Dirty Dining: King & I
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We're talking Thai in this week's Dirty Dining segment. And it's a place that's been in Las Vegas for decades.
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears shows what made King & I run afoul of health inspectors.
"It's just bad timing. We had a bad day. We've been here 20 years," says Kris Bujadham, owner of King & I Thai cuisine.
The location on East Tropicana near Maryland Parkway narrowly avoided shut down with a 38-demerit "C" grade. Anything over 40 results in immediate closure.
"We try to follow all the rules the best we possibly can," says Kris, "but sometime I guess I did not do a good job enough, so that's why we get a C."
Bujadham says a big part of the problem was a nearby gas line break the day before the January 30 inspection .
"When we had the problem with the gas line, that's when everything accumulated."
Inspectors found rice that was left soaking in stagnant water at room temperature overnight.
Pad Thai noodles sat in a plastic bag all day at room temperature.
Raw bean sprouts and raw chicken were in the temperature danger zone too.
"We don't have a lot of help. We have like 3 people here," Kris explains.
He says their short staffing also explains why raw chicken was left partially-chopped in a sink next to dirty dishes.
"And now with the new rules and regulations it makes it very, very tough for mom and pops'. But we always comply with the health department all the time."
The Health District found plenty that was out of compliance, like how some kitchen utensils were stored. And produce going bad in the fridge.
There was also a bunch of stuff left uncovered and exposed to possible contamination, plus a box of Fanta soda syrup that had expired last October.
"Sometimes if we get busy, we get a little sloppy, you know, I admit that," says Kris.
Case in point: an employee was caught wearing a glove on the hand holding the knife, but not the one holding the raw broccoli.
That pretty much defeats the purpose.
Out behind the restaurant, inspectors took issue with an outdoor storage shed.
The restaurant says it's been in use for 15 years, but this time around, Kris says it was not good enough for inspectors.
They said it was simply not a fit place to store any food items.
The only food item they found was soda syrup.
Back inside, the yuckiest thing inspectors photographed was the spout mounted on the dirty handsink where King & I customers' drinking water was coming from.
It's now being dispensed from the soda fountain.
Kris: We did the best we can.
Darcy: Well it does look cleaner than it was in those pictures.
Kris: Well, thank you.
Darcy: Thank goodness for everybody.
And now, things at King & I are sizzling once again.
The restaurant has been reinspected and they're back up to an 8-demerit "A" grade.