This week it's another case of the Dirty Dining half-dozen: two high-demerit restaurants plus four imminent health hazard closures.
Get ready for rats, roaches and repeat offenders.
King & I Thai cuisine on Tropicana and Maryland Parkway is a Dirty Dining three-peat offender.
But none of that happened on Joe Sungkamee's watch.
"I just moved here -- second year -- and it's never happened, so it's like my first-time experience," Sungkamee said.
King & I was shut down August 28 for a rat infestation that contaminated some of the food.
"It's my experience it happens in every restaurant sooner or later," Sungkamee said.
Health inspectors found rat droppings on the microwave shelf, make table, food containers, cans, near bags of noodles and on the floor throughout the kitchen.
Rats had also gnawed on a container of baking soda.
"I check every day. I couldn't see the rats and I don't know where they came from."
Other violations included dirty, greasy walls, expired peanut sauce and half and half, a dish machine that wasn't sanitizing and black build-up on cutting boards.
There were also multiple plates and bowls stored as clean on the cook line that had dead flies and debris.
Plus, "There was a food handler preparing raw chicken on a table in the dining room, which is not sanitary," Chief Investigator Darcy Spears pointed out.
"Oh, actually, yes, I explain," said Sungkamee. "We are a couple and only us that day."
He says she needed to keep an eye on the front door while he was in the back, but they know they cannot do that again.
King & I had to undergo a deep cleaning and intervention training with the Health District before reopening with a zero-demerit A on August 31.
"Once we found we have a problem I just take action same day. That's why we take only three days to finish everything."
Joe hopes diners will give him another chance as he carries on the legacy of his famous brother, Suthiporn "Tui" Sungkamee, co-owner of Jitlada restaurant in Hollywood. The beloved chef passed away late last year.
Tui helped out in the kitchen when Joe first took over King & I here in Las Vegas, bringing the unique family recipes that made him famous in Southern California.
"Southern Thai cuisine like spicy garlic seafood and specialty is curry. We are house of curry. We have more than 12 curries to try, so please come," said Joe.
Another repeat offender is China Star on Maryland Parkway and Sahara. It was shut down August 29 for a multi-generational German cockroach infestation -- the same reason it was on Dirty Dining a year ago.
There were roaches and roach feces in multiple locations around the restaurant.
Inspectors also saw a food handler touch ready-to-eat cooked chicken with bare hands multiple times.
Two half gallons of heavy cream were nearly three weeks expired.
And there was heavy food debris and grease build-up in multiple areas.
China Star was back to a 3-demerit A grade on September 4. The manager did not want to comment.
The highest demerits this week were at Bonsai Sushi Burrito on Lake Mead and Tenaya. They've only been open eight months, but already got a 39 demerit C grade.
On August 31 inspectors found expired crab meat, and multiple containers of tofu that had expired nearly two weeks before inspection day.
Trays of tempura crisps from the day before were left uncovered, there was mold in the ice chest cooler and excessive food debris and build-up underneath food equipment.
The manager said he doesn't understand how they racked up so many demerits and believes the inspector was unfair. He blames some of the violations on being distracted during the inspection. The owner says they made some fixes before the inspector left and are cleaning and finishing other repairs, doing better now than ever before.
Bonsai Sushi Burrito still has a C grade but is awaiting re-inspection before the end of this week.
The other high-demerit restaurant was Mercado de Alegria on Pecos and Gowan. It got a 38-demerit C grade on August 28.
Inspectors documented improper handwashing, food (including tripe) held past its shelf life and t-shirt bags used to store cooked rice.
There was also a dead insect in an open pan of clean cooking oil.
Mercado de Alegria was back to a zero-demerit A on September 5.
The owner said they fixed the violations quickly but wasn't aware of the insect in the cooking oil or the expired food. He said he'd have to ask his chef about that, but did not call back with any further comment.
H & H BBQ Plus 2 on Rancho and Torrey Pines was shut down August 31 after inspectors found wastewater profusely leaking from the wall onto the floor. They were warned not to open to the public while under closure orders.
The Health District says H & H BBQ was closed permanently by its owner and the health permit for that location was deleted on September 4. No one returned our call for comment.
You may remember Taste My Love cafe from last week's Dirty Dining. It was shut down for failing re-inspection but on August 31, health inspectors found them preparing food in the midst of their closure--before being reinspected and approved to reopen.
They were warned that failure to comply and reopening without health authority approval will result in a permit revocation hearing.
Taste My Love was officially reinspected on September 11 and allowed to reopen with a zero-demerit A grade. No one there returned our call for comment.
Documents from the Southern Nevada Health District