Chow Bella

11 Metro Phoenix Restaurants Scored a 'D' in October

Phoenix Airport Marriot lands on the D List
Phoenix Airport Marriot lands on the D List Phoenix New Times
Every week, the county's health inspectors within Maricopa County Environmental Services give restaurants grades after completing inspections. Participation in the rating system, however, is voluntary, which means owners or managers do not have to accept a grade after an inspection; instead, the restaurants are listed online as "not participating." And in some cases, grades posted online may change, which typically means a restaurant has provided necessary documentation for food safety or fixed a critical issue that led to a low grade. Here's a more detailed explanation.

October 2017's health inspections produced lots of past-expiration-date food still in refrigerators, food debris where debris has no business, and one specimen of kimchi "heavily adulterated by mold." It wasn't the worst month, with the big names of previous months avoiding the "D" hammer. In all,11 Valley restaurants earned a dreaded "D." Again, not the worst month — even with a live roach making an appearance.

Phoenix Airport Marriot (1101 North 44th Street)
"Found sliced ham and roast beef in walk-in dated 9/24, chicken salad in sandwich station by prep line dated 9/24, and chicken melonase dated 9/19 in sandwich station by grill. Had PIC discard items and discussed enacting more frequent date checking."

Taqueria Yaqui (3510 East McDowell Road)
"Shrimp was being thawed in 3 compartment sink at time of inspection with dirty dishes in the far compartment, no apparent splashing or cross contamination was observed."

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Charles Barth
Filibertos Mexican Food (1601 East McDowell Road)
"Observed employee handle raw beef and then wash hands for only 5 seconds. PIC will make sure employees wash hands with lathered soap for at least 20 seconds."

Crazy Sushi & Crab
(1310 South Longmore Road, Mesa)
"Observed three large containers of kimchi heavily adulterated by mold. Person in charge discarded at the time of inspection. Foods should be inspected often enough to determine if food has been adulterated and discarded."

Gus New York Pizza (6020 North 59th Avenue Suite 6018, Glendale)
"Live roach present in the establishment."

Los Toritos Mexican Food (3218 East McDowell Road)
"Knives on magnet strip next to grill were visibly soiled with dried food. Cook said they were used by the last shift and was unsure of when they had last been cleaned, dried bits were hardened and looked quite old. Had cook wash, rinse and sanitize knives before use."

Poliberto's (1219 West Baseline Road, Tempe)
"Raw shrimp in container without lid stored above churros in an open package found in reach-in freezer. PIC moved churros to upper level of freezer and shrimp to a lower shelf."

The Break Room Bar & Grill (4729 East McDowell Road)
"In walk-in refrigerator marinara sauce and cooked spaghetti noodles dated 10-15 were past 7 day discard date. PIC said she wasn't sure if those dates were right and willingly discarded items. Also, coleslaw mix in reach-in prep table was not dated. PIC did not know when it was from and discarded."

Nanay's (2390 North Alma School Road, #103, Chandler)
"Nonfood-Contact Surfaces, and Utensils Observed various spoons and utensils soiled with organic debris. Manager had employee rewash the equipment."

A-1 Pizza & Wings (6514 West Bethany Home Road, #2, Glendale)
"The conveyor of the pizza oven had the gross accumulation of food debris to the point were it was hanging off. This indicates that it is not be cleaned at the proper frequency."

Samurai Sam's (4801 East Washington Street, Suite D & E)
"General Food Protection Raw shrimp thawing in metal containers located above pre-portioned sauce packets and sealed drinks in walk-in. Had person in charge move raw fish to rack next to beef and above chicken. Ensure food is stored to reduce risk of contamination."
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy