Dirty Dining: Habib's Persian Restaurant
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- If you've lived in Las Vegas for awhile, there's a good chance you've eaten at the restaurant in this week's Dirty Dining.
It's a place where the owner welcomed Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears with open arms.
"I want to thank you for being here," Habib Asad said when we came to question him about his recent health inspection.
Habib's Persian Restaurant on Decatur and Sahara dodged closure by a hair after a July 10 health inspection took them from a "B" to a 40-demerit "C" grade. 41 would have shut them down.
Darcy: Even though you're on our Dirty Dining show, there's nothing dirty here, is what you're saying?
Habib: No! You take pictures! That talks for itself.
Habib is right in that there wasn't really anything dirty, per se, in the health report.
"I have been in business for 32 years and I stand behind my work."
He thinks he was downgraded for challenging health inspectors.
"The reason that they did that because I told to the inspector you are harassing me. When you want to have honey, you don't kick the beehive."
Inspectors say cooked rice wasn't being cooled properly.
And there was a garlic and oil mix that had to be tossed out because it was almost 30-degrees warmer than it should have been.
Habib disagrees. "Garlic, room temperature, hot, summer, Las Vegas, it should be around that temperature."
Inspectors also found moldy shallots.
Habib: I inspect it before we serve it.
Darcy: So you wouldn't have served the moldy shallots?
Habib: Of course not.
He takes us to the kitchen to show us what's there now.
"Take a picture. There's no mold in shallots. And here is the onion!"
But health inspectors also found multiple containers of expired yogurt.
Darcy: It was eight days past the date.
Habib: That... alright. When they are looking for something, they stare at everything. That's fine. I can manage that.
He says the yogurt was from the market, not the restaurant, and it was set aside to send back to the manufacturer.
Darcy: What about food being stored in garbage bags? That was something else they wrote up.
Habib: No, that was salt. It was on the bag that was there. They told me you cannot use this one, it is not food grade, and I change it.
Inspectors were also concerned that the operator wasn't knowledgeable about safe cooking temperatures.
Habib: They ask the cook.
Darcy: The cook should know about safe cooking temperatures.
Habib: They had the things and we cook our meat and they measure the meat temperature--it was right exactly where they want it. But he didn't know. He was so nervous to answer to any question.
And lastly, the bar's "A" grade was proudly displayed, but the restaurant's "B?" Not so much. We asked Habib why.
Habib: As you see, there is an air conditioning on top. It was right there and it was fall, they pick it up and they put it back. I did not hide it. This is me and I don't have nothing to hide.
Habib's was re-inspected and is now proudly displaying "A" grades for their bar, market and restaurant.