food 06.29.05

Maybe We'll Eat In Tonight

From what we can tell, you have to really work to fail a NYC Department of Health restaurant inspection. For instance, the Times' Frank Bruni gave Periyali two stars on May 18th, but on June 8 at the restaurant, the health department found evidence of rats or live rats present there. Pass or fail? Pass.

Mandoo Bar on University Place was cited last December for evidence of mice and evidence of flies or other insects. And food from unapproved or unknown source, spoiled, adulterated, or home canned. And hand-washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Verdict? You're good, baby, you're good. Passed, no follow-up inspection needed.

But in the last couple of months, someone over at DOH has gotten a little bug up…well, let's just say someone over there isn't suffering flies gladly.

Pearson's, 168 E. 81st [Lex/3rd] 212.288.2700, had the same problem that Periyali had — evidence of rats or live rats present — and the supervisor of food operations wasn't holding the Food Protection Certificate. Was it the paper or the critters? Either way, they failed inspection on June 2.

Once upon a time Dean & Deluca, 1150 Mad [85th/86th] 212.717.0800, was the last word in gourmet foods. Now the word is, the hot food isn't hot enough and the cold food isn't cold enough (and the lines aren't quick enough, by the way) and they failed inspection on June 6.

Employees must wash hands is the message from DOH. So if Schiller's, 131 Rivington [Norfolk] 212.260.4555, hasn't got hot and cold water at adequate pressure in or near the food prep area and in the bathroom, it's an F from your inspector (May 18). Plus they want soap and a hand-drying device. Picky, picky.

Over at Trump Restaurant, 725 5th [56th/57th] at the base of the marble mall, your hot food's warm, your cold food's cool, and your hands apparently could be cleaner. Failed inspection on May 31.

Good for you, Le Colonial, 149 E. 57th [Lex/3rd] 212.752.0808, your hot food is hot enough for both the ladies who lunch and your wary inspector. But, oops, your cold food could use a little more AC, and staff needs more access to H20 and what's the stuff called…soap. Three weeks ago today, DOH's version of a bust.

Yo, Shun Lee West, 37 W. 65th [Col/CPW] 212.595.8895, recidivism is so not cool. Last time we checked in early 2004, you had failed inspection for swollen, leaking, or severely leaking can(s), and food not protected from a potential source of contamination. Here's the good news: the inspector didn't find any of those problems. Here's the bad news: you failed anyway on June 6 for not keeping food at the correct temperatures.

Today's award for Best Reason To Eat at Home Tonight goes to Zen Palate, 663 9th [46th] 212.582.1669. On June 13, ya got yer cold food too warm. Your Food Protection Certificate is AWOL at the time of inspection. Cooked or prepared food is cross-contaminated. The right kind of thermometer isn't being used to evaluate food temps. Oh yeah, and there was evidence of roaches and rats or live roaches and rats present. Yeesh.
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