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Dirty Dining: Three-way tie on the Las Vegas Strip

Darcy Spears

Dal Toro at The Palazzo

Dirty Dining: Three-way tie on the Las Vegas Strip

CREATED Oct. 3, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Contact 13's Dirty Dining is back on the Las Vegas Strip for the second week in a row. And this time it's a three-way tie.

Everything is not "molto bene" for three -- yes, three -- Italian restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip.

One in the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes, one in the Palazzo and one on its own on the Strip near downtown.

All three tied with "C" grades and 39 demerits, which is just two shy of being shut down.

We begin at Dal Toro in the Palazzo.

When you check out the deck of health grade cards in the Health District's picture of the restaurant's front window, you can see this wasn't the only downgrade for the place.

Neither the prep kitchen nor the remote storage area fared very well, but the highest number of demerits went to the restaurant.

That's where it seems like half the menu was tossed into the garbage because inspectors found potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures.

Pasta, cut lettuce, raw bacon, chicken, lunch meat, cheese, cut tomatoes, calamari, potatoes, heavy cream and beef were all trashed because they were in the temperature danger zone. Tuna had to be tossed too because it was improperly thawed.

Inspectors also found foods haphazardly stacked on top of one another in the fridge without barriers.

Flour was stored directly next to the handsink without a splash guard, and soiled wiping cloths were left sitting on the counter.

Further north on the strip near Oakey is Albo Pizzeria, right across the street from the Olympic Garden strip club.

When we asked about the health inspection, they said...
Manager: It was different owner.
Darcy: It was a different owner on the 24th of September?
Manager: Yes.
Darcy: You have a new owner in the last week?
Manager: Oh, the 24th of September?
Darcy: Yes. 9/24.
Manager: Oh.
Darcy: 39 demerits, C grade.  This just happened last week.

Albo is under the same ownership as the day of the health inspection.

They got a "C" because, among other things, Albo's kitchen was full of flies -- showing the sticky fly paper they were using wasn't doing the trick.

As for the food, provolone cheese, cheddar cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise were thrown out after inspectors found them at unsafe temperatures.

The can opener looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. It was coated with dried food debris.

So was the meat slicer, though it was in slightly better shape.

The pizza turner was stored on top of the pizza oven with dirt and other debris.

The handsink was blocked and both raw chicken and raw sausage were thawing at room temperature in the three-compartment sink with dirty dishes.

They also found employees washing dishes in the mop sink and utensils were being stored in standing, murky water.

Darcy: Do you want to talk at all about what they wrote up, like all the flies in the kitchen and the food that was out of temperature?
Manager: No, not really.
Darcy: You don't want to talk about it?
Manager: No.
Darcy: Do you want to show us how the kitchen looks now?
Manager: No.

Maybe that's because they haven't been re-inspected and are still sporting that "C" grade, which is also the case for Tintoretto in the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes.

There, inspectors found improper handling of seared zucchini and partially cooked lasagna, which both had to be thrown out.

An employee went from handling dirty dishes to clean ones, without washing their hands.

There was no evidence of parasite destruction for the wild-caught salmon.

And inspectors found lots of potentially hazardous food in a temperature danger zone. That includes tuna salad, chicken, pizza, salmon, bruschetta and more.

Multiple items were left uncovered in long-term storage.

And inspectors noted an absence of sanitizer in all the sanitizer buckets, making it pretty hard to sanitize.

Dal Toro is the only restaurant that's been re-inspected.  They're back to a 6-demerit "A" grade. 

They wouldn't let our cameras in, and neither would Tintoretto. 

They refused to comment in any way.