Restaurant News & Reviews

The Roach Report shows five Miami-Dade restaurants shut down, 15 others cited

This edition of the biweekly Roach Report looks similar to the last one — restaurants that roaches got closed for the day up by two, overall restaurants cited for roaches down by three.

But the dining devil truly is in the details. Some of the non-roach violations at Miami-Dade eateries made us want to redefine “dining out” as “eating on our balcony.”

Let us commence with the five restaurants that got put in timeout for roach activity. Unless otherwise noted, the restaurants fixed enough of their problems to be allowed to reopen the next day.

▪ China Lake Chinese Restaurant, 1562 NE 165th St., North Miami Beach — As we told you on last week’s Rodent Report, there were only two High Priority violations on June 20, but both had to do with living things using more than two legs. The kitchen had “eight to 10 live roaches on shelf on top of the preparation table by reach in cooler in the kitchen.” Meanwhile, the rodents proved terrible guests, leaving “40-50 dry droppings at dry storage room.”

▪ China Steak House 3, 8565 SW 24th St., #103, Miami — Their June 27 inspection is highlighted by “five plus live roaches found on the gaps between wall and shelving located on top of dish machine where clean pots and pans are stored. Observed 10 plus live roaches on the gaps between wall and shelving located on top of three-compartment sink where clean pots and pans are stored. Observed five plus live roaches inside reach in cooler not in use next to dish machine.”

Oh, and “10 plus dead roaches around mop sink area.”

The creepy crawlies had help in shutting down China Steak House. You want clean hands on your kitchen staff? “Handsink next to dishmachine is not working.”

How about clean utensils used to fix your food? “In-use tongs stored on equipment door handle between uses” and “In-use knife/knives stored in cracks between pieces of equipment.”

And diners probably got a taste of China Steak House’s past because the “Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris” and “pots or other cooking equipment not being sanitized.”

It took until the second follow-up inspection, June 30, before they got their noodles together enough to reopen.

▪ Latin Cafe on the Beach, 441 41st St., Miami Beach — The inspector broke down the 15 live roaches spotted on June 28 thusly: “One was crawling on the wall by the dish machine, one on top of hand-wash sink and 13 crawling on floor of food preparation area and ware washing area.”

Also, after an employee took the garbage out, he returned to wash his hands. Well, he got them wet — he didn’t use soap.

There appeared to be other cleanliness problems, as well.

“Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use.” “Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized.” And the reason some of us refuse ice in our restaurant drinks: “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.”

▪ Meals of the Century/Classic Catering, 5301 NW 23rd Ave., Miami — About 15 roaches were spotted behind cooking equipment on June 19.

Of course, the problems didn’t end there. The inspector put a Stop Sale on five pounds of rice pudding, which was stored at too warm a temperature for safe serving. And those cheap single-use gloves got turned into multiple-use gloves even when damaged or soiled.

Among the Basic violations: “In walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer, condensation dripping over boxes of food.”

▪ Mi Pueblo Restaurant, 10910 W. Flagler St., Miami — The 12 roaches scurrying around food and dry storage area shelves didn’t put the inspector in a good mood.

Neither did these violations: “Cold holding equipment not maintained in good repair. Do not store potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food in this unit until the unit is repaired. Observed two reach-in coolers by kitchen entrance not keeping foods cold.”

“Walk-in cooler shelves soiled with food residue.”

“Stored food not covered in walk-in cooler. Observed container with raw fish uncovered.”

Administrative Complaint Recommended means you’re a speck in the eye from being shut down for the day.

▪ Sergio’s Catering, 4720 NW 167th St., Miami Gardens — Three live roaches danced on the wall behind cooking equipment while 10 dead roaches sat behind the cooking equipment.

Now to the food itself, both the food in one of the walk-in freezers that wasn’t frozen and the “food with mold-like growth...four lbs of Sausage patties in walk-in cooler...”

Remember what we said about ice in restaurant drinks? “In-use ice scoop stored on soiled surface between uses.”

READ MORE: Go to the Dining Advisor for reviews and inspection reports.

Now, to those places with living roaches but not enough to kill business for the day.

▪ Casavana Cuban Cuisine, 13600 SW 152nd St., Miami — The inspector didn’t get specific about the live roaches found on June 21, but did feel the need to let us know about “approximately 30-40 live flies on the kitchen walls at and near the dishwasher and three consecutive sink areas.”

On the June 26 comeback, however, the inspector saw “four dead roaches falling out of the food slicer machine and three live roaches crawling inside the slicer unit.”

▪ China Town, 19650 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens — One live roach next to the water heater.

▪ The Clevelander, 10th Street & Ocean Drive, Miami Beach — The South Beach staple had one live roach by the prep table opposite hand wash sink.

▪ Los Ranchos Restaurant, 125 SW 107th Ave., Sweetwater — More jarring than “one live roach found on top of ice machine located in bar area and one live roach located inside men’s bathroom,” is that Friday’s inspection set Roach Report/Rodent Report records with 70 total violations and 12 High Priority violations.

This resulted in a warning.

Among some of the non-roach High Priority violations: “Stop Sale issued due to food originating from an unapproved source. Nacatamales bought from a lady they know according to operator, and no invoices for ceviche provided by processing plant.” “Food with mold-like growth...observed two containers of mayonnaise moldy outside.” “Employee tasted food with hands and did not wash hands afterwards.”

▪ Moshi Moshi, 1448 Washington Ave., Miami Beach — “Three live roaches found in the kitchen prep area.”

▪ Mutineer Restaurant, 11 SE First Ave., Florida City — We had to check the last Roach Report to confirm, yep, this establishment racked up 45 violations, including five High Priority violations on June 16 without getting shut down or making the Roach Report. But the one High Priority violation on June 22? “Two live roaches crawling on wall behind sign next to main kitchen hand sink.”

▪ Panera Bread, 12255 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami — A picayune three violations included “one live roach under soda rack in the kitchen area.”

As for the places caught with roach corpses.

▪ Canton Chinese Restaurant of Homestead, 1657 NE Eighth St., Homestead — Among the many violations not mentioned when this place made last week’s Rodent Report was “two dead roaches inside three-compartment sink ... dead roach next to water heating device ... two dead roaches inside cabinet by dining area.”

▪ Cane A Sucre, 899 NE 125th St., North Miami — “One big dead roach in front line prep area.” Must have been some roach.

▪ Castle Novo Pizza, 3011 W. 12th Ave, Hialeah — The inspector saw, four dead roaches in front counter under hand wash sink and one by an exit.

▪ Pinolandia, 119 NW 12th Ave., Miami — One dead roach in the dry storage room.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal