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Monday, January 24, 2022

Roaches, No Hot Water: Restaurants Closed in Riverside County, Observation, Nov. 19-Dec. 2

There are restaurants and other food facilities that were temporarily closed by Riverside County Department of Environmental Health inspectors between November 19 and December 2, 2021 due to imminent health hazards. If no reopening date is mentioned, the department did not list that facility. Reopened as of this publication.

la cascada, 3635 University Ave., Riverside

  • closed: December 1
  • Grade: 82/b, failing
  • reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector saw several cockroaches in the kitchen including the cutting board and handwashing sink.

Volcano Hawaii BBQ, 140 Hidden Valley Parkway Suite E, Norco

  • closed: December 1
  • Grade: 87/b, failing
  • reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector saw eight live cockroaches, some behind the food-preparation table, along with an egg case and several dead cockroaches on the floor. Several other violations were listed as recurrent or chronically repeated for unhygienic conditions. This was the third unsuccessful inspection of the restaurant in a year and it was closed in December 2020 due to a rodent infestation.

el polo loco, 32089 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City

  • closed: December 1
  • Grade: not graded
  • reason: No hot water. Responding to a complaint of foodborne illness, the inspector discovered the violation.
  • Reopened: 2 December after hot water is restored
  • New Grade: 96/A, Passing

Jono’s Japanese Restaurant, 1161 Hidden Valley Parkway Suite 107, Norco

  • closed: November 29
  • Grade: 80/B, failing
  • reason: No hot water. The facility had installed a dishwasher that requires more hot water than a water heater. The inspector said that at times the employees had to be asked to stop cooking and washing utensils. Another serious violation was for restaurants not keeping track of how long sushi rice was left at room temperature. In 10 fewer breaches, many of which were recurrent issues, workers were not washing hands, raw eggs were left at room temperature and mold grew in the ice machine.
  • Reopened: November 30

wolfie donuts, 29101 Newport Road Suite 105, Menife

  • closed: November 24
  • Grade: not graded
  • reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector visited in response to a complaint and found several roaches in and around the drink cooler in the customer area.

upper crust pizza, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Road, Cathedral City

  • closed: November 22
  • Grade: 83/B, Failed
  • reason: Cockroach infestation. The visiting inspector in response to a complaint found pre-packaged food containers and several live and dead roaches on shelves and floors. In 12 other violations, dishwashers were charged for not dispensing sanitizer, and one employee said that bowls and rolling pins are washed only once a day and pizza pans are never washed, just “ovens”. I get burnt.” This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection and third closure in less than two years; In July 2020, there was a cockroach and rodent infestation and in May 2021 the walk-in cooler went out.

note closure inspection

Here are select inspections of facilities that weren’t closed, but had significant problems.

South of the border, at 11719 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was inspected on December 1 in response to a complaint of foodborne illness. It received a failing grade of 80/B with a serious violation for not washing the dishes properly. In 13 other breaches, there were many flies in the kitchen, large containers of cooked beans not being refrigerated safely, and equipment and other surfaces that needed to be cleaned.

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Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant, at 5225 Canyon Crest Drive Suite 42 in Riverside, was inspected on December 1 and received a failing grade of 83/B with two serious breaches. Some cooked meat, raw eggs and cheese were at unsafe temperatures, and dishwashers were confiscated for not delivering sanitizer. In six other breaches, hand-washing sinks lacked soap and paper towels, and a salsa bar was installed in the customer area without a sneeze guard or other protection.

NS Little Caesars Pizza Riverside Drive Suite 1 in Lake Elsinore at 31703 was inspected on 19 November in response to a complaint about a number of filthy conditions. It received a failing grade of 84/B. Of the 12 violations, none of which were marked as serious, the pizza prep cooler was not keeping cold enough, employees were not keeping proper track of how long the premade pizza was at room temperature. All utensils in a storage cabinet had dried up debris and grease, the pizza oven and hood system needed a thorough cleaning and refrigerated food was being stored without a lid.

last week’s updates

NS restaurant at Desert Hot Springs Spa, Palm Dr in Desert Hot Springs at 10805, which was closed since October 19 for having a rodent infestation and failing an inspection while on probation – and which developed a cockroach infestation while on closure – on November 23 was allowed to reopen. All violations were corrected and it purchased a new health permit for $1,106. It remains on probation after failing four inspections and being closed three times for rodents since 2019.

about this list

The list is published online on Friday. Any updates on the reopening of restaurants will be included in next week’s list.

All food facilities in the county are inspected regularly to ensure they meet health codes. A facility loses four points for every serious violation — and may have to shut down if the violation can’t be corrected immediately — and one or two points for a minor violation. Passing an A grade (90 to 100 marks). The grades of B (80 to 89) and C (79 or below) are failing and usually require the owner to make corrections and re-inspect.

For more information about inspecting the Inn or any of the restaurants in Riverside County, visit restaurant grading.rivcoeh.org. To file a health complaint about a restaurant, visit www.rivcoeh.org/Complaint or call 888-722-4234 during business hours or 951-782-2968 after hours.

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