LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The laundry list of violations that shut down So Hyang Korean BBQ in Commercial Center is posted on the Health District's sign for all to see in the restaurant's front window: imminent health hazard of gross, unsanitary conditions, pest infestation and an excess of 45 demerits.
The triple whammy hit the restaurant on Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkway on April 14.
Let’s start with the rats.
Inspectors saw excessive rodent droppings throughout the back storage and dry food areas, on top of the water heater, on floors and on shelves where food containers and equipment were kept.
There was also a large cockroach walking around the main cookline.
Excessive old food, dirt, and grease on floors, equipment, storage racks and food containers made for an enticing environment for the rats and roaches to dine and breed. A large gap under the back door gave them easy access.
The owner told inspectors he hadn’t had professional pest control for the past 6-7 months.
Other health code violations included the restaurant's only food handler licking his fingers to open a clean pair of gloves.
He also touched a customer's ready-to-eat food with bare hands.
There was a large container of expired noodles in the fridge that was nearly two weeks old.
Raw eggs, beef, noodles, cooked rice, and raw tuna were all thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
In-use utensils sat in lukewarm water in a container on the floor.
There was also an open container of food stored on the cooler floor and an open container of raw beef stored over ready-to-eat foods.
There was no sanitizer in the dish machine or on the main cookline, and open employee drinks sat on prep surfaces.
The person in charge couldn’t demonstrate food safety knowledge and the inspector found there was no active managerial control of food-borne illness risk factors.
The Health District required So Hyang to get certified pest control services, deep clean and schedule intervention training due to a documented history of non-compliance.
Owner Jimmy Sah didn't want to discuss the violations. On the phone, he told us he's asked for re-inspection later this week but doesn’t know if he’ll reopen right away.
He says business has been very slow during the pandemic and he may stay closed until more foreign tourists return to Las Vegas.
For the other imminent health hazard closure, we don't have to go very far.
Repeat offender Komol Thai cuisine is just about 100 yards away in the same Commercial Center.
It's on Dirty Dining for the second time for the same reason as the first time--a multi-generational cockroach infestation.
Komol was shut down on April 16 after inspectors found live roaches throughout the kitchen. Excessive old food and grease build-up provided a food source for the roaches and an open back door welcomed them in.
Food in the temperature danger zone included bean sprouts, cooked noodles, cut tomato and cooked spring rolls.
A plastic container sat on cut peppers.
Multiple raw types of meat were stored in the same bin.
And employee personal items including a purse, cell phones and beverages were intermingled with customer food and clean utensils.
No one from Komol returned our call for comment.
As for what they're telling customers, they're doing what they're supposed to be doing... Sort of.
The Health District's sign that has to be "posted in a conspicuous place" is on Komol's front door, but it's partially hidden so you can't tell that it's an SNHD closure sign.
What you can see is the restaurant's own sign saying "Closed for maintenance and repair" with an anticipated opening on Thursday, April 29.
Click here to see the health report for So Hyang Restaurant.
Click here to see the health report for Komol Restaurant.