County Releases Restaurant Grades; 20 Places Got Shut Down

The county launched its new restaurant grading system, giving foodies some useful insight on where to eat—while also noting a few places that had issues, unless you enjoy food prepped in “vermin”-infested kitchens.

Twenty restaurants were ordered to shut down by Santa Clara County inspectors in the last six months, according to the latest report. The restaurants included chain locations such as Burger King, Wingstop, Noah’s New York Bagels and Una Más, as well as a range of mom-and-pop eateries. The reason for closures ranged from “contamination from vermin” and inadequate supplies of hot and cold water to one whopper of a sewage problem. Most, however, weren’t down for long after resolving the issues.

“Whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or settling in for a fancy dinner, you want to know that the food was prepared in a kitchen that’s clean and safe,” Supervisor Joe Simitian said Friday.

Santa Clara County’s Department of Environmental Health now requires restaurants to post their health scores in their front window—green for pass, yellow for conditional pass and red for fail—as well as submit more information to its easy-to-peruse database.

Below is the full list of restaurants cited for serious violations in the past six months, including their re-open date:

NOAH’S NEW YORK BAGELS #2802
2380 EL CAMINO REAL, SANTA CLARA, CA 95050
Closure date: Oct. 01, 2014
Reason: Failure to properly dispose of sewage through a sewer system.
Reopen date: Oct. 01, 2014

BAY AREA HOT BREADS
464 E EL CAMINO REAL
SUNNYVALE, CA 94087
Closure date: Sept. 25, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Sept. 26, 2014

CHA CA LONG PHUNG
2145 TULLY RD
SAN JOSE, CA 95122
Closure date: Sept. 25, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Sept. 29, 2014

LOCK-CHUN RESTAURANT
4495 STEVENS CREEK BL
SANTA CLARA, CA 95051
Closure date: Sept. 15, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Sept. 16, 2014

SAVOY CAFE
1030 N 10TH ST
SAN JOSE, CA 95112
Closure date: Sept. 2, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Sept. 5, 2014

DONG QUE RESTAURANT
2852 ALUM ROCK AV
SAN JOSE, CA 95127
Closure date: Aug. 25, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Aug. 26, 2014

VENUS TAM’S CAFE
20956 HOMESTEAD RD
CUPERTINO, CA 95014
Closure date: Aug. 21, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Aug. 22, 2014

NEW PORT RESTAURANT
1686 S WOLFE RD
SUNNYVALE, CA 94087
Closure date: Aug. 20, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Aug. 21, 2014

WON KEE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
206 BARBER CT
MILPITAS, CA 95035
Closure date: Aug. 12, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: Aug. 13, 2014

VILLAGE CHEESE HOUSE
855 EL CAMINO REAL
PALO ALTO, CA 94301
Closure date: July 31, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water.
Reopen date: July 31, 2014

WINGSTOP #549
5353 ALMADEN EX
SAN JOSE, CA 95118
Closure date: July 30, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water.
Reopen date: July 31, 2014

THAI PEPPER CUISINE
103 E FREMONT AV
SUNNYVALE, CA 94087
Closure date: July 10, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide required utilities.
Reopen date: July 15, 2014

DAKAO SANDWICHES
98 E SAN SALVADOR ST
SAN JOSE, CA 95112
Closure date: July 8, 2014
Reason:Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: July 9, 2014

PARADISE BIRYANI POINTE
2961 EL CAMINO REAL
SANTA CLARA, CA 95051
Closure date: July 1, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water.
Reopen date: July 2, 2014

UNA MAS
2559 N 1ST ST
SAN JOSE, CA 95131
Closure date: June 20, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: June 25, 2014

SWAGAT INDIAN CUISINE
68 S ABEL ST
MILPITAS, CA 95035
Closure date: June 19, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water.
Reopen date: June 20, 2014

RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT
18620 MADRONE PY
MORGAN HILL, CA 95037
Closure date: June 2, 2014
Reason: Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water.
Reopen date: June 2, 2014

VILLAGE FALAFEL
20010 STEVENS CREEK BL
CUPERTINO, CA 95014
Closure date: May 29, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: May 31, 2014

PHO HOANG LONG
1741 N MILPITAS BL
MILPITAS, CA 95035
Closure date: May 21, 2014
Reason: Food is subject to contamination from vermin.
Reopen date: May 22, 2014

BURGER KING #1673
3750 EL CAMINO REAL
SANTA CLARA, CA 95051
Closure date: April 29, 2014
Reason: Failure to properly dispose of sewage.
Reopen date: April 29, 2014

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

29 Comments

    • Food safety violations are very serious. People can get get seriously ill or die from contaminated food.

      • It would have been a lot more interesting had these establishments been closed down for a week, or more. That would have told how severe the problem was, but they shut their doors one day and were open the next day. How do you get rid of vermin in 24 hours? Even if the Orkin man came out to spray the day they were told to shut their doors, the vermin still would have been there the next day and probably the day after that. I would bet that the majority of the places you eat have vermin. These places just got caught. Evidently they weren’t too much of a hazard if they were only closed for 24 hours. Probably just enough time to get sprayed. Like I said, slow day.

        • So So, I agree. It’s suspicious they all opened so soon after. How do you suddenly provide utilities or hot water. Vermin in one day – what they just swept the floors?

          • Not all of them were closed for one day. There are a few that ranged from 3-5 days.

  1. All of these places were closed and the reopened either the same day or the next day. So clearly, the county either a) didn’t see these as huge of infractions as the author, or b) has no teeth to enforce things.

    It’s good to know about these things, but more detail is helpful. i’m really curious to know why all of these places opened again so fast.

    • completely agree with Kethryvis. Closed the day before and reopened the next day. Such a symbolic enforcement.

  2. I’d love to see this quarterly. Hugely important consumer information. I’d like to see top 10, perhaps sorted by city council district.

  3. Perhaps more useful would be to eat more home-cooked meals prepared with good wholesome ingredients instead of giving all your money to unhealthy chain restaurants.

  4. Um A LOT of restaurants go through this. These restaurants just got unlucky when the health inspector came in. Just because it says “food subject to contamination from vermins” doesnt mean there were cockroaches or rats running wild on the food. Most of the time it mean that the restaurants had warning signs of vermins and needed to call an orkin to spray down the place. When a place get shut down for more than a week? Avoid it

  5. I always see a crowd out front of Zona Rosa but when you park in the back they set their pots and pans on the bushes and brick if the sidewalk to dry. Guess everyone parks on the street.

  6. You left out the swimming pool and spa at the San Jose Athletic Club, both of which have been closed down by the County Dept. of Environmental Health as “Usafe for Use”.

  7. So basically be cautious of places on El Camino and Vietnamese restaurants. I pretty much knew about Asian restaurants. I worked at an electrical company that did a lot of work at restaurants and the horror stories they told me about Asian restaurants made me never want to eat at them again. Yeah a lot of them are pretty nasty. These are just the ones they busted and not even close to the true number out there.

  8. PeopLet are so quick to blame gov but several timeswhen I was working L.E. we called the health dept on assumed violations to find they only had four inspectors for the county. Impossible task. One Korean cafe was soaking raw chickens in a beer tub in the sun in the back alley.

  9. I’d eat at the Village Cheese House even if only sand came out of the faucet. Hot water be damned. They have a turkey sandwich there I think it’s called something like the old fashion, that around the office we simply call The Sandwich. Best sandwich you will ever eat.