Local News


DIRTY DINING: Pho Annie on Rainbow

Posted at 10:45 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 23:37:16-04

Customers up in arms over their favorite restaurant being on Dirty Dining! 

Before we even walked in the front door, we were stopped by a group of diners who had just finished eating.

"Don't tell me this is a bad place!" a customer said.

Pho Annie on Rainbow Boulevard near Wigwam Avenue avoided shutdown by just two demerits. But customers wouldn't know the restaurant has a C grade. It was not posted.

Annie, the restaurant's namesake, pulled the grade card out from a shelf underneath the front counter and put it back on the wall. 

We asked her about some of the problems inspectors documented, like improper handwashing. One person didn't use any soap. Another didn't wash their hands at all after handling dirty dishes and that can spread foodborne illness.

"No. No," Annie said. "We wash our hands, you know, always, you know, yeah."

She says they're a clean restaurant and were shocked by the Health District's write-up.

"I don't know why they come and say dirty."

Inspectors also found ducks cooling on the ledge of the three-compartment sink. There was a repeat violation for storing raw chicken above cut onions and raw pork. Raw shrimp was thawing in a dirty sink. 

And there was excessive food build-up on the meat slicer and on utensils stored as clean. 

As we waited to talk to Annie again, we got heckled from behind. One customer said what Darcy Spears was doing was harassment.

"She's just running a business and we're all trying to eat," she said. "She cooks good food and I will always be on her side."

The customer finished getting her take-out, but wasn't done with us.

"I'm coming back next week! Put that on video!" the customer said.

Other conditions inspectors uncovered were excessive grease and food build-up on floors, open broth stored on the floor and flies in the kitchen.

"The truck company come, they open the door and bring the food in," said Jonathan Nguyen, Annie's brother.

There were also soda nozzles coated with black microbial growth. 

Annie and Jonathan take us back to the kitchen to show us how they've cleaned things up. Jonathan says they always try to do their best and keep things clean.

"I don't know what they want, but we listen -- whatever they want to do, we do it." 

On this week's imminent health hazard list -- four places shut down -- starting with the store that made the "Rat Bat" famous.

The 99 Cent Store in Boulder City reopened after we first reported on them in April, but when inspectors went back on May 10, the rats were back, too, and the store was shut down. Again. 

Food throughout the store was spoiled -- chewed into by rats -- as were packages of toilet paper and paper towels. There was rat feces and urine on shelves. And rat nests in between shelves and in walls and ceiling insulation. 

Store management believe rats may be coming with the freight from the 99 Cent Store distribution center in Commerce, California. They've begun warning other 99 Cent Stores throughout the valley.

Other imminent health hazard closures include A & L's Family Soul Food Restaurant on Craig Road and Nellis Boulevard and Evening Call at Hawaiian Marketplace on the Strip. Both were shut down for having no hot water.  

And Quality Food Service saw one of its trucks taken off the road for lack of adequate refrigeration.

A & L's is still closed. 

All the other places are back to A grades.

Darcy gets her Dirty Dining reports from Health District inspection records, but viewers often ask her to investigate complaints. 

And that's what happened with Sushi on Rainbow.

An alert viewer sent a picture of a furry customer at the all-you-can-eat restaurant on Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard.

Darcy sent the picture to the Health District. 

And they confirmed... Sushi on Rainbow has rats. 

Inspectors didn't see any live rats when they went to the restaurant, but there was plenty of evidence in the form of droppings on the kitchen floor, on trays with clean equipment, and even on top of the soy sauce bucket. 

Sushi on Rainbow was fined, told to provide pest control and to do some serious cleaning.

If you see something suspicious at a restaurant, snap a picture and send it to Darcy on Facebook or via email at darcy.spears@ktnv.com. 

If health inspectors confirm a hazard, you just might see it on a future Dirty Dining.