Dirty Dining: La Reina Mexican Food & Bakery

Darcy Spears


Dirty Dining: La Reina Mexican Food & Bakery

CREATED Aug. 14, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- If you're eating, you may want to stop, because this story is not appetizing.

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears found out why this week's featured restaurant puts the "dirty" in Dirty Dining.

Let's start with the good news. The roach traps at La Reina Mexican Food & Bakery are working.

The bad news? The number of roaches caught at the restaurant on Jones Boulevard and Vegas Drive.

The Health District shut La Reina down with 44 demerits for pest infestation, an imminent health hazard. There were multi-generational roaches present throughout the kitchen.

Inspectors told La Reina to remove the traps, put all food away, clean the facility and bring in professional pest control to treat the entire kitchen and dining area.

When Action News went over there, we had a lot to talk about, but they had little to say.

"The person in charge is not here? There's no one in charge right now?" asked Darcy.

Inspectors found an outlet so coated with food debris that if it's any indication of how clean the rest of the kitchen is, it's no wonder they've got roaches. The equipment and floors aren't much better. In fact, inspectors told them the whole place was in need of a deep cleaning.

And if that's not enough, inspectors found other hazards, like improper hand-washing after an employee handled raw fish. That raw fish was cleaned at a dirty sink and then prepared on a soiled cutting board.

Due to employees leaving the water on in the three compartment sink, the restaurant literally ran out of hot water.

Food was stored uncovered and subject to contamination, like pork rinds in the cooler, flour near the water heater and avocados on the floor.

And, inspectors found even more roaches than those caught in the traps.

The first time Contact 13 went to La Reina, there was nobody who could talk to us. We left a business card and called multiple times with no response. 

So we went back again because somebody has got to talk about all those roaches.

They left us standing around for awhile, then went get the person in charge from their market.

Darcy: This is no good. This is very, very dirty. The words "gross, unsanitary" and "infestation" are on this report.
Employee: My friend, you know what? I got a headache, I came and opened the store, I don't want to hear these stories, please.

The rest of the story is chile rellenos and cooked tomatoes that had to be trashed because they weren't properly cooled or monitored. And chicken and ribs were at unsafe temperatures.

Action News tried calling the owner from the parking lot.

Darcy on phone: No one seems to want to respond and they're all referring me to you. I'd love it if you'd give me a call back.

He never did call back, but it looks like they managed to get rid of the roaches, because La Reina was reinspected and reopened with a zero-demerit A grade.