LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When we entered the San Salvador Restaurant on Maryland Parkway near Sahara Avenue, we were greeted with the same door chime, loud music and colorful interior as the first time the place was on Dirty Dining.
It even has many of the same violations. But one thing is different: the owner.
San Salvador was shut down by the health district on Nov. 9, but when we tried to question the staff, they said it's not their responsibility and handed 13 Investigates Darcy Spears a cell phone to talk to the previous owner.
The man on the phone, who said his name was Chris, explained he had been pre-occupied in the process of selling the restaurant, saying he couldn't keep up with the bills because of the pandemic and was forced to sell.
He took responsibility for all the violations, saying the new owner is not to blame.
Nov. 9 (inspection day) was a Monday and he says the sale closed at the end of that week.
San Salvador drew health inspectors’ attention because of a complaint about the food being old and stale.
Inspectors didn't find evidence of that, but they did discover the multi-generational cockroach infestation which caused them to shut the place down.
Chris disagrees with inspectors using the word "infestation."
"They counted about a dozen cockroaches so if you can count that many, it tends to indicate that there are more that they can't see," Spears pointed out.
Inspectors saw live roaches around the kitchen and in the dry goods storage area. But they also found rat droppings in the back.
Roaches and rats were a problem when San Salvador was first on Dirty Dining in 2017.
Chris says they recently set extra rat traps around the outside of the building.
Other violations included mixes containing cheese, beans and pork that were being used past their expiration time, and an open box of raw cabbage stored on the floor next to the three-compartment sink.
Queso was in the temperature danger zone and open employee drinks sat on the prep table.
Inspectors also noted dirty conditions in the kitchen including excessive grease, dirty floors and shelves and dirty knives stored as clean.
The health district required pest control service and a deep cleaning.
Chris says they fixed all the violations and he has confidence that the new owner isn't going to have the same problems.
The restaurant reopened on Nov. 12 with a 3-demerit "A" grade.
It's now called Nuevo San Salvador under the new owner.
Los Amigos food truck was shut down on Nov. 13 for gross, unsanitary conditions and 46 demerits.
The truck was in the northwest part of town near Lamb Boulevard and Lone Mountain Road when inspectors took it out of service.
They wrote up improper handwashing, cooked beef cheek and beans at unsafe temperatures, and double-stacked food that was subject to cross-contamination including raw bacon, hot dogs and deli ham that were touching each other and condiment bottles.
Bags of raw chicken, raw beef and raw pork were intermingled in the prep cooler.
And an open bag of raw hamburgers sat above ready-to-eat food.
Spray incense containers and employee medicines were stored in the same container as food for customers.
And a fly landed on an in-use cutting board during the inspection.
The owner of Los Amigos did not respond to our phone call or text requesting comment.
The food truck returned to the road on Nov. 19 with a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Click here to see the health report for Los Amigos 2.
Click here to see the health report for San Salvador Restaurant #2