’t charged a closure fee because they were able to prove they had recent pest control treatment.

They told inspectors they recently changed pest control companies because they were dissatisfied with the one they had.

The full inspection after validating the complaint added 20 demerits to the closure.

There was excessive old food on the slicer that was stored as clean, excessive grease build-up on and inside fryers, and lots of old food spillage on the floor behind equipment and near the dry storage area.

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Pho Aimie

Clean pans were stacked and stored while still wet.

The restaurant was told to deep clean with a steam sprayer to remove all the grease build-up, and have bi-monthly pest control treatments until the infestation is resolved.

Pho Aimie was reinspected on July 5 and received a zero demerit "A" grade.

They hung up on us when we called requesting comment.

Mi Sonora

Mi Sonora Restaurant on Basic Road near Water Street in Henderson was shut down June 30 for inadequate refrigeration.

It also got 20 demerits.

Fried jalapenos, shredded beef, bacon-wrapped hot dog, liquid cheese, shredded chicken, re-fried beans, deli ham and chili relleno all had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

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Mi Sonora Restaurant

Owner Ruth Espinoza said she was losing proper temperature in her refrigeration unit at lunch time, and is still trying to fix that.

She says all the food was fresh, nothing was expired and everything is clean.

"Most of my menu is fresh daily and I don't have a lot of inventory," Espinoza said. "We're trying to diagnose the problem with multiple repair companies but nothing has worked so far. It’s fine in the morning but loses temperature as the day goes on."

Tacos Los Parados

Tacos Los Parados food truck was shut down on Eastern Avenue near U.S. 95 during its July 2 inspection after getting 46 demerits.

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Tacos Los Parados

Inspectors also documented two imminent health hazards: a sewage leak and inadequate refrigeration.

  • An employee used bare hands to make ready-to-eat tortillas.
  • They had to throw out custard desserts that were made in someone’s home.
  • There was brown water coming out of the truck’s sinks, indicating the water tanks were not being properly flushed and sanitized.
  • Cooked beef, cheese, raw beef, shredded cabbage and green salsas had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
  • There was no sanitizer anywhere on the truck.
  • The can opener was excessively rusted and dirty with old food.
  • The hand sink was excessively dirty and corroded.
  • And the person in charge was not knowledgeable in basic food safety.

We reached the owner, who said he’d call back with someone who could translate, but that call never came.

El Gasparin

El Gasparin food truck was doing a poor job of welcoming people to town when it was shut down at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign with a whopping 60 demerits on June 30.

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El Gasparin

It also had the imminent health hazard of a sewage leak.

  • An employee was taking payment and preparing customer orders without washing hands, which wasn’t possible anyway because the truck didn’t have any soap.
  • There was gray water pooled on the ground under an excessively leaking wastewater tank.
  • An excessive number of flies were landing on fruit in the display case, on boxes of produce and on walls.
  • Cups without handles were being used to scoop fresh juice.
  • Bottles of chemicals were stored next to food on the cutting board.
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El Gasparin

  • Knives and cutting boards were not properly washed and sanitized as the truck had no dish soap.
  • Unwashed produce was being cut for service to customers.
  • A knife was stored on a dirty surface behind a dirty shaved ice machine.
  • And walls and floors were sticky and dirty with old food splatter.

Through a translator, the owner said he doesn’t disagree with the violations but said the inspection process was difficult because he speaks Spanish and the inspector only spoke English.

He said they couldn’t properly communicate about everything that needed to be addressed, and they are still working on fixing the violations.

Pollos Culiacan

Three-peat offender Pollos Culiacan has been on Dirty Dining for two weeks in a row.

READ: Three food trucks and The Orleans on Dirty Dining

Its food trailer was shut down June 29 on Las Vegas Boulevard and Carroll Street with 43 demerits and three imminent health hazards: no hot water, sewage leak and inadequate refrigeration.

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Aguachiles Culichi

  • An employee used bare hands on ready-to-eat tortillas.
  • Salsa, cheese and refried beans were at unsafe temperatures.
  • There were multiple flies in the reach-in refrigerator and inside the make table.
  • Cooked chicken was stored in plastic grocery bags.
  • The person in charge was not knowledgeable in basic food safety.

We left a message requesting comment, but our call was not returned.

El Paisa/Birria Estilo Sonora

El Paisa food trailer, operating under the name Birria Estilo Sonora, was shut down June 30 for no potable water.

Water for the trailer was coming from a garden hose.

It also got 39 demerits.

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El Paisa Portable Unit

  • Shrimp, cooked chipotle salsa, birria broth, horchata, and shredded lettuce were all deep in the temperature danger zone and had to be thrown out.
  • Everything in the make table had to be thrown out, too, because the lid was left open, and it was all subject to consumer and environmental contamination.
  • Numerous pigeons congregated around the trailer and near openly exposed food.
  • There was no person in charge.

We left a voicemail requesting comment, but our call was not returned.

Taqueria San Miguel

Food truck Taqueria San Miguel on Las Vegas Boulevard and Pecos Road was shut down June 30 for failing re-inspection from a previous downgrade.

  • Multiple foods were at unsafe temperatures including sour cream, beans and rice.
  • The truck was infested with flies.
  • Ready-to-eat foods and masa were covered with towels.

We left a message for Owner Epitacio Navarrete Pacheco requesting comment, but our call was not returned.

After a second re-inspection, Taqueria San Miguel was allowed to reopen on July 1 with a zero-demerit "A" grade.

For a look at past Dirty Dining reports, visit ktnv.com/dirtydining.
_____________________________________________________________________

  • Click here to see the health report for Orchids Garden Storage #1.
  • Click here to see the health report for Orchids Garden Storage #2.
  • Click here to see the complaint for Orchids Garden Chinese restaurant.
  • Click here to see the health report for Orchids Garden Chinese #1.
  • Click here to see the health report for Orchids Garden Chinese #2.
  • Click here to see the complaint for Pho Aimie.
  • Click here to see the health report for Pho Aimie.
  • Click here to see the health report for Mi Sonora Restaurant.
  • Click here to see the health report for Tacos Los Parados.
  • Click here to see the health report for El Gasparin.
  • Click here to see the health report for Aguachiles Culichi/Pollos Culiacan.
  • Click here to see the health report for El Paisa Portable Unit.
  • Click here to see the health report for Taqueria San Miguel.