‘Live roaches in oven’: Six South Florida restaurants ordered shut, including Piazza Italia on Las Olas

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Aug 09, 2021 2:47 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

A few unruly bar flies — undoubtedly mean drunks — forced state inspectors to shut down a popular Las Olas Italian restaurant twice last week.

Those winged pests landed on soda guns and whiskey dispensers at Piazza Italia in Fort Lauderdale. After finding more live and dead insects at Bake Shack in Dania Beach, Sushi Song Hollywood in Hollywood, Vincent’s Bistro in Lake Worth, Carrot Express in Boca Raton and Taverna Kyma in Boca Raton, inspectors temporarily shut those restaurants, too.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights restaurant inspections in Broward and Palm Beach counties from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We cull through hundreds of restaurant and bar inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” like improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.

Sun Sentinel readers can browse full Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county reports on our state inspection map, updated weekly (usually Monday) with fresh data pulled from the Florida DBPR website.

Any restaurant that fails inspections must stay closed until it passes a follow-up state inspection. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR here. (But don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.)

A display case filled with doughnuts at Bake Shack in Dania Beach.

A display case filled with doughnuts at Bake Shack in Dania Beach. (Michael Mayo / SouthFlorida.com)

Ordered shut: Aug. 2, reopened Aug. 3

Why: Eight violations (four high-priority), including 60 “rodent droppings on floor” in the storage room near the kitchen, next to a rodent trap. The restaurant also was ordered to stop selling its coleslaw, made three days before the inspection. Inspectors reopened Bake Shack Aug. 3 after finding zero new violations.

Piazza Italia, Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut: Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, reopened Aug. 4

Why: State inspectors found 11 violations (four high-priority), such as 34 live flies landing on the soda gun and whiskey dispenser inside bar, and flying near the entrance to a private dining room. Inspectors also spotted two “dead roaches in storage room above chest freezer,” as well as “clean plates exposed to water leaking from air conditioning vent [overhead].” The state also witnessed an in-use ice cream scoop “stored on the dirty surface of an ice machine.” Inspectors’ second visit on Aug. 4 found four more live flies in the bar and dining area, which kept the restaurant shut. Those flies had disappeared during inspectors’ third visit on Aug. 4, which satisfied the state enough to reopen Piazza Italia that day.

A crowded Piazza Italia on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, on Dec. 11, 2020.

A crowded Piazza Italia on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, on Dec. 11, 2020. (Jennifer Lett/Sun Sentinel)

Vincent’s Bistro, Lake Worth

Ordered shut: Aug. 6, Aug. 7, Aug. 8, remains shut

Why: Eight violations (one high-priority), including an infestation of 20 live cockroaches crawling “on floor by kitchen entrance door,” “on window glass … in kitchen,” behind a storage table containing clean dishes, and in drain pan of hot hater heater in the dishwashing room.” Inspectors also found nine dead roaches in the oven, next to an upright kitchen cooler, and by “the back door … in a storage box.” During state inspectors’ second visit on Aug. 7, a manager at Vincent’s “killed and cleaned” two more live roaches behind a “flip top cooler in the kitchen” – but inspectors kept the restaurant shut. The state’s Aug. 8 follow-up visit found three more live cockroaches, inspectors kept Vincent’s closed.”

Ordered shut: Twice on Aug. 5, reopened Aug. 6

Why: Inspectors spotted 23 violations (five high-priority), including 18 live flies landing on plastic wrap and on a “rack with cooked peppers, gloves,” landing on “a cutting board where employee is preparing zucchini,” landing on “pan of lemons in cook line” and on clean dishes, and landing on soda guns, liquor bottles and cutting board at the bar. Inspectors ordered the restaurant to stop selling and toss its raw salmon, gyro meat, cooked meatballs, raw chicken and butter “due to temperature abuse.” They also spotted a dead roach behind the ice machine, “fly sticky tape hanging over food preparation area” and raw steak stored in the same container as cooked sausage. None of the problems were fixed by inspectors’ follow-up visit later that day, which kept Taverna Kyma closed. The restaurant operator still hadn’t tossed the cited food by inspectors’ third visit on Aug. 6, which found 13 more minor and major violations. But after they did, the restaurant was allowed to reopen that day.

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Sushi Song Hollywood, Hollywood

Ordered shut: July 30, reopened Aug. 2

Why: Six violations (three high-priority), including four “live roaches in the oven.” The restaurant was also ordered to stop selling and trash its tofu, cooked pasta, chicken dumplings, ribeye steak, pork bellies, salmon, yellowtail, cooked lobster, cooked shrimp, tuna, escolar and misago “due to temperature abuse.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen Aug. 2 when inspectors spotted zero follow-up violations.

Carrot Express, Boca Raton

Ordered shut: Aug. 2, reopened Aug. 3

Why: State inspectors saw eight violations (six high-priority), such as 44 live flies hovering next to a “laundry bag,” landing on clean utensils hanging over sink, landing on walls, landing on bottles of dressing on prep shelf, and landing on walls outside of dining-room restrooms. Carrot Express reopened Aug. 3 when inspectors on their followup visit found one basic issue.

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