LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Customers at Volcano Grille on Durango Drive and Arby Avenue are stopped at the door to place and pick up orders.
No dining-in allowed at the self-described Japanese protein house.
But keeping customers out might also keep them from noticing the restaurant's "C" grade, posted high on the back wall after Volcano Grille got 38 demerits on its July 1 inspection.
Violations that left Volcano Grille just three demerits short of being shut down included raw chicken meat juice leaking onto boxes of produce, which had to be thrown out due to contamination.
Cooked rice contaminated by dripping condensation also had to be thrown out.
There were multiple handwashing violations, dirty cutting boards and utensils in dirty, standing water.
Volcano Grille was also cited for having its front door propped open, which we found them still doing.
One of the issues the Health District had with the door being propped open is that bugs could just walk right in--any kind of pests--flies, roaches, mice, rats, whatever--when the door is open it's easy access.
And, when it's 112 degrees outside (as it was the day we were there), it's hard to keep things inside properly cool.
On inspection day, broccoli, cabbage, macaroni salad, lettuce, tofu, scrambled eggs and fried rice all had to be thrown out. Two pieces of equipment were red-tagged because they couldn't maintain proper temperatures.
General Manager Shaun Farina declined an on-camera interview but said over the phone, "We weren't doing the things that we're supposed to do and that we expect our staff to do. We agree with the violations. It was a wake-up call for us to do some re-training of staff and shore things up in the kitchen."
Basic things like a violation for not having sanitizer buckets set up when the inspector arrived and improperly thawing noodles and shrimp.
Farina says he owns up to his staff's mistakes, isn't making excuses and that everyone at Volcano Grille simply has to do better.
"We're better than the C that's on the wall but we have to prove that and we plan on proving that to the health inspector and to our customers."
We asked about the front door and he said they've ordered new french doors and are awaiting a fix.
They plan to allow customers inside to order takeout as of next week but are still not doing dine-in.
"I'm a fan of Dirty Dining. Been watching it for years, ever since I moved here. I never wanted to be on it and it hurts professionally but I think it's an important segment of the news and I don't mind being held accountable," Farina said.
He was expecting re-inspection with the Health District on Tuesday but had to reschedule due to staffing issues, so Volcano Grille still has a "C" grade as of this writing.
Subway sandwich shop on Paradise Road and Wigwam Avenue was shut down on June 30 for failing re-inspection from a previous "C" downgrade.
It failed with 22 demerits after inspectors found reheated meatballs, Swiss cheese, tuna salad, sliced tomato and sliced salami at unsafe temperatures. All of it had to be thrown out.
The ice machine in the Coca-Cola dispenser had excessive pink and brown mold.
A scoop handle was touching ready-to-eat tuna salad and they were using dirty tongs to grab cookies.
Silicon mats for bread in clean storage were dirty with old food.
And the "C" grade card was not visible to the public because it was hidden behind their business license.
We were unable to reach anyone at the Subway location for comment.
It was reinspected July 1 and got a six-demerit "A" grade.
Queen Tacos, a food trailer on Rainbow Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue, doesn’t qualify as Dirty Dining and isn’t in this story for the usual reasons.
But it was shut down by the Health District and the owners, Gloria Zaragoza and Vickie Valdivia, wanted to explain their plight.
They’ve been open since 2017 in the same spot and have always had "A" grades on every previous inspection, but Queen Tacos was shut down July 2 for operating without an approved commissary.
It was also given 22 demerits, in part for using a garden hose to fill the unit’s freshwater tank, storing raw beef over ready-to-eat foods, and having employee medications intermingled with customer food on a food storage shelf and in the refrigerator.
The owners said there has never been an issue with their location over the past four years, then, all of a sudden, an inspector said new regulations recently took effect for food trucks.
That means Queen Tacos has to relocate which involves dismantling the trailer and having it moved.
"It’s a big mess!" Zaragoza and Valdivia said. "We already have a restaurant kitchen we work with. Now, we have to find somewhere to stay and find a commissary to fill our water tanks and wash out the truck. To be able to afford to move is hard. Our current rent is $800 a month. The new places we're scouting want $2,000 a week."
Graze, a pop-up food vendor at the Bruce Trent Park Farmer's Market, was shut down on June 30 with 22 demerits and the imminent health hazard of lack of adequate refrigeration.
Owner Elizabeth Glidewell said,"Pop-ups always have problems in Summer with refrigeration, but we figure it out."
"It seems that, recently, food trucks and mobile vendors like us are being hit hard and unfairly targeted. When the inspectors showed up, we had just finished a line of people and were working to replenish our ice. But they wouldn't give us a chance. It’s a racket! They’re finding reasons to bust people," she said.
"They’ve got you up against a wall once they shut you down and you’re held hostage for that $1400 closure fee. I respect the Health District and they have to do their job but the fees are debilitating," continued Glidewell. "SNHD's stated goal is to help places be in compliance, not to make them feel like a target. There will always be things wrong on a busy, hot summer day, but let us correct on-site, don’t shut down our livelihood."
"Work with us, not against us," she said. "We’re the ones who support you with our fees. Teach us, don’t target us."
Graze was re-inspected on July 6 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Express Care Catering food truck was shut down on June 30 at Far Hills Avenue and Desert Foothills Drive with 21 demerits and the imminent health hazard of no water.
A food handler was using bare hands to prepare food.
Wastewater was leaking under the truck.
An open employee beverage sat on the food prep table.
And the grade card was not posted.
Express Care Catering's truck was re-inspected on July 1 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.
We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
Click here to see the health report for Volcano Grille.
Click here to see the health report for Queen Tacos.
Click here to see the health report for Subway.
Click here to see the health report for Graze FMHR @ Vida Kitchens.
Click here to see the health report for Express Care Catering #1.