Some of the reasons city inspectors write up restaurants are oddly inexact. When we see stuff like, "Utensils designed to serve food not kept at proper 45-degree angle from serving tray/as shiny as they probably could be/free of roach droppings," we imagine bureaucrats taking secret pleasure in trolling anyone who has to deal with their sometimes arcane violation criteria.
Still, when you get hit with 14 of them during an inspection based on a complaint, you're probably not the victim of imprecise language. Bravos Mexican Restaurant #4's (5101 Bingle) violations included uncovered outdoor trash cans; unused equipment and utensils stored in an unsanitary condition; a lack of drains for cleaning-water runoff; hazardous food stored at improper temperatures; and a rare find: "Food being prepared without the least possible manual contact." The good news for the owners is the bar part of the establishment got a clean bill of health. The bad news is the kitchen was incompliant enough to warrant a citation.
One's a Meal (812 Westheimer) also had an unequivocally crappy visit from inspectors. The city temporarily closed the 24-hour restaurant for 10 infractions. A couple were failures of paperwork - operating without a food dealer's permit, while a serious deal, isn't going to raise any eyebrows or inspire any pearl-clutching. More visceral are the infractions involving potentially hazardous food improperly stored, in terms of temperature and time left sitting around; accumulated dust and dirt; and food not marked with expiration info/instructions about how long it can be stored.
Domino's downtown (804 Main) got a citation for just five violations, though a couple were good ones. The manager was working without his or her food manager's certification, which might explain the crusted grease/soil on cooking equipment. The wall/ceiling in disrepair and improperly installed/sized plumbing, however, is probably on the owner. And the last one speaks for itself: "Food employee not wearing an effective hair restraint/clothing that cover [sic] body hair while handling food/utensils." Body hair is not on the list of stuff that makes anyone say, "Put it on the pizza."
The sushi bar at Kata Robata (3600 Kirby) was written up for accumulated grease/soil, a violation that was corrected on site. Too bad it was also a repeat. The kitchen got hit with eight violations, including openings that could allow insects and animals to enter; food stored without the proper time and temperature info; an improperly located, installed or operated ice machine (corrected on site); and the presence of dust, dirt or food particles. No closure or citation, however.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.