LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's double trouble this week with two restaurants standing out for different reasons.
Sidestreet Pho and Grill on Desert Inn and Durango had the highest demerits with a 33-demerit C grade on Jan. 14.
A customer complaint about a strand of hair in soup led inspectors to Sidestreet Pho. They couldn't substantiate the complaint at the time but saw multiple violations during the investigation.
No one at Sidestreet Pho would go on camera to discuss the violations, including a repeat one for dirty, stained cutting boards.
There was also excessive grease and dirty build-up under equipment, cooked meat in the temperature danger zone that had to be thrown out, a large pot of peanut sauce on the floor and build-up in the ice machine.
Other violations included a food handler using bare hands on ready-to-eat food, bok choy and cooked rice noodles that had to be thrown out due to improper cooling, washed and unwashed lettuce being mixed, and dried debris on scoops.
We learned the restaurant owner is coming back into the country next week. They'll then have to schedule an intervention training with the Health District due to consecutive failed inspections.
Sidestreet Pho still has a C grade.
After saying they didn't want to talk on camera, they called on the phone to admit their failure to supervise employees who'd gotten careless and lazy.
The manager also emailed this statement: “We apologize for this unfortunate incident that happened during our most recent health inspection. We have since taken the steps to correct all the issues and concerns and have eliminated the problem. We want our guests to know that their safety is our top priority.”
Chopstix Express on Windmill and Eastern got a visit from inspectors after a customer complaint about cockroaches in the food.
On Jan. 16, inspectors confirmed that complaint and shut Chopstix Express down for a multi-generational roach infestation.
"Oh, I'm so sorry about that!" said Annie Jiang, the person in charge at Chopstix when we paid them a visit.
Inspectors found multiple live and dead roaches and roach feces throughout the facility.
Chopstix Express' most recent pest control report noted dirty conditions, including grease build-up and old food debris that needed to be cleaned up, but the inspection says that was not done.
"Right now they can't find any more roaches," said Jiang. "We got all that with the deep cleaning. Everything's perfect now."
Other health violations included preparing raw beef, raw chicken and broccoli on the same prep table.
And thawing chicken and fish at room temperature next to a dirty sink with dirty dishes.
Jiang says they're working hard to protect their customers and keep the restaurant healthy and clean.
Chopstix Express was back to a zero-demerit A grade on Jan. 17.
Yet another customer complaint brought inspectors to the snack bar at Tropicana Cinemas on Tropicana and Pecos on Jan. 16.
The complainant saw an employee use the bathroom and go straight back to food prep without washing hands.
According to the complaint, when the customer complained about it to the manager, the manager "was okay with the employee not washing hands after using the bathroom."
When health inspectors investigated, improper handwashing was observed so the complaint was verified.
The snack bar was shut down due to inadequate handwashing facilities.
A manager said they'd lost their insta-hot and were awaiting a new part to fix the broken handsink.
There was also excessive food debris on the floor, soda hoses that were exposed to potential contamination and missing and stained ceiling tiles.
Tropicana Cinemas snack bar was back to a zero-demerit A grade on Jan. 17.
Terrible Herbst snack bar inside the gas station on Falcon Ridge in Mesquite was shut down Jan. 16 due to no hot water.
The manager told inspectors she had made a call to corporate maintenance in Las Vegas to have someone out to fix it, but they were still in operation despite the substantial health hazard.
They were back to a zero-demerit A grade on Jan. 17.
When we called, the manager said she had no comment.
Click here to see the health report for Sidestreet Pho & Grill.
Click here to see the health report for Chopstix Express Restaurant.
Click here to see the health report for Tropicana Cinemas Snack Bar.
Click here to see the health report for Terrible Herbst #329 Snack Bar.