Dirty Dining: Sushi on Tropicana

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Dirty Dining: Sushi on Tropicana

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Sep 25, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Stringent standards for the public's safety or nitpicking? The restaurant in this week's Dirty Dining says it's inspection overkill.

Something's fishy at Sushi on Tropicana and not in a good way. The Southern Nevada Health District closed the sushi bar down with 49 demerits. Kevin Kim was the person in charge when Contact 13 paid a visit. About the demerits on the inspection report, Kim says much of it is "it's a little over, over regulation."

Inspectors wrote them up for one of the most basic hygiene steps, handwashing. They wrote one employee washed their hands with cold water and no soap. In another instance, the report says an employee handled raw fish then cooked eel without changing their gloves. It's a regulation Kim says is extremely time consuming during a restaurant's rush.

"You just make one prep and you have to change glove and another prep and you have to change glove and during that time you have to wash your hand and air dry," said Kim.

An inspector found fish being kept at unsafe temperatures. But Kim says keeping food at the exact right degree while prepping is tricky.

"Some of them you know, you put the fish one by one some of them 49, 51, some of them are 38 and I don't know why they always come that time," said Kim.

"They always come at a bad time when stuffs being used and put it back in," inquired Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.

"They're really good," said Kim.

Kim says he himself could find enough demerits to shut down any restaurant in town. He says at the level of scrutiny the Health District uses, if you look, you will find it.

"I told them to hire me," said Kim.

On the restaurant side of Sushi on Tropicana, inspectors served up a 31 demerit C grade and like the bar, cited employees for not washing their hands properly. They found the person in charge didn't demonstrate food safety knowledge. Kim says the chef on duty that day had just started.

"But even a newly hired chef should know about food borne illness and food safety and that stuff," said Darcy.

"They do but the guy at the time you know he just got question," said Kim.

Questions, the Health District answered at a mandatory supervisory conference with Sushi on Tropicana. 

"Do you think things are going to run smoother where your interaction with them is concerned," asked Darcy.

"Yeah to me what they're asking I mean for the customer oh yeah," said Kim.

Both the restaurant and bar were reinspected. The bar reopened with a 3 demerit C grade. The restaurant got an A too with 0 demerits.

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.